Conflict and Interaction in the Iron Age: The Origins of Urartian-Assyrian Relations

Koroglu K.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY, vol.18, pp.111-127, 2015 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1179/1461957114y.0000000080
  • Page Numbers: pp.111-127


The Neo-Assyrian Kingdom and the Urartian Kingdom were two important Near Eastern states in the Middle Iron Age (ninth to sixth centuries BC) that steered political developments and considerably transformed the lives of populations within their territories. This article aims to explore the origins of Urartian-Assyrian relations: the processes and ways through which Mesopotamian and Assyrian influences reached the eastern Anatolian highlands. The populations who founded the Urartian Kingdom lived mostly as semi-nomadic tribes in eastern Anatolia and surrounding areas during the Early Iron Age (thirteenth to ninth centuries BC). It is impossible to explain the emergence of the Urartian Kingdom in the Van region towards the mid-ninth century BC-which quickly became a powerful rival of its contemporaries-as a natural development of local culture. The main question at this stage is how and from where Assyrian influences were transmitted to the tribes who founded the Urartian Kingdom. Our opinion is that the answer to this question should be sought in the Upper Tigris region, which was inhabited by both cultures (Pre-Urartian and Assyrian) before the foundation of the Urartian Kingdom.