Sites & cities that bear the name of Argishtikhinili


Today in : Armenia
First trace of activity : 776 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : 600 B.C.E
Recorded names : ar-gi-iš-ti-ḫi-ni-li

Description : Argishtikhinili (Urartian: ar-gi-iš-ti-ḫi-ni-li) was a town in the ancient kingdom of Urartu, established during the expansion of the Urartians in the Transcaucasus under their king Argishti I, and named in his honour. It lasted between the 8th and 6th centuries BC. The ruins of the Argishtikhinili fortifications are 15 kilometres (9 mi) southwest of the present-day town of Armavir, Armenia, between the villages of Nor-Armavir and Armavir in the Armenian marz of Armavir. The town was founded on the left bank of the middle reaches of the Aras River. Over the centuries, the river channel has shifted to several kilometres south of the town. Urartian documents indicate that Argishtikhinili was founded in 776 BC following the command of Argishti I, in the eleventh year of his reign. The establishment of the town was preceded by a long-term Urartian expansion into the Transcaucasus, which was aimed at controlling the fertile Ararat plain. From about 786 BC, the first year of his reign, Argishti I had begun a series of raids into the Ararat plain, the Akhurian River valley and Lake Sevan. In 782 BC, he founded the fortress of Erebuni on the site of modern Yerevan as a base for military operations. The expansion into the Ararat plain was briefly interrupted by minor clashes with the Assyrians at the south-western frontier of Urartu. During Argishti's reign, Urartu was the zenith of its powers, and was able to easily overcome the armies of its neighbours, including the Assyrians. After four years of warfare, Argishti was able to occupy the Ararat plain, and by 776 BC was able to found a town in the middle of the valley. This appears to have been part of Argishti's grand plan to have a fortress on each corner of the Ararat Plain. According to archaeologists, Argishtikhinili was intended to be an administrative centre rather than a military base, as from a military standpoint, its location was less than optimal. Argishti was then able to control the metalworking area of Metsamor. According to the chronicles of Argishti I, Argishtikhinili was constructed in the land of the Azzi (or the Aza), and indeed, archaeological digs have demonstrated Bronze Age remains dating between the 3rd and the 1st millennia BC. No documents pertaining to the Urartian campaigns against the Azzi survive; it is conjectured that following years of warfare in the Ararat Plain, the inhabitants of Azzi may have abandoned their township before its occupation by the Urartians.

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