Urartian language

extinct language of Urartu

Urartian is the name for the language spoken by the people of the ancient kingdom of Urartu in northeast Anatolia (present-day Turkey), in the region of Lake Van.

Native toArmenian Highland
Eraattested 9th–6th century BCE
Language codes
ISO 639-3xur
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Urartian cuneiform tablet on display at the Erebuni Museum in Yerevan.

Urartian was a language isolate, which was neither Semitic nor Indo-European, but a member of the Hurro-Urartian family.

There is a hypothesis that suggests that besides the cuneiform inscriptions of the Urartian language, Urartu had a native hieroglyphic writing system. Armenian scientist Artak Movsisyan published a partial attempt deciphering of Urartian hieroglyphs, saying that they were written in an early form of Armenian.

Related pagesEdit

More readingEdit

  • C. B. F. Walker: section Cuneiform in Reading the Past. Published by British Museum Press, 1996, ISBN 0-7141-8077-7.
  • J. Friedrich: Urartäisch, in Handbuch der Orientalistik I, ii, 1-2, pp. 31–53. Leiden, 1969.
  • Gernot Wilhelm: Urartian, in R. Woodard (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages. Cambridge, 2004.
  • Mirjo Salvini: Geschichte und Kultur der Urartäer. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt, 1995.

Other websitesEdit

  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Urartian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.