The Cultural Heritage of Hittite Anatolia
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Hittite Historical Atlas

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Ursu/ Warsuwa

Other Hittite Names:

Inventory No 2983
Geographical Type City Land
Determinative URU KUR
Literature Archi, A. - P.E. Pecorella - M. Salvini 1971: Gaziantep E La Sua Regione, Roma.

Bilgiç, E., 1946: “Anadolu’nun İlk Yazılı Kaynaklarında Yer Adları ve Yerlerinin Tayini Üzerine İncelemeler”, Belleten 10, Ankara: 381-423.

Falkner, M.,1957/58: “Ausgrabungen und Forschungsreisen (1955-1958)”, AfO 18: 167-199, 442-481.

Garelli, P., 1963: Les Assyriens en Cappadoce, Paris.

Garstang, J. - O.R.Gurney 1959: The Geography of the Hittite Empire, London.

Gelb, I.J., 1938: “The Dogs of Nikawaras”, AJSL 55: 200-203.

Goetze, A., 1940: Kizzuwatna and the Problem of Hittite Geography, New Haven.

Goetze, A., 1953: “An Old Babylonian Itinerary”, JCS 7: 51-72.

Gurney, O.R., 1964: The Hittites, Harmondsworth.

Güterbock, H.G., 1938: “Die historische Tradition und ihre literarische Gestaltung bei Babyloniern und Hethitern bis 1200 (2 Teil: Hethiter)”, ZA 44: 45-149.

del Monte, G. - J. Tischler 1978: Die Orts- und Gewässernamen der hethitischen Texte (RGTC 6), Wiesbaden.

del Monte G. F., 1992: Die Orts und Gewässernamen der Hethitischen Texte, (RGTC 6/2), Wiesbaden.

Kupper, J.-R., 1949: “Uršu”, RA 43: 79-87.

Kuzuoğlu, R., 2007: Eski Asurca Metinlerde Geçen Coğrafya Adları, (Yayınlanmamış Doktora Tezi), Ankara.

Landsberger, B., 1924: “Über die Völker Vorderasiens im dritten Jahrtausend”, ZA 35: 213-238.

Larsen, M.T., 1976: The Old Assyrian City-State and Its Colonies, Copenhagen.

Nashef, Kh., 1991: Die Orts-und Gewässernamen der altassyrischen Zeit,( RGTC 4), Wiesbaden.

Smith, S., 1956: “Ursu and Ḫaššum”, Gs Garstang: 35-43.

Yiğit, T., 2008: “Uršu Kuşatması Metni’nin Yeniden Değerlendirilmesi”, Anadolu/Anatolia 31, 2006, Ankara: 43-55.
History Mentioned among the karums of Kültepe Layer II, the city is often referred to in Old Assyrian texts. At the same time, this city is the place from where timbers were brought to consturct a temple for God Ningirsu by Lagašian King Gudea.

It is known that the city of Uršu was under the domination of Hurrians who were very active through the second half of 17th century BC (Yiğit 2008: 47). After Alalakh, Uršu was the second place for a campaign by the king in the period of Hattušili I. The most important written record of Uršu was the document which was about the siege of the city in the period of Hattušili I. The text starts with the presentation of a report to the king by a man named Šanda. The king gets frustrated by the broken battering ram and orders a ram to be brought from the ranges of Haššu. From the text, it is understood that the king asked Šanda to Luhuzzantiya to prepare a report about the process of the siege. On the other hand, the king asks for the slave of the man from Kargamıš; this shows us that Kargamıš supported Uršu against the Hittites. In the continual part of the text, it is seen that the siege of Uršu was maintained in eight wings and that the city could not be taken despite a great number of loss. In the section which attracts the most attention in the text, it is told that in spite of the strict military directions by the king, a man from Halap came to the city for five times, and a fugitive escaped from the city, and the people of Aruar stopped by the city (KBo 1.1; Güterbock 1938: 114-124 ; Gurney 1962: 178-179 ; Yiğit 1994: 138 f.) It is highly possible that the siege ended against the Hittites although the result is not clear in the text.
Ancient Textual Documentation CTH 4.I: KBo 10.1 Obv. 7, 9
CTH 4.II.A: KBo 10.2 I 16, 17
CTH 7: KBo 1.11
CTH 9.6: KBo 3.28 I 6
CTH 14.III.A: KUB 23.28 I 6
CTH 41.I.2.A: KBo 1.5 IV 6
CTH 133: KUB 23.68 Rev. 22, 23
CTH 225.A: KUB 26.43 Obv. 40
Net of Routes
(sure or highly probable)
Uršu is mentioned as the second place for a campaign after Alalakh in the annals of Hattušili I. During the siege of Uršu, a battering ram was brought from the mountain ranges of Haššu. Kargamıš supports Uršu against the Hittites and a man from Halap stops by the city five times during the siege. That is to say, one must look for Uršu in a short distance to Alalakh, Haššu, Kargamıš and Halap. At the same time, its being mentioned together with Hahhum which was located in Samsat by texts of Kültepe indicates that one must look for Uršu in and around Gaziantep rather than Urfa as opposed to the popular belief.
Other Localization Proposals Larsen locates Uršu at the east of current Gaziantep, near the main pass of Euphrates River (Larsen 1976: 237), Bilgiç, at the northeast of Malatya (Bilgiç 1946: 412), Archi-Pecorella-Salvini, in Gaziantep (Archi-Pecorella-Salvini 1971: 37 ff.), Goetze (1940: 42 f.), Güterbock (1938: 136 f.), Landsberger (1924: 235 f.), Gelb (1938: 84), Kupper (1949: 79 ff.) in Urfa. Later, Goetze (1953: 69 f.) locates the city between Samsat and Birecik. Falkner (1957/8: 31, 34), Garelli (1963: 106 ff.), Gastrang-Gurney (1959: 55 f.) suggested that one must look for Uršu between Birecik and Gaziantep. And also, for suggestions to look in and around Euphrates, see Del Monte-Tischler 1978: 476.
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