Urartian fortresses and towns in the Van region

TitleUrartian fortresses and towns in the Van region
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1957
AuthorsBurney CAllen
JournalAnatolian Studies
Volume7
Pagination37–53
KeywordsUrartu, Van
Abstract

The text of Sargon's Eighth Campaign provides a challenge to the archaeologist to seek the towns which he mentions, though one must remember that many of his “towns” were hardly more than villages. For two months (mid-June till mid-August 1956) I worked on a survey of Urartian and earlier sites in the districts around Lake Van and eastward as far as the Persian frontier. Later I visited sites in the districts of Bulanık and Malazgirt (Manzikert), and two Urartian sites far to the west, at Palu and in the mountainous Dersim. Among the sites visited are several of which nothing has hitherto been published, whilst nearly all the rest are known only from the discovery of inscriptions. A few fragmentary cuneiform inscriptions were found, in addition to those already known, but the chief purpose of this survey was to discover the Urartian fortresses and towns in this region and to make sketch-plans, wherever possible, of the walls visible above the surface. Circumstances did not allow of the drawing of accurately measured plans: that is an important task, which should be carried out as soon as possible, if only because of the constant and increasing danger of stone-quarrying by local peasants. At remarkably many Urartian sites it is possible to trace the defensive wall for the greater part of its circuit.