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The Hurrians (;
cuneiform:
cuneiform:
; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
. They spoke a
Hurro-Urartian language The Hurro-Urartian languages are an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodi ...
called
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
and lived in
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...
and
Northern Mesopotamia Upper Mesopotamia is the name used for the uplands and great outwash plain In geography, a plain is a flat expanse of land that generally does not change much in elevation. Plains occur as lowlands along valleys or on the doorsteps of mountai ...
. The largest and most influential Hurrian nation was the kingdom of
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform Hittite cuneiform is the implementation of cuneiform script Cuneiform is a logo- syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the ear ...

Mitanni
, its ruling class perhaps being Indo-Iranian speakers. The population of the Indo-European-speaking
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
in Anatolia included a large population of Hurrians, and there is significant Hurrian influence in
Hittite mythology Hittite mythology and Hittite religion were the religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine ...
. By the
Early Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
, the Hurrians had been assimilated with other peoples. Their remnants were subdued by a related people that formed the state of
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...

Urartu
. The present-day
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh, A ...
are an amalgam of the Indo-European groups with the Hurrians and
Urartians Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is a common, internal name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can iden ...
.


Language

The
Hurrian language Hurrian is an extinct Hurro-Urartian language spoken by the Hurrians (Khurrites), a people who entered northern Mesopotamia around 2300 BC and had mostly vanished by 1000 BC. Hurrian was the language of the Mitanni kingdom in northern Mesopotamia ...
is closely related to the
Urartian language The Urartian or Vannic language was spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu, located in the region of Lake Van, with its capital near the site of the modern town of Van, in the modern-day Armenian Highlands area of Turkey ...
, the language of the ancient kingdom of
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...

Urartu
. Together they form the Hurro-Urartian language family. The external connections of the Hurro-Urartian languages are disputed. There exist various proposals for a
genetic relationship to other language families
genetic relationship to other language families
(e.g. the
Northeast Caucasian languages The Northeast Caucasian languages, also called East Caucasian or Nakh-Daghestanian languages, is a family of languages In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth ...

Northeast Caucasian languages
), but none of these are generally accepted. From the 21st century BC to the late 18th century BC,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
controlled colonies in
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, and the Hurrians, like the
Hattians The Hattians () were an ancient Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the ...
or
Lullubi Lullubi, Lulubi ( akk, 𒇻𒇻𒉈: ''Lu-lu-bi'', akk, 𒇻𒇻𒉈𒆠: ''Lu-lu-biki'' "Country of the Lullubi"), more commonly known as Lullu, were a group of tribes during the 3rd millennium BC, from a region known as ''Lulubum'', now the Shar ...

Lullubi
s, adopted the
Assyrian
Assyrian
Akkadian cuneiform Cuneiform is a logo A logo (abbreviation of logotype; ) is a graphic Graphics () are visual The visual system comprises the sensory organ A sense is a biological system A biological system is a complex network which connect ...

Akkadian cuneiform
script for their own language about 2000 BC. Texts in the Hurrian language in cuneiform have been found at
Hattusa Hattusa (also Ḫattuša or Hattusas ; Hittite language, Hittite: URU (Sumerogram), URU''Ḫa-at-tu-ša'', Hattic language, Hattic: Hattush) was the capital of the Hittites, Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazk ...
,
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʼUgart''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt''; he, אוּגָרִית ''Ugarit'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident ...

Ugarit
(Ras Shamra), as well as in one of the longest of the Amarna letters, written by King
Tushratta Amarna letter. Letter from Tushratta king of Mitanni to Amenhotep III. From Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. 1st half of the 14th century BCE. British Museum, London Tushratta or Tyshratha / Thesh·ratha was a king of Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cunei ...
of Mitanni to Pharaoh
Amenhotep III Amenhotep III ( egy, imn-ḥtp(.w) "Amun Amun (; also ''Amon'', ''Ammon'', ''Amen''; egy, jmn, ''reconstructed'' ; Ancient Greek, Greek ''Ámmōn'', ''Hámmōn'') was a major ancient Egyptian deities, ancient Egyptian deity who appears ...

Amenhotep III
. It was the only long Hurrian text known until a multi-tablet collection of literature in Hurrian with a Hittite translation was discovered at Hattusa in 1983.


