Excavations at the Mound of Van Fortress/Tuspa

TitleExcavations at the Mound of Van Fortress/Tuspa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKonyar E
JournalJAMMO ISSN 2146-3328
KeywordsTushpa, Urartu, Van

The prime concern of this investigation was the extent of the lower settlement of the Van Fortress/Tuspa, the capital city of the Urartians, especially the mound, since all the previous excavators have suggested the presence of earlier levels beneath the Old City of Van. The 1990 campaign in particular revealed earlier Urartian levels in the Upper Citadel trenches thereby providing important data to work with. It was in this context that the capital city as a whole is considered necessary to fully understand the citadel and the lower settlement levels. Every corner of the outcrop, which is by itself, a monument was utilized by the
Urartian architects. Royal rock tombs, monumental open air sanctuaries and palaces are the most prominent architectural features of the capital. Many cuneiform inscriptions either on the rock surfaces or on the stelae, further cement its position as a capital. It is possible to trace the cultural remains and chronology of the 200 years of Urartian rule from the levels of the lower settlement as it is feasible in view of the current excavations, that the second millennium culture and the transition to the Iron Ages in the region can be redefined.