Urartu Kingdom      
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(Text by Duane R. Hurst © 2013)

Click on a link to view its information and pictures.
Significant Event:
    Tiglath-Pileser III Conquest in 745 BC

Main Cities: Arzashkun; Tushpa
Time: 860-590 BC
Language: Armenian; Urartian
Personage: Arame; Argishti I
Religion: Urartu Gods
Related Country: Armenia; Turkey

Brief History:
      I have included only a few items concerning the history of this kingdom. A good source for more details can be found on Wikipedia or in history books.

Map of Urartu Kingdom
Click Map to Enlarge
      Iron Age Urartu (aka the Biblical "Kingdom of Ararat" or "Kingdom of Van") was located in the area of Lake Van. Local people called themselves "Biainili." It originally was one of several small Nairi states in the Armenian highlands. In the mid-13th century BC, Shalmaneser I of Assyria subdued the region. Subsequent Assyrian rulers campaigned against Urartu.

      In the mid-9th century BC, King Arame (aka Aramu) unified the Nairi states and established a capital at Arzashkun (currently under the waters of Lake Van). Assyrian forces under King Shalmaneser III captured the city in 832 BC. Sarduri I, son of Arame, moved the capital to Tushpa and repulsed the Assyrians. His son, Ishpuini, continued to expand Urartu and defeated Assyrian troops of King Shamshi-Adad V. Urartu reached its greatest size during the reign of Argishti I (785-760 BC).

      In 745 BC, Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria conquered Urartu and seized many horses for his chariots. In 714 BC, Assyrians under Sargon II and Cimmerian raids undermined the kingdom of Rusa I, who committed suicide in shame. Later kings defeated the Cimmerians and made peace with Assyria in 705 BC. Subsequent Cimmerian and Scythian incursions led Urartu's king to become an Assyrian vassal. Urartu and Assyria fell to invading Scythians and Medes in 612 BC. Urartu was destroyed by 585 BC.

© Page Publisher: Duane R. Hurst