Highland fortresses-cemeteries and settlement complexes of Mt Süphan-Muş plains in the Lake Van basin: From the middle bronze to the middle iron age (Urartu)

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Tuba-Turkish Acad Sciences

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Fortresses-cemeteries and settlement complexes situated in the high plateau on the western slope of Mt Süphan which were studied in the basin of Lake Van survey is discussed in this article. In many archaeological sites located on Mt Süphan and the surrounding foothills in the Murat Valley-Muş Plains, fortresses and cemeteries, situated on the western slope of the mountain, are in large quantities. The most remarkable sites of our survey are settlement complexes. It seems that highlands, which had been very limitedly used in Early Bronze Age-Kura Araxes, were highly densely populated from Middle Bronze to the Early Iron Age. The cemeteries of Middle Bronze Age, found widespread on the highlands ofMt Süphan, imply the existence of a considerable population, no related settlements is observed. Settlement pattern again changed in the Late Bronze-Early Iron Age, as shown by the highland fortresses-cemeteries. The increase in the number of fortresses in this period is striking in the whole region. Assyrian and Urartian epigraphic sources give information about these local pre-Urartian polities of eastern Anatolia starting from 13lH century BC, which are mentioned under the names ofUruatri and Nairi lands. Fortresses-cemeteries located in highlands, which were understood to be used extensively by these Early Iron Age (pre-Urartian) polities. Middle Iron Age-Urartian pottery were seen, though smaller in numbers compared to the Early Iron Age. It seems that, some of the local fortresses and seasonal settlements for animal husbandry have been used in Middle Iron Age-Urartu. Basically, Urartian constructions were built on a strategic location in the lower areas compared to the Early Iron Age.


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Lake Van basin, Late bronze-early iron age, Middle bronze age, Mt Süphan, Muş plains, Urartu



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