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Kurkh is an archaeological site of Uctepe, in Turkey, along the Tigris, between Bismil and Diyarbakir.

At Kurkh two neo-Assyrian stelea were found. One of Ashurnasirpal II and a second of Shalmaneser III. The latter describes in particular the Battle of Qarqar on the Orontes and is of great interest to the biblical historians.

The stele of Ashurnasirpal II evokes a year of military campaign north of the Tigris.

Hirika with Iluwasi are mentioned in a stele of Gurgum as having been defeated by a king Halparuntiya of Gurgum. Today, most historians consider that it is the country of Hilakku, west of Gurgum. The second city Iluwasi, seems to be the Ilan-Sura of the Mari archives, which, very early, finds a diminutive "Ilusu". Hirika also is to be compared with the country « Kirkhi » of Ashurnasirpal II annals (see the Ashurnasirpal II expedition here). It may be the country written KTK in Aramaic, on the Sfire stelae. Tiglath-pileser I, around 1100 BC, mentions that at the beginning of his reign, five kings Muski with an army of 20,000 men have ruled for 50 years on the countries of Alzi, Purukuzzu and Kummuhu. It is possible that Gurgum was the source of the Muski coalition.

In the Neo-Assyrian texts, "Kirki" seems to designate the geographical region around the Karacadag (which would have inherited his name from Kirikhi). These boundaries are the Tigris in the north, the Euphrates in the west, the Turabdin to the east, former Kashiari Mountains. Specifically, according to the first years of the annals of Ashurnasirpal II at the mountains Kashiari the limit was the Lukia River, which seems to be the ultimate expansion of the Neo-Assyrian Empire to the west. It turns out that the city of Uctepe is located near a tributary of the Tigris which could match.

Indeed, this region is mentioned in the early years of the annals of Ashurnasirpal II. Coming from countries Kirruri (different from Kirkhi), he says, "By the valley of Khulun, I entered the country of Kirkhi. I conquered the land of the Hittites, Khataru, Nistun, Irbidi, Mitkia, Arsania (= Huzirina), Zila, Khalua, all Kirkhi cities, found between Usu mountains (= Assa), Arua (= Haruha) and Arardi (= Urartu). I have made a large number of slaves and I took their property. Their troops were frightened and retreated to a peak in front of the city of Nistun, which emerged from the sky like a cloud. [...]. Bubu son of Babua, the master of Nistun, in the town of Arbela, I revetted the walls of his skin."

Furthermore, Assyriologists say the place name "Pahkhu" is to read "Kirkhu" instead.


For an explanation on the colors of text, click here.

For French language, click here.

My notes of veracity :

Hirika, Kiraqa, Kirhi, Kirkhi designates an area around the Karacadag mountain : 3/5

Tag(s) : #Region:Anatolie, #Empire of the Hittites, #Empire of Assyria, #Kingdom: Urartu

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