the excavations, the German and American
archaeologists working at the site had assumed
that the temple was probably buried somewhere in
Iraq or Turkey.
was a semi-independent buffer state bordering
Mannai between Assyria and Urartu. It was a vassal
state of Assyria yet Urartu had some claims over
Heydari, an archaeologist of the West Azarbaijan
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, said
that the recent discoveries, which include a great
number of glazed bricks, a brick bearing
bas-reliefs of four winged goddesses, and
geometrical shapes such as concentric circles
inside square frames and chain links of circles,
as well as the clay inscriptions left by the
Assyrian king Sargon II, indicate that the
discovered temple is Musasir Temple.
future excavations prove that the temple is not
the Temple of Musasir, the discoveries will still
be very important sources of information for
archaeologists seeking to identify all of the
forty regional city-states which Sargon captured
during his reign, Heydari explained.
Sargon left many clay inscriptions in Assyrian in
which he mentioned his attacks on the Mannai city
states. He has indicated the direction of his
movement from each point to the next destination.
has specified all the directions, citing the
rivers, forests, waterfalls, and mountains he
crossed. Based on these clay inscriptions, the
temple must be located at the ancient site of
route to Rabat taken by Sargon is in the same
direction of today’s Rabat Tepe. In conquering
the region, Sargon captured 6110 people, 1250
sheep, 45 tons of gold, 400 pieces of jewelry, 44
swords and daggers, and several silver cups. These
spoils show what a major state it was 3000 years
ago,” he noted.
also described his attacks on the region in clay
inscriptions which were discovered in the Assyrian
capital in Iraq. The attack on the Musasir Temple
has also been referred to in the clay
to the inscriptions, Sargon first plundered the
palace and storerooms that belonged to Urzana, the
king of Musasir, and then seized the even richer
contents of the temple of Haldi, the god of the
ancient kingdom of Urartu.
dates back to some time around 1000 BC. It is one
of the richest archaeological sites of
northwestern Iran. Archaeologists had estimated
the site covered only a four-hectare area, but new
studies have extended the area to 25 hectares.
believe that Musasir was an ancient city probably
located near the upper Great Zab River between
Lake Urmia and Lake Van, the present Turkey.
Musasir was particularly important during the
first half of the 1st millennium BC and is known
primarily from reliefs and inscriptions obtained
during the reign of the Assyrian king Sargon II,
who captured it in 714 BC.