History


Early Bronze Age


Urkesh

The Khabur River valley became the heart of the Hurrian lands for a millennium. The first known Hurrian kingdom emerged around the city of
Urkesh Urkesh or Urkish (modern Tell Mozan; ar, تل موزان) is a , or settlement mound, located in the foothills of the in , northeastern . It was founded during the possibly by the on a site which appears to have been inhabited previously for a ...
(modern Tell Mozan) during the third millennium BC. There is evidence that they were initially allied with the east Semitic
Akkadian Empire The Akkadian Empire () was the first ancient empire of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of ...
of
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
, indicating they had a firm hold on the area by the reign of
Naram-Sin of Akkad Naram-Sin also transcribed Narām-Sîn or Naram-Suen ( akk, 𒀭𒈾𒊏𒄠𒀭𒂗𒍪: '' DNa-ra-am D Sîn'', meaning "Beloved of the Moon God Sîn", the "𒀭 ''Dingir'' (, usually transliteration of cuneiform, transliterated DIĜIR, ) is a ...
(c. 2254–2218 BC). This region hosted other rich cultures (see
Tell Halaf Tell Halaf ( ar, تل حلف) is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, a few kilometers from the city of Ras al-Ayn, al-Hasakah, Ra's al-'Ayn near the Syria–Turkey border, Turkish border. The site, which ...
and
Tell Brak Tell Brak (Nagar, Nawar) was an ancient city in Syria; its remains constitute a tell located in the Upper Khabur region, near the modern village of Tell Brak (village), Tell Brak, 50 kilometers north-east of Al-Hasaka city, Al-Hasakah Gove ...
). The city-state of Urkesh had some powerful neighbors.


Middle Bronze Age

Hurrian names occur sporadically in northwestern Mesopotamia and the area of
Kirkuk Kirkuk ( ar, كركوك, ku, کەرکووک, translit=Kerkûk, , tr, Kerkük) is a city in Iraq, serving as the capital of the Kirkuk Governorate, located north of Baghdad. The city is home to a diverse population of Iraqi Turkmen, Turkmens, ...

Kirkuk
in modern
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
by the
Middle Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
. Their presence was attested at
Nuzi Nuzi (or Nuzu; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the ...
,
Urkesh Urkesh or Urkish (modern Tell Mozan; ar, تل موزان) is a , or settlement mound, located in the foothills of the in , northeastern . It was founded during the possibly by the on a site which appears to have been inhabited previously for a ...
and other sites. They eventually infiltrated and occupied a broad arc of fertile farmland stretching from the Khabur River valley in the west to the foothills of the
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس, ''Kuh hā-ye Zāgros;'' Luri language, Luri: کویل زاگروس‎, ''Koyal Zagros;'' Turkish language, Turkish: ''Zagros Dağları;'' ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyakani ...
in the east. I. J. Gelb and E. A. Speiser believed
East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. ...
speaking
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
/
Subarians The land of Subartu (Akkadian ''Šubartum/Subartum/ina Šú-ba-ri'', Assyrian ''Kur, mât Šubarri'') or Subar (Sumerian Su-bir4/Subar/Šubur) is mentioned in Bronze Age literature. The name also appears as ''Subari'' in the Amarna letters, and, in ...
had been the linguistic and ethnic substratum of northern Mesopotamia since earliest times, while Hurrians were merely late arrivals. However, Subarians are now believed to have been a Hurrian, or at least a Hurro-Urartian, people.


Urkesh

At some point in the early second millennium BC, the
Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have emerged from Common Semitic in the Early Bronze Age. It is first attested ...
speaking
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
kingdom of
Mari Mari may refer to: Places *Mari, Paraíba, Brazil, a city *Mari, Cyprus, a village *Mari, Greece, a village, site of ancient town of Marius (Laconia), Marius *Mari, Iran (disambiguation), places in Iran *Mari, Punjab, a village and a union counci ...
to the south subdued Urkesh and made it a vassal state. In the continuous power struggles over Mesopotamia, another Amorite dynasty had usurped the throne of the
Old Assyrian Empire The Old Assyrian Empire was the second stage of Assyrian history, covering the history of the city of Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫ ...
, which had controlled colonies in Hurrian, Hattian and
Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** Hittite religion ** ...

Hittite
regions of eastern Anatolia since the 21st century BC. The Assyrians then made themselves masters over Mari and much of north east Amurru (
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
) in the late 19th and early 18th centuries BC.
Shubat-Enlil Tell Leilan is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human ...
(modern Tell Leilan), was made the capital of this Old Assyrian empire by Shamshi Adad I at the expense of the earlier capital of
Assur Aššur (; Sumerian language, Sumerian: AN.ŠAR2KI, Assyrian cuneiform: ''Aš-šurKI'', "City of God Ashur (god), Aššur"; syr, ܐܫܘܪ ''Āšūr''; Old Persian ''Aθur'', fa, آشور: ''Āšūr''; he, אַשּׁוּר: ', ar, اشور) ...

Assur
.


