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Title: Urshu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Ancient settlements in Turkey, Kandyba, Kaman-Kalehöyük, Antiochia ad Taurum, Kussara
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Urshu, Warsuwa[1] or Urshum was a Hurrian-Amorite[2][3] city-state in southern Turkey, probably located on the west bank of the Euphrates,[4] and north of Carchemish.[5]


Urshu was a commercial city governed by a Lord (EN), it was an ally of Ebla and appears in the tablets as Ursa'um.[6] later it was mentioned in the inscriptions of Gudea (r. c.2144–2124 BC middle chronology) as the city where wood resins were procured,[7] an old Assyrian letter that dates to the 19th century BC mentions a temple of God Ashur in Urshu.[8]

In the beginning of the 18th century BC, Urshu allied with Yamhad against Yahdun-Lim of Mari.[9] Relations with Assyria were also strained, men of Urshu were summoned by Yapah-Adad and his Habiru to attack the lands of Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria.[10] The texts of Mari mentions a conflict between Urshu and Carchemish, the tribes of Upra-peans and Ra-beans attacked Urshu through the land of Carchemish which caused Urshu to attack a contingent of Carchemishean troops and civilians that advanced along the bank of the Euphrates.[11]

Later, Urshu became an economic rival to Yamhad,[12] and entered an alliance with Qatna and Shamshi-Adad I to attack Sumu-Epuh of Yamhad (r. c.1810-1780 BC).[13] the death of Shamshi-Adad and the rise of Yarim-Lim I of Yamhad brought an end to the rivalry, as Yamhad was elevated into a Great Kingdom and imposed its direct authority over northern, western and eastern Syria,[14] bringing Urshu under its sphere of influence without annexing it.[15] the Tablets of Mari mentions few kings of Urshu that dates to this era including Shennam,[16] and Atru-Sipti who visited Mari in the 12th year of its king Zimri-Lim.[11]

Hittite Conquest

They broke the battering ram. The king was angry and his face was grim "They constantly bring me bad news, may the storm-god carry you away in a flood!.. but not idle! Make a battering-ram in the Hurrian manner and let it be brought into place. Hew a great battering-ram from the mountains of Hassu and let it be brought into place".

—Hattusili I describing the difficulties during the siege of Urshu.[17]

The Hittite king Hattusili I attacked Urshu in his second year, he laid siege to the city which lasted for six months, the Hittite king had 80 chariots,[18] and conducted his operations from the city of Lawazantiya (located in modern Elbistan district) in the Taurus foothills of eastern Cilicia.[19]

In spite of Yamhad and Carchemish aid, Urshu was burned, destroyed and had its lands plundered with the booty taken to the Hittites capital Hattusa.[20]

The history of Urshu after the conquest is ambiguous, in the 15th century BC it appeared in the Tablets of Alalakh as Uris or Uressi,[4] and was mentioned as Urussa in the treaty between the Hittite Tudhaliya II and Sunassura II of Kizzuwatna as part of the later,[21] the city again became part of the Hittite empire and was last mentioned in records dated to the last periods of that empire.[21]

See also



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