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Biblical name Ararat - the Kingdom of Ararat or, in Assyrian, Urartu. Its native name was Biaini. The documented history of Urartu begins in 1275 BC, and ends early in the sixth century BC.


The civilizing influence of Ararat was widespread throughout the ancient world in the first millennium BC. It reached even such distant peoples (geographically and chronologically) as the Etruscans, the Greeks and the Achaemenid Persians (who were greatly influenced by the cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Ararat or Ayr-Ar-at). The Scythians and the Cimmerians and the newly established Iranians state, no doubt regarded the Armenian officials and army officers of Ararat as the representatives of one of the most highly civilized countries; and as prisoners of war or as soldiers serving in the armies.


The distinctive artifacts associated with the kingdom of Urartu are normally assumed to constitute the material assemblage of a homogeneous culture. This article reviews the characteristics of these artifacts class by class, and argues that for the most part they are deliberate creations of an imperial government, not a broad spectrum of the east Anatolian population. Archaeological research on Urartu has focused on excavating fortresses, which are essentially state enclaves, rather than settlement sites. The model of Inca imperialism is invoked as an alternative to the presumption of cultural uniformity. The extent to which it applies and the issue of provincialism within the Urartian state can only be addressed by shifting the emphasis of Urartian archaeological studies toward the governed.