Yamhad

The Hurrians also migrated further west in this period. By 1725 BC they are found also in parts of northern
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, such as
Alalakh Alalakh (Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** H ...
. The mixed
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
kingdom of
Yamhad Yamhad was an ancient Semitic people, Semitic kingdom centered on Aleppo, Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhad dynasty, Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military ...
is recorded as struggling for this area with the early Hittite king Hattusilis I around 1600 BC. Hurrians also settled in the coastal region of Adaniya in the country of
Kizzuwatna Kizzuwatna (or Kizzuwadna; in Ancient Egyptian ''Kode'' or ''Qode''), is the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun, in modern-day Tu ...
, southern Anatolia. Yamhad eventually weakened vis-a-vis the powerful Hittites, but this also opened Anatolia for Hurrian cultural influences. The Hittites were influenced by both the Hurrian and Hattian cultures over the course of several centuries.


Late Bronze Age


Mitanni

The Indo-European Hittites continued expanding south after the defeat of
Yamhad Yamhad was an ancient Semitic people, Semitic kingdom centered on Aleppo, Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhad dynasty, Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military ...
. The army of the Hittite king
Mursili I Mursili I (also known as Mursilis; sometimes transcribed as Murshili) was a king of the Hittites 1620-1590 BC, as per the middle chronology, the most accepted chronology in our times, or alternatively c. 1556–1526 BCE (short chronology), and was ...
made its way to
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
(by then a weak and minor state) and sacked the city. The destruction of the Babylonian kingdom, the presence of unambitious or isolationist kings in
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
, as well as the destruction of the kingdom of
Yamhad Yamhad was an ancient Semitic people, Semitic kingdom centered on Aleppo, Ḥalab (Aleppo), Syria. The kingdom emerged at the end of the 19th century BC, and was ruled by the Yamhad dynasty, Yamhadite dynasty kings, who counted on both military ...
, helped the rise of another Hurrian dynasty. The first ruler was a legendary king called
Kirta Kirta or Keret is a legendary Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. Th ...
who founded the kingdom of
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform Hittite cuneiform is the implementation of cuneiform script Cuneiform is a logo- syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the ear ...

Mitanni
(known also as ''Hanigalbat''/''Ḫanigalbat'' by the Assyrians, and to the Egyptians as ''nhrn'') around 1500 BC. Mitanni gradually grew from the region around the Khabur valley and was perhaps the most powerful kingdom of the Near East in c. 1475–1365 BC, after which it was eclipsed and eventually destroyed by the
Middle Assyrian Empire The Middle Assyrian Empire is the period in the history of Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَ ...
. Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni exhibit an
Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also

*Aryan invasion theory (disambiguation) *Indo-Aryan tribes (disambigua ...
superstrate In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
, suggesting that an
Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also

*Aryan invasion theory (disambiguation) *Indo-Aryan tribes (disambigua ...
elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion. (See Mitanni-Aryan.)


Arrapha

Another Hurrian kingdom also benefited from the demise of Babylonian power in the sixteenth century BC. Hurrians had inhabited the region northeast of the river
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
, around the modern Kirkuk. This was the kingdom of
Arrapha Arrapha or Arrapkha ( Akkadian: ''Arrapḫa''; ar, أررابخا ,عرفة) was an ancient city in what today is northeastern Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُور ...
. Excavations at Yorgan Tepe, ancient Nuzi, proved this to be one of the most important sites for our knowledge about the Hurrians. Hurrian kings such as Ithi-Teshup and Ithiya ruled over Arrapha, yet by the mid-fifteenth century BC they had become vassals of the Great King of Mitanni. The kingdom of Arrapha itself was destroyed by the
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
in the mid 14th century BC and thereafter became an Assyrian city.


Bronze Age collapse

By the 13th century BC all of the Hurrian states had been vanquished by other peoples, with the Mitanni kingdom destroyed by Assyria. The heartlands of the Hurrians, the Khabur river valley and south eastern Anatolia, became provinces of the
Middle Assyrian Empire The Middle Assyrian Empire is the period in the history of Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَ ...
(1366–1020 BC) which came to rule much of the Near East and Asia Minor. It is not clear what happened to these early Hurrian people at the end of the Bronze Age. Some scholars have suggested that Hurrians lived on in the country of
Nairi Nairi (Armenian language, Armenian: Նայիրի in Traditional Armenian Orthography, TAO or Նաիրի in Reformed Armenian Orthography, RAO) was the Akkadian language, Akkadian name (KUR.KUR ''Na-i-ri'', also ''Na-'i-ru'') for a confederation o ...
north of Assyria during the early Iron Age, before this too was conquered by Assyria. The Hurrian population of northern Syria in the following centuries seems to have given up their language in favor of the Assyrian dialect of
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
, and later,
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
.


Urartu

However, a power vacuum was to allow a new and powerful state whose rulers spoke Urartian, similar to old Hurrian, to arise. The Middle Assyrian Empire, after destroying the Hurro-Mitanni Empire, the
Hittite Empire The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing first a kingdom in Kussara before 1750 BC, then the Kanesh or Nesha kingdom (c. 1750–1650 BC), and next an empire centered on Hattusa Hattusa (also ...

