To Ḫabḫu and Back. Fashioning a New Historical Geography of the Western Zagros

Alexander Johannes Edmonds, Tübingen University

The historical geography of the western extