» Home > In the News

The Red Hill in Urartu

1 January 2014

At http://armenpress.am/eng/news/745086/summing-up-armenias-archaeological-… … Karmir Blur, also known as Teishibaini, was the capital of Urartua, located near the modern city of Yerevan in Armenia. It was once the site of a Urartian fortification and administration centre with towered and buttressed walls and massive gates. The site of the city, palace, and citadel together measure over 110 acres.

Karmir Blur can be translated as Red Hill. This is because the hill has a reddish colouration and that happened after the city was set on fire and the upper walls, made from tuff, fell and crumbled because of the intense heat. The tuff became a reddish colour – but the lower parts of the walls were left standing, made of a harder stone. Teishibaini was destroyed by fire around the beginning of the 6th century – between 600 and 500BC. Who would have attacked them – the Persians?

We also have a possible later date if the C14 dates from Nineveh are taken into account – some 150 years out of kilter with the calibration curve. The calibration curve was designed to steady the C14 dating system, using a series of firm dates (what these are is probably bound up with why the calibration curve conveniently fits the orthodox dates for Egypt, the backbone of BC chronology). In reality, we have a C14 plateau, or rather, two plateaus within a short time, located between 800 and 400BC, marked by two low growth tree ring events. The latter one of these coincided with a downfall of fortune by the Persians – and a sudden renewed interest in rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem (among other things such as the vision seen by the Buddha). The Persian retraction lasted no more than 20 years, marked by rebellions, or locals looking out for themselves rather than the imperial master. If we take note of the reddened remains of Hattusas, dated to the end of the LB Age, several hundred years previously, that was possibly caused by a cosmic airburst event (described as the star Anat in written sources) could it be that something similar caused the fire and complete destruction of Teishibaini – as well as the C14 plateau? Do we need to look for an invasion by a conquering army – the kingdom of Urartu was a spent force, absorbed by Persia. Did they need to completely destroy the place?

Skip to content