Hittite Empire
, defeating the
Phrygians The Phrygians (Greek language, Greek: Φρύγες, ''Phruges'' or ''Phryges'') were an ancient Indo-European languages, Indo-European speaking people, who inhabited central-western Anatolia in antiquity. They were related to the Greeks. Ancient ...

Phrygians
and Elamites, conquering
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
, the
Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic Old Aramaic refers to the earliest stage of the Aramaic language Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Aramaic alphabet, Imperial Aramaic: ; Hebrew alphabet, square script ) is a language t ...
of
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, northern
Ancient Iran The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia Anato ...
and
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
and forcing the
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
out of much of the near east, itself went into a century of relative decline from the latter part of the 11th century BC. The Urartians were thus able to impose themselves around
Lake Van Lake Van ( tr, Van Gölü; hy, Վանա լիճ, translit=Vana lič̣; ku, Gola Wanê), is the largest lake in Turkey and the Armenian Highlands. It lies in the Eastern Anatolia Region, far east of Turkey, in the provinces of Van Province, Van ...

Lake Van
and
Mount Ararat Mount Ararat ( ; , hy, Մասիս, Masis or , ''Ararat''; ku, Grîdax, script=Latn or ) is a snow-capped and dormant compound volcano in the extreme east of Turkey. It consists of two major volcanic cones: Greater Ararat and Little Ararat. ...

Mount Ararat
, forming the powerful Kingdom of
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...

Urartu
. During the 11th and 10th centuries BC, the kingdom eventually encompassed a region stretching from the
Caucasus Mountains The Caucasus Mountains, : pronounced * hy, Կովկասյան լեռներ, : pronounced * az, Qafqaz dağları, pronounced * rus, Кавка́зские го́ры, Kavkázskiye góry, kɐfˈkasːkʲɪje ˈɡorɨ * tr, Kafkas Dağla ...

Caucasus Mountains
in the north, to the borders of northern
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
and northern
Ancient Iran The history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia Anato ...
in the south, and controlled much of eastern Anatolia. Assyria began to once more expand from circa. 935 BC, and Urartu and Assyria became fierce rivals. Urartu successfully repelled Assyrian expansionism for a time, however from the 9th to 7th century BC it progressively lost territory to Assyria. It was to survive until the 7th century BC, by which time it was conquered fully into the
Neo Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform: ''mat Aš-šur KI'', "Country of the Assur, city of Ashur (god), god Aššur"; also phonetically ''mat Aš-šur'') was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and became ...
(911–605 BC). The Assyrian Empire collapsed from 620 to 605 BC, after a series of brutal internal civil wars weakened it to such an extent that a coalition of its former vassals; the
Medes The Medes ( peo, 𐎶𐎠𐎭 ; akk, , ; grc, Μῆδοι ) were an Iranian peoples, ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media (region), Media between western Iran, western and nor ...
,
Persians The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of traditions, ancestr ...

Persians
,
Babylonians Babylonia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – ...
,
Chaldea Chaldea () was a small country that existed between the late 10th or early 9th and mid-6th centuries BCE, after which the country and its people were absorbed and assimilated into the indigenous population Babylonia. Semitic language, Semitic-s ...
ns,
Scythians The Scythians (from grc, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉 The ancient Egyptian Hill-country or "Foreign land" hieroglyph (𓈉) is a member of the sky, earth, and water hieroglyphs. A ...
and
Cimmerians The Cimmerians (also Kimmerians; Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
were able to attack and gradually destroy it.
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...

Urartu
was ravaged by marauding Indo-European speaking Scythian and Cimmerian raiders during this time, with its vassal king (together with the king of neighbouring
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...

Lydia
) vainly pleading with the beleaguered Assyrian king for help. After the fall of Assyria, Urartu came under the control of the
Median Empire bas-relief Relief is a sculptural technique in which the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in ...

Median Empire
and then its successor
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Grea ...
during the 6th century BC. During the 2nd millennium BC a new wave of Indo-European speakers migrated over the Caucasus into Urartian lands, these being the
Armenians Armenians ( hy, հայեր, ''Romanization of Armenian, hayer'' ) are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the ''de facto'' independent Republic of Artsakh, A ...
. An alternate theory suggests that Armenians were tribes indigenous to the northern shores of Lake Van or Urartu's northern periphery (possibly as the Hayasans, Etuini, and/or
DiauehiDiauehi or Daiaeni ( Georgian ''დიაოხი,'' Urartian ''Diauekhi'', Akkadian language, Assyrian ''Diaeni'', Greek language, Greek ''Taochoi'', Armenian language, Armenian ''Tayk'') was a Tribe, tribal union of possibly proto-Georgians, Kart ...

