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  • Writer's pictureVazgen Barsegian

Who are the Urartians ?

- The year 860 B.C.(approximately 3000 years ago) would prove to be a highly siginificant year for the Armenian Highlands as a new kingdom would arise around the mountain of Ararat uniting the ancient neolithic tribes/city-states of the highlands. This kingdom would eventually come to be called Urartu (Ararat) and was ruled by Aram, the first monarch to do so. The tribes/city-states which were united under Aram(Nairi, Diaukhi-Tayk, Hayasa-Azzi, and Ararat), were all related to each other and spoke very similar languages. The official court language of Urartu is very similar to that of the ancient Hurrians (Kingdom of Mitanni) and even shared many religious and cultural similarities as well, thus proving a common ancestor. The Urartian language is classified as a part of the Hurro-Urartian language family and is neither Semitic nor Indo-European, making it a language isolate just like the ancient Sumerian language, thus hinting at a possible ancestral connection between the Hurrians, Urartians, and the Sumerians. The Urartians are the direct ancestors of the Armenians via the clear genetic/cultural ties and the vast amount of Urartian words found within the classical Armenian language such as, "Arziv" and "Serm". According to the tri-lingual Behistun inscriptions forged at the command of Darius The Great of Persia (520 B.C.), the region above Persia is called Urarshtu in Babylonian, Armina in Persian, and Harminuya in Ellamite, thus proving the clear connection between the Urartians and Armenians. The Urartian genetic legacy can easily be traced to modern day Armenians, who carry within them the same genetic make-up which dominated the tribes/city states of the kingdom of Urartu.

Remake of a Urartian man's facial structure, based on the skull of a Urartian man excavated in Armenia.

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