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THE HITTITE UPPER LAND

 

ROBERT GHAZARYAN

 

This article is devoted to the history of the Hittite Upper Land and the question of its location. The Upper Land was one of the most important re­gions of Hatti and mainly embraced those lands that were later known as Armenia Minor (Lesser Armenia).

It was situated in the north-eastern part of the Hittite state and was one of the most important political, spiritual, and economic regions of Hatti that occu­pied a strategic position in the contact zone between the Armenian Highland and Asia Minor.  

The Hittite Upper Land can be regarded as a place from where the main river of Hatti, Marassantiya (Halys) originated and flowed. The name of the region is based on the fact that one had to climb up the course of that river to get to its source.  

Hittite sources do not make it possible to precisely determine the bounda­ries of the Upper Land, but it is of no doubt that it was mainly situated in the upper basin of the river Halys and included mainly the territory that lay from Zile (Zela) to Kamakh, reaching the valley of the river Gayl and the eastern Pontic Mountains in the northand Tegarama in the south.

The name of the Upper Land is closely connected with the name Upper Armenia mentioned in Armenian sources. The territory of Upper Arme­nia was geographically close to the territory of the Upper Land or was probably also part of it. It is likely that the name of the Hittite Upper or High Land shifted and was later preserved in the neighbouring territory.

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