Diauehi
, all of whom are known only from references left by neighboring peoples such Hittites, Urartians, and Assyrians). This theory is supported by genetic and archaeological evidence, which is suggestive of an Indo-European presence in Armenia and eastern Turkey by the end of the 3rd millennium BC. It is argued that
proto-Armenian Proto-Armenian is the earlier, unattested stage of the Armenian language which has been linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed by linguists. As Armenian is the only known language of its branch of the Indo-European languages, the comparative me ...
came into contact with Urartian at an early date (3rd or 2nd millennium BC), before the formation of the Urartian kingdom. While the Urartian language was used by the royal elite, the population they ruled may have been multi-lingual, and some of these peoples would have spoken Armenian. In the 6th century BC the region became part of the Armenian
Orontid Dynasty The Orontid dynasty, also known by their native name Eruandid or Yervanduni, was a hereditary dynasty that ruled the Satrapy of Armenia until 330BC and the Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), Kingdom of Armenia from 321BC to 200BC. The Orontids rule ...
. The Hurro-Urartians seem to have disappeared from history around this time, almost certainly being absorbed into the Indo-European Armenian population.


Culture and society

Knowledge of Hurrian culture relies on archaeological excavations at sites such as Nuzi and
Alalakh Alalakh (Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** H ...
as well as on cuneiform tablets, primarily from
Hattusa Hattusa (also Ḫattuša or Hattusas ; Hittite language, Hittite: URU (Sumerogram), URU''Ḫa-at-tu-ša'', Hattic language, Hattic: Hattush) was the capital of the Hittites, Hittite Empire in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazk ...
(Boghazköy), the capital of the Hittites, whose civilization was greatly influenced by the Hurrians. Tablets from Nuzi,
Alalakh Alalakh (Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** H ...
, and other cities with Hurrian populations (as shown by personal names) reveal Hurrian cultural features even though they were written in Akkadian. Hurrian
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s were carefully carved and often portrayed mythological motifs. They are a key to the understanding of Hurrian culture and history.


Ceramic ware

The Hurrians were masterful ceramists. Their pottery is commonly found in Mesopotamia and in the lands west of the Euphrates; it was highly valued in distant Egypt, by the time of the
New Kingdom New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Boyz or The Boyz may refer to: Music Bands *The Boyz (German band), a German boy band of t ...
. Archaeologists use the terms
Khabur ware Khabur ware is a specific type of pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include ...
and Nuzi ware for two types of wheel-made pottery used by the Hurrians. Khabur ware is characterized by reddish painted lines with a geometric triangular pattern and dots, while Nuzi ware has very distinctive forms, and are painted in brown or black.


Metallurgy

The Hurrians had a reputation in
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering ''Materials Science and Engineering'' may refer to several journals in the field of materials science and engineering: * '' Materials Science and Engineering A'' * '' Materials Science ...
. It is proposed that the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian term for "coppersmith" ''tabira''/''tibira'' was borrowed from Hurrian, which would imply an early presence of the Hurrians way before their first historical mention in Akkadian sources. Copper was traded south to
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
from the highlands of
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
. The Khabur Valley had a central position in the metal trade, and copper, silver and even tin were accessible from the Hurrian-dominated countries
Kizzuwatna Kizzuwatna (or Kizzuwadna; in Ancient Egyptian ''Kode'' or ''Qode''), is the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun, in modern-day Tu ...
and
Ishuwa Isuwa (transcribed Išuwa and sometimes rendered Ishuwa) was the ancient Hittite name for one of its neighboring Anatolian kingdoms to the east, in an area which later became the Luwian Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu. The land The land of Isuwa wa ...
situated in the Anatolian highland. Gold was in short supply, and the Amarna letters inform us that it was acquired from Egypt. Not many examples of Hurrian metal work have survived, except from the later Urartu. Some small fine bronze lion figurines were discovered at Urkesh.


Horse culture

The Mitanni were closely associated with horses. The name of the country of Ishuwa, which might have had a substantial Hurrian population, meant "horse-land" (it is also suggested the name may have Anatolian or
proto-Armenian Proto-Armenian is the earlier, unattested stage of the Armenian language which has been linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed by linguists. As Armenian is the only known language of its branch of the Indo-European languages, the comparative me ...
roots). A text discovered at Hattusa deals with the training of horses. The man who was responsible for the horse-training was a Hurrian called
KikkuliKikkuli was the Hurrian "master horse trainer" (''assussanni'') of the land Mitanni" (LÚ''A-AŠ-ŠU-UŠ-ŠA-AN-NI ŠA'' KUR URU''MI-IT-TA-AN-NI'') and author of a chariot horse training text written primarily in the Hittite language (as well as an I ...
. The terminology used in connection with horses contains many Indo-Aryan loan-words (Mayrhofer, 1974).


