The country named Urartu is first mentioned in documents relating to the era of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal the Second (13th century BC).

The country named Urartu is first mentioned in documents relating to the era of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal the Second

Urartu was established on the Armenian plateau in the middle of the 9th century BC. Another state association of Urartian tribes formed to the south-west of Lake Urmia and was called Mutsatsir. Here was the main all-religious religious center with the temple of the supreme god Haldi. Other main gods of Urartu were Teisheba - the god of war and thunder, Shivini - the god of the Sun.

The first ruler of the united country of Urartu was King Aram (864-845 BC). Throughout its history, Urartu had to wage bitter wars with Assyria. The Assyrian rulers were very concerned about the power of the northern neighbor. The struggle of the two kingdoms for hegemony in the Near East ended with the victory of Assyria, and later both sides avoided direct clashes.

King Urartu Argishti II (713-685 BC) directed his gaze to the east. His troops reached in their campaigns on the coast of the Caspian Sea. The conquered areas pledged to pay tribute to the kings of Urartu. This policy continued under Tsar Rousse II (685-645 BC), who, having concluded an alliance with the Cimmerians, made several successful expeditions to Asia Minor. At that time, the country was experiencing a period of stability and prosperity. Large irrigation works were carried out, irrigation canals were constructed, and new cities were built.

The power of the country of Urartu collapsed under the blows of the Scythian nomadic tribes who infiltrated into the Near East from the north in the 670s BC. The Scythians defeated the Cimmerians, the allies of Urartu. At the same time, a number of areas of Urartu are also affected. The country is noticeably weakening and at the beginning of the 6th century BC falls into a vassal dependence on Media, and by 590 BC Urartu generally ceases to exist. Part of the former Urartu possessions became part of the Achaemenid Persian state. In the 6th-5th centuries BC on the basis of the descendants of Urartu and some other tribal groups, the formation of the ancient Armenian people takes place.

Urartu for a long time remained a little explored civilization of the ancient East. But the real discovery of the country began only in the late 1930s.

The achievements of the state of Urartu in the field of culture were remarkable. The Urartians borrowed cuneiform from the Assyrians, adapting it to the peculiarities of their language, and all of their art, albeit in many respects original, is close in spirit to the Assyrian. Among the items found during the excavation of Urartian masters, many items of Egyptian, Asia Minor and Scythian origin were found. The main collection of antiquities of Urartu is now kept in the Yerevan Museum.

The results of these excavations made it possible to understand Urartu's true place among the ancient Eastern civilizations and the role of its heritage for the further destinies of the whole Transcaucasian culture. In addition, excavations have pushed scientists to study other monuments of Urartu both in Armenia and abroad - in Turkey and Iran.