Architecture / Empire / Uratu












Supposed location of Garden of Eden in now Armenian Highlands

Noah’s ark comes to rest on mountains of Ararat, with name meaning “repeal of the curse” in relation to the Great Flood

Fall of Mitanni led to split in Armenian Highlands

13th c BCE
First known mention to Urartu in Assyrian cuneiform writings of large tribal union in confrontation with Assyria

9th c BCE
Assyrian Queen Semiramis constructs a city on the shores of Lake Van.

Arame (858 BCE–844 BCE)

United scattered tribes, founded capital at Arzashkun, formed army to resist Assyrian threat

Shalamaneser of Assyria campaign against Arame, burned 14 surrounding settlements in first year of reign

Shalamaneser in 3rd year of rule invades capital of Arzashkun, killed 3,000 warriors

Dynasty of Arame no longer dominant, new dynasty emerge in area of Lake Van

Lutipri (844 BCE–834 BCE)
Sarduri I (also Sarduris I, Sedur I, Asiduri I) (834 BCE–828 BCE)

Known in Assyrian sources as Ishtarduri

Found new capital of Tushpa on Lake Van

Fortification wall of Van fortress still present with inscriptions about construction of the fortress

Stopped Assyrians from invading

Ishpuini (also Ishpuinis, Ispuini) the Establisher (828 BCE–810 BCE)

Expanded the empire and conquered Mushashir

Menua (also Menuas, Minua) the Conqueror (810 BC–785 BCE)

Grandson of Sarduri I

Initially ruled jointly with his father Ishpuini and later jointly ruled with his son, Inushpua

Greatly expanded the kingdom, organized the centralized administrative structure

Manna became permanent battleground between Assyria and Urartu at this time

Fortified a number of cities and founded fortresses to thwart enemy attacks in central regions

Established city of Menuakhinili on Mount Ararat

Developed a national canal and irrigation system, 70km long Menua channel to deliver water to Van, pitch of 1 meter per kilometer, increased agricultural potential of central Urartu, developed farming to feed large army

Argishti I (also Argishtis I, Argishtish I, Argisti I) (785–763 BCE)

Son of Menua

Fortified the empire’s frontier

Army switched from bronze to iron weapons, likely first army in the world to do so. Later Assyria followed example.

Settled wall town fortress of Erebuni (modern-day Yerevan)

Counterattack against Assyria, expand to Euphrates, invade several cities and go as far as Baylon

Channels built assisted with irrigating lands

When Assyria breached borders of Urartu, Arghisti cut supply lines and invated Assyria as far as Babylon

Assyria won back lands Argishti I seized

Neighbors signed agreements defining borders

Sarduri II (763 BCE–735 BCE)

Maximum expansion

Zenith of Urartian power

Assyria invade Tushpa though unable to take citadel

Rusa I (also Rusas, Ursa) (735 BCE–714 BCE)

Several regions seek independence, Rusa I need to hold kingdom together

Built new relations with religious center in Musasir, home to main temple of supreme deity of Urartu

Consolidate military and economic power

Sargon II of Assyria dethroned elder brother and after becoming king, sought to prevent strengthening of Urartu, waged wars in west against Syria and Palestine

Rivalry between Urartu and Assyria in Manna, with Saragon II overthrow and put in a puppet king

Sargon II heard of failed Uratu campaign against Cimmerian, attacked Manna and punished rebellious kings

Rusa I gather forces and hurry to rescue, battle ended in defeat of army requiring Rusa I to retreat

Sargon II destroy city of Ulhu and sown fields and a number of other cities on march to capital, turns army around and goes back to Assyria

Sargon II attack Musasir, destroyed town and temple, plundered gold, silver, figurines

Rusa I took life with one hands when heard of sacking of Musasir

Lost 430 settlements, treasury empty, and empire devastated

Argishti II (714–680 BCE)

Sargon II of Assyria died in battle

Move from war footing to negotiation without conflict

Buyback of chief bronze statue seized in Musasir

Managed to put back together the Kingdom of Van, move in to regions to Caspian Sea

Rusa II (known to Assyrian king as Yaya) (680 BCE–639 BCE)

Carried out intense town building, large scale capital Teishebaini, walls still stand at Karmir-Blur

A cuneiform inscription has been found commemorating the king building a canal to channel water to the city of Quarlini from the Ildaruni (Hrazdan River)

Sarduri III (639 BCE–635 BCE)
Erimena (635–629 BCE)
Rusa III (629 BCE–590 BCE or 629 BCE–615 BCE)
Sarduri IV (615 BCE–595 BCE)

Assyrian capital of Ninevah fell

Assyrian state cease to exist

Rusa IV (595 BCE–585 BCE)

Raids of Medes and Scythians

The Orontid Dynasty begins with King Orontes I Sakavakyats (570 BCE–560 BCE), after the last king of Urartu

Also see Architecture index.

Sources Cited

List of Kings of Urartu, Wikipedia, accessed October 24, 2020

Urartu: The Forgotten Kingdom, 2020