Music

Among the Hurrian texts from Ugarit are the oldest known instances of written music, dating from c. 1400 BC. Among these fragments are found the names of four Hurrian composers, Tapšiẖuni, Puẖiya(na), Urẖiya, and Ammiya.


Religion

The Hurrian culture made a great impact on the religion of the Hittites. From the Hurrian cult centre at Kummanni in Kizzuwatna, Hurrian religion spread to the Hittite people.
Syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Li ...
merged the Old Hittite and Hurrian religions. Hurrian religion spread to Syria, where
Baal Baal (), properly Baal,; phn, , baʿl; hbo, , baʿal, ). was a title and honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term " ...

Baal
became the counterpart of
Teshub Teshub (also written Teshup, Teššup, or Tešup; cuneiform ; hieroglyphic Luwian Hieroglyphic Luwian (''luwili'') is a variant of the Luwian language Luwian , sometimes known as Luvian or Luish, is an ancient language, or group of languages, w ...
. The Hurrian religion, in different forms, influenced the entire ancient
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental ...
, except
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
and southern Mesopotamia. While the
Hurrian The Hurrians (; Cuneiform script, cuneiform: ; transliteration: ''Ḫu-ur-ri''; also called Hari, Khurrites, Hourri, Churri, Hurri or Hurriter) were a people of the Bronze Age Ancient Near East, Near East. They spoke a Hurro-Urartian language cal ...
and
Urartian The Urartian or Vannic language was spoken by the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Urartu, located in the region of Lake Van, with its capital near the site of the modern town of Van, Turkey, Van, in the modern-day Armenian Highlands area of T ...
languages are related, there is little similarity between corresponding systems of belief. The main gods in the Hurrian pantheon were: *
Teshub Teshub (also written Teshup, Teššup, or Tešup; cuneiform ; hieroglyphic Luwian Hieroglyphic Luwian (''luwili'') is a variant of the Luwian language Luwian , sometimes known as Luvian or Luish, is an ancient language, or group of languages, w ...
, ''Teshup'', the mighty weather god. * Hebat, ''Hepa'', his wife, the mother goddess, later equated with the main sun goddess of the Hittites * Sharruma, or Sarruma, ''Šarruma'', their son, a mountain god of Syrian origin. *
Kumarbi Kumarbi was an important god of the Hurrians, regarded as "the father of gods." He was also a part of the Hittite pantheon. According to Hurrian myths he was a son of Alalu, and one of the parents of storm-god Teshub, the other being Anu (god), A ...
, grain god, the father of
Teshub Teshub (also written Teshup, Teššup, or Tešup; cuneiform ; hieroglyphic Luwian Hieroglyphic Luwian (''luwili'') is a variant of the Luwian language Luwian , sometimes known as Luvian or Luish, is an ancient language, or group of languages, w ...
and a "father of gods" similar to Enlil; his home as described in mythology is the city of Urkesh. * Shaushka, or Shawushka, ''Šauska'', the Hurrian counterpart of
Ishtar Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian '' ...

Ishtar
, and a goddess of love, war and healing. * Shimegi, ''Šimegi'', the sun god. * Kushuh, ''Kušuh'', the moon god and a guardian of oaths. Symbols of the sun and the crescent moon appear joined together in the Hurrian
iconography Iconography, as a branch of art history, studies the identification, description and interpretation of the content of images: the subjects depicted, the particular compositions and details used to do so, and other elements that are distinct fro ...

iconography
. *
Nergal Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali (Sumerian language, Sumerian: Dingir, d''KIŠ.UNU'' or ; ; Aramaic Language, Aramaic: ܢܸܪܓܲܠ; la, Nirgal) was a deity who was worshipped throughout ancient Mesopotamia (Akkadian Empire, Akkad, Assyria, and Babyl ...

Nergal
, a
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian language, Akkadian '; Sumerian language, Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ,approximately "land of the civilized kings" or "native land". means "native, local", iĝir NATIVE (7x: Old Babylonian)from ''The ...

Sumer
ian deity of the netherworld, who had a prominent temple in Urkesh in the earliest period of recorded Hurrian history. Possibly a stand-in for a god whose Hurrian name is presently unknown. * Ea, Hayya, the god of wisdom, who was also Mesopotamian in origin. * Allani, goddess of the netherworld. *
Ishara Ishara (') is an ancient deity of unknown origin from the north of modern Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْع ...

