Ancient settlement attributed to Urartu kingdom identified in northwest Iran

October 12, 2020 - 18:29

TEHRAN – A team of Iranian archaeologists has recently spotted an ancient settlement in northwestern part of the country with evidence suggesting it was once home to people from the Urartu kingdom.

Believed to be prosperous during the New Bronze Age in the first millennium BC, the settlement is situated near Beygush Tepe, an archaeological site in Chaldoran county, West Azarbaijan province.

“Pottery pieces and other cultural material have recently been found in Beygush Tepe, parts of which have are still intact due to the lack of [illegal] diggings by smugglers and antique chasers,” ILNA quoted senior archaeologist Abbas Bavarsaei as saying on Saturday.

“Potteries excavated from the site date back to the New Bronze Age in the first millennium BC,” said Bavarsaei who led the survey.

The archaeological site is deemed to be once a residence for people of the Urartu kingdom, he said, adding “Beygush means owl in the local language.”

The Urartu kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but it went into a gradual decline and was eventually conquered by the Iranian Medes in the early 6th century BC. The Urartians were succeeded in the area in the 6th century BC by the Armenians.

Urartu, an ancient country of southwest Asia centered in the mountainous region southeast of the Black Sea and southwest of the Caspian Sea. Today the region is divided among Armenia, eastern Turkey, and northwestern Iran. Mentioned in Assyrian sources from the early 13th century BC, Urartu enjoyed considerable political power in the Middle East in the 9th and 8th centuries BC.

According to Encyclopedia Iranica, the territory of the ancient kingdom of Urartu extended over the modern frontiers of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and the Republic of Armenia. Its center was the Armenian highland between Lake Van, Lake Urmia, and Lake Sevan. Urartian archeological finds in modern Iran including castles, settlements, water channels and other water constructions, rock chambers, rock graves, stelae, rock inscriptions, and building inscriptions.