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Who were the Hurrians?

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posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 01:06 AM
The Hurrians

New discoveries in Syria suggest a little-known people fueled the rise of civilization

All but forgotten by history, their origin remains obscure, but excavations led by husband-and-wife UCLA archaeologists Georgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati over the past quarter century reveal that the Hurrians were far more than just another wandering tribe in the fractious Middle East. And during last year's season, they found compelling evidence that the Hurrians not only strongly influenced the language, culture, and religion of later peoples, but also may have been present 1,000 years earlier--just as nearby Mesopotamians began to create the first cities.

This is also a good example of the method of how archaeological theory changes as new information comes in/is found.

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 05:32 AM
Cool. I've never heard of the Hurrians. That was an interesting read. Thanks.

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 05:52 AM
Great thread, I like these history threads the best. I googled Hurrian, and found some more interesting histroy. Apparently the Hitite royalty used Hurrian names, and adopted much of their culture.

By the end of the 3rd millennium B.C. a large scale migration took place mainly from North Europe to the mild weathered south. One of the strong elements of the Indo-European people, Hittites gravitated to Anatolia through Caucasia while Hatti principalities were ruling the land.

These newcomers did not invade the land suddenly. They settled along side the existing people and set their own settlement units in time. Only after a long time, as a lot of Hittite principalities emerged, they claimed the rule of the land, Anatolia. They never destroyed the existing people and their cities. But instead, they mixed with the Hattis and other people of Anatolia. They even shared their gods, goddesses, art, culture and a large amount of words from Hatti language.

The Hurri civilization was established toward the end of the 3rd millennium BC around eastern Anatolia and ruled by the Mitanni kingdom. The king had an Indian descendency. The Hurrians, descended from the mountains south of the Caspian Sea, occupied the land between the Hittites and Assyria, east of the Tigris River and in the Zagros mountain region. From there, they spread into the areas of northern Mesopotamia and Syria as well, even to the Mediterranean coast. All of these areas were known as the "Land of the Hurri". With their huge spread, the Hurrians became a rival and a threat to both Babylon and Egypt.

In the late 15th century B.C. the Hittite Empire's beginning is marked by an influx of Hurrian names into the royal family. All of the Hurrian lands between the Iranian mountains, Syria and Anatolia was united under the control of a military aristocracy called Mitanni. They had an important role in the history and culture of the Middle East during the 2nd millennium BC.

In the middle of the 14th century, the Hittite Empire lead by Suppiluliumas I defeated Mitanni and Assyria declared its independence. But the Hurrian ethnic and cultural presence in Syria and the Cilicia (ancient Kizzuwadna) strongly influenced the Hittites; Hittite queens had Hurrian names and Hurrian mythology was used in Hittite literature, many of the Hittite gods are suspected to have Hurrian origin.

I was taught in school that the Hittites were barbarians. I could never understand why Egyptian civilization, which devoted all of its resources to building giant tombs for their pharoahs that they thought were gods, have always been portrayed as the origins of civilization, despite the evidence against this possibility. It is starting to look like they are discovering a great deal of evidence that civilization started much earlier than had been previously thought.

posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by poet1b

The egyptians get all the play because of the giant monuments and the fact that egyptian culture lasted well into the roman period.

Some of the earliest settlements can be trace to anotolia.

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