воскресенье, 13 февраля 2022 г.

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The Urartian tribes, like the Hittites, belonged to the Indo-European language family. The number of Indo-European peoples in Western Asia was constantly increasing due to constant migrations from the Balkans and from the Black Sea steppes; it can be said that a formidable Indo-European "cloud" hung over Assyria from the north. The appearance of nomadic peoples - Cimmerians and Scythians - in Transcaucasia and Asia Minor after 730 BC. gave this "cloud" even more menacing outlines. After the collapse of the Hittite kingdom (about 1200 BC), all these Indo-European peoples and tribes close in language, religion and culture lost their unifying center. The kings of Urartu took the place of the leader thanks to their energetic actions. Menua and Argishti I gradually took over the areas of Mutsatsir (east of the Assyrian capitals) and Northern Syria (west of them) inhabited mainly by Indo-European peoples. Thus, the Urartians cut off the main trade routes of the Assyrians, leaving them only one direction for military and commercial activity - the south. And there was recalcitrant Babylon, which already gave the Assyrian kings a lot of trouble.

The weak point of the Assyrian state was its dependence on the import of raw materials (primarily metal ores) and finished metal products from Asia Minor and Transcaucasia. The Urartians also had their own mines. In addition, Urartian steel, due to the skill of blacksmiths, was better than Assyrian. The Assyrians themselves preferred weapons made in Transcaucasia, and during campaigns against Urartu they sought to capture as many swords, daggers, and spearheads as possible.

The Urartians were not only skilled blacksmiths, but also hardworking farmers, inventive builders and intelligent administrative officials. They were able to adopt the methods of irrigated agriculture from other peoples of the Ancient East and dug many complex, branched canals; some of them reached a length of 70 km. Irrigation of fields in mountain valleys made it possible to obtain high yields, accumulate huge food supplies and maintain a large number of soldiers and officials.

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