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Ca. 1510-1360 BCE

Ancient World / Mesopotamia /

Seal of King Shaushatar of Mitanni
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Seal of King Shaushatar of Mitanni.

Tell Brak of Mitanni
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Aerial photo of Nagar of Mitanni.

Indo-Iranian empire in northern Mesopotamia lasting for about 150 years, until about 1360 BCE. The rulers of Mitanni, and a large part of the population, were Hurrians.
Mitanni was not one of the greatest nations of Mesopotamia, but was at periods one of the strongest. The short existence of Mitanni is one of the main reasons why there is relatively little of art and architecture left behind.
The capital of Mitanni, Wassukkani, is not located with precision, but did probably lie along the Khabur River (today Syria). The site of Nagar is found, and is often referred to as Tell Brak.

Around 1500 BCE: Rise of the Mitanni kingdom under king Shaushatar, who soon attacks and loots Ashur in Assyria.
First half 15th century: Mitanni goes to several wars against Egypt, to gain control over more of Syria, incorporating states like Qatna.
Around 1420: Good relations are established with Egypt's king Tuthmosis 4.
Around 1360: King Tushratta is assassinated. Following this, there are dynastic struggles that weakens Mitanni to an extent that leaves the country powerless and open for conquest by the Hittite kingdom. The Mitanni province is renamed to Hanigalbat.
Around 1300: The area of Mitanni is captured by Assyria. Some decades later, Mitanni is turned into just a province in the Assyrian kingdom.

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By Tore Kjeilen