Ishara
, a goddess of Syrian origin. * Aštabi, a war god. * Nupatik, a prominent god of uncertain function. * Hutena and Hutellura, fate and birth goddesses. Hurrian
cylinder seal . Linescan camera image (reversed to resemble an impression). A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch (2 to 3 cm) in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to ...
s often depict mythological creatures such as winged humans or animals, dragons and other monsters. The interpretation of these depictions of gods and demons remains uncertain. They may have been both protective and evil spirits. Some are reminiscent of the Assyrian shedu. The Hurrian gods do not appear to have had particular "home temples", like in the Mesopotamian religion or Ancient Egyptian religion. Some important cult centres were Kummanni in Kizzuwatna and Hittite Yazilikaya. Harran was at least later a religious centre for the moon god, and Shauskha had an important temple in Nineve, when the city was under Hurrian rule. A temple of
Nergal Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali (Sumerian language, Sumerian: Dingir, d''KIŠ.UNU'' or ; ; Aramaic Language, Aramaic: ܢܸܪܓܲܠ; la, Nirgal) was a deity who was worshipped throughout ancient Mesopotamia (Akkadian Empire, Akkad, Assyria, and Babyl ...

Nergal
was built in Urkesh in the late third millennium BC. The town of Tell Barri, Kahat was a religious centre in the kingdom of Mitanni. The Hurrian myth "The Songs of Ullikummi", preserved among the Hittites, is a parallel to Hesiod's Theogony; the castration of Uranus (mythology), Uranus by Cronus may be derived from the castration of Anu by
Kumarbi Kumarbi was an important god of the Hurrians, regarded as "the father of gods." He was also a part of the Hittite pantheon. According to Hurrian myths he was a son of Alalu, and one of the parents of storm-god Teshub, the other being Anu (god), A ...
, while Zeus's overthrow of Cronus and Cronus's regurgitation of the swallowed gods is like the Hurrian myth of
Teshub Teshub (also written Teshup, Teššup, or Tešup; cuneiform ; hieroglyphic Luwian Hieroglyphic Luwian (''luwili'') is a variant of the Luwian language Luwian , sometimes known as Luvian or Luish, is an ancient language, or group of languages, w ...
and Kumarbi. It has been argued that the worship of Attis drew on Hurrian myth.


Urbanism

The Hurrian urban culture was not represented by a large number of cities. Urkesh was the only Hurrian city in the third millennium BC. In the second millennium BC we know a number of Hurrian cities, such as Arrapha, Harran, Tell Barri, Kahat, Nuzi, Taite, Taidu and Washukanni – the capital of Mitanni. Although the site of Washukanni, alleged to be at Tell Fakhariya, is not known for certain, no Tell (archaeology), tell (city mound) in the Khabur Valley much exceeds the size of 1 square kilometer (250 acres), and the majority of sites are much smaller. The Hurrian urban culture appears to have been quite different from the centralized state administrations of Assyria and ancient Egypt. An explanation could be that the feudal organization of the Hurrian kingdoms did not allow large palace or temple estates to develop.


Archaeology

Hurrian settlements are distributed over three modern countries, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The heart of the Hurrian world is bisected by the modern border between Syria and Turkey. Several sites are situated within the border zone, making access for excavations problematic. A threat to the ancient sites are the many dam projects in the Euphrates,
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of the Armenian Highlands through the Syrian Desert, Syrian and Arabian Deserts, and empti ...

Tigris
and Khabur valleys. Several rescue operations have already been undertaken when the construction of dams put entire river valleys under water. The first major excavations of Hurrian sites in Iraq and Syria began in the 1920s and 1930s. They were led by the American archaeologist Edward Chiera at Yorghan Tepe (Nuzi), and the British archaeologist Max Mallowan at Chagar Bazar and Tell Brak. Recent excavations and surveys in progress are conducted by American, Belgian, Danish, Dutch, French, German and Italian teams of archaeologists, with international participants, in cooperation with the Syrian Department of Antiquities. The tells, or city mounds, often reveal a long occupation beginning in the Neolithic and ending in the Roman period or later. The characteristic Hurrian pottery, the Khabur ware, is helpful in determining the different strata of occupation within the mounds. The Hurrian settlements are usually identified from the Middle Bronze Age to the end of the Late Bronze Age, with Tell Mozan (Urkesh) being the main exception.


Important sites

The list includes some important ancient sites from the area dominated by the Hurrians. Excavation reports and images are found at the websites linked. As noted above, important discoveries of Hurrian culture and history were also made at Alalakh, Amarna, Hattusa and Ugarit. * Tell Mozan (ancient Urkesh) * Yorghan Tepe (ancient Nuzi) * Tell Brak (ancient Nagar) * Tell Leilan (ancient Shehna and Shubat-Enlil) * Tell Barri (ancient Kahat) * Tell Beydar (ancient Nabada) * Kenan Tepe * Tell Tuneinir * Umm el-Marra (ancient Tuba?) * Tell Chuera * Hammam al Turkman (ancient Zalpa?) * Tell Sabi Abyad * Hamoukar * Chagar Bazar * Tell el Fakhariya / Ras el Ayn (ancient Washukanni?) * Taite, Tell Hamidiya (ancient Taidu?)For the results of the Swiss excavations at Tell al-Hamidiya see


See also

* Horites *
Urartu Urartu () is a geographical region commonly used as the exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...

