working in the north western vicinities of Urmieh
Lake have found historical remains there greatly
similar to those of the ancient kingdom of Urartu.
of 51 historical sites with remains of the Urartu
empire in the north western province of Western
Azarbaijan of Iran has strengthened the belief
that the empire had the area northwest of Urmieh
Lake under its rule.
Archaeologists believe that the empire extended
their borders to the area due to its great
resources including salt and metal mines, rich
agricultural terrains, rivers, and great business
opportunities found there.
Urartu was an ancient kingdom in eastern Anatolia,
centred in the mountainous region around Lake Van
(present-day Turkey), which existed from about
1000 BC, or earlier, until 585 BC. The name Urartu
is from Assyrian and may have meant simply
"mountain country". The name Urartu
apparently corresponds to the Ararat of the Old
Testament. Indeed, Mount Ararat is located in
ancient Urartian territory, approximately 120 km
north of its former capital.
According to Reza Heidari, archaeologist with
Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Organization in Western Azarbaijan, several
historical sites identified in the vicinities of
Urmieh Lake are greatly similar to the remnants
found of the Urartu empire found in today’s
Turkey, therefore, it is now believed that the
north western parts of Urmieh Lake has been one of
the key regions under the Urartu reign.
Similarities of historical hills, fortresses, and
cemeteries discovered around Urmieh Lake of Iran
and Van Lake of Turkey are proof of extensive
social, military, political, and trade relations
between the two regions during the first century
Inscriptions revealing the political beliefs and
history of the region have also been found in
northwest areas of Iran.
Mines of copper and iron, vast salt resources,
rich lands for agricultural activities, and great
trade opportunities were among reasons why Urartu
people were so keen about connections with their
counterparts living around Urmieh Lake of Iran.
feature of Urartu architecture, that was to be very influential in the
Near East, was the blind arch. The layout of Urartu buildings was the
precursor to that of the Iranian Apadana layouts.
believe that Urartian architects played a major role in designing Iranian
fortified buildings. Urartu fortresses were solid structures of stone
The area once undergone archaeological studies
before the Islamic revolution by foreign experts
and then four years ago Iranian teams started
where they had left off.