Urartu
*
Mitanni Mitanni (; Hittite cuneiform Hittite cuneiform is the implementation of cuneiform script Cuneiform is a logo- syllabic script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the ear ...

Mitanni
* Nairi people, Nairi * Kassites


References


Bibliography

* Isaac Asimov, Asimov, Isaac. ''The Near East: 10,000 Years of History''. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968. * Chahin, M. ''The Kingdom of Armenia''. London and New York: Croom Helm, 1987. Reprint, New York: Dorset Press, 1991. Second, revised edition, as ''The Kingdom of Armenia: A History''. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 2001. * Igor Diakonov, Diakonov, Igor M., and Sergei Starostin. ''Hurro-Urartian as an Eastern Caucasian Language''. Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft. Munich: R. Kitzinger, 1986. * Duchesne-Guillemin, Marcelle. ''A Hurrian Musical Score from Ugarit: The Discovery of Mesopotamian Music''. Sources from the ancient near east, vol. 2, fasc. 2. Malibu, CA: Undena Publications, 1984. * Gelb, Ignace J. ''Hurrians and Subarians'', Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization No. 22. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944. * Gurney, O. R., ''The Hittites'', Hardmonsworth 1952. * Güterbock, Hans Gustav, ''Musical Notation in Ugarit'' in ''Revue d'Assyriologie'' 64 (1970): 45–52. * Hawkes, Jacquetta, ''The First Great Civilizations: Life in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Egypt'', Knopf, 1973. * Ivanov, Vyacheslav V., and Thomas Gamkrelidze. "The Early History of Indo-European Languages". ''Scientific American'' 262, no. 3, (March 1990): 110–116. * Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn. "The Discovery of an Ancient Mesopotamian Theory of Music". ''Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association'' 115, no. 2 (April 1971): 131–49. * Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn. "The Cult Song with Music from Ancient Ugarit: Another Interpretation". ''Revue d'Assyriologie'' 68 (1974): 69–82. * Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn, Richard L. Crocker, and Robert R. Brown. ''Sounds from Silence: Recent Discoveries in Ancient Near Eastern Music''. Berkeley: Bit Enki Publications, 1976. (booklet and LP record, Bit Enki Records BTNK 101, reissued [s.d.] with CD). * Kurkjian, Vahan M. ''A History of Armenia''. New York: Armenian General Benevolent Union, 1958. * Mayrhofer, Manfred. ''Die Arier im Vorderen Orient—ein Mythos?''. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischer Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1974. * Movsisyan, Artak Erjaniki. ''The Sacred Highlands: Armenia in the Spiritual Geography of the Ancient Near East''. Yerevan: Yerevan University Publishers, 2004. * Nersessian, Hovick. ''Highlands of Armenia''. Los Angeles, 2000. * Speiser, E. A., ''Introduction to Hurrian'', New Haven, ASOR 1941. * Raoul Gregory Vitale, Vitale, Raoul. "La Musique suméro-accadienne: gamme et notation musicale". ''Ugarit-Forschungen'' 14 (1982): 241–63. * Wilhelm, Gernot. ''The Hurrians''. Aris & Philips Warminster, 1989. * Wilhelm, Gernot (ed.). ''Nuzi at Seventy-five''. Studies in the Civilization and Culture of Nuzi and the Hurrians. Bethesda: Capital Decisions, Ltd., 1999. * Wegner, Ilse. ''Einführung in die hurritische Sprache'', 2. überarbeitete Aufl. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007. * West, M[artin] L[itchfield]. "The Babylonian Musical Notation and the Hurrian Melodic Texts". ''Music and Letters'' 75, no. 2 (May 1994): 161–79. * Wulstan, David. "The Tuning of the Babylonian Harp", ''Iraq'' 30 (1968): 215–28.


External links

* Vyacheslav V. Ivanov
"Comparative Notes on Hurro-Urartian, Indo-European, and Northern Caucasian"
Discusses the difficulties and disagreements faced by linguists working in this area, the term Alarodian being created especially for the Hurro-Urartian-Nakh-Avar languages as a family.
The Indo-European Elements in Hurrian






by Robert Antonio

by Jeremiah Genest * Vahan Kurkjian

"The Hurri-Mitanni kingdom of Armenia", Michigan, 1968 {{Authority control Hurrians, States and territories established in the 3rd millennium BC States and territories disestablished in the 6th century BC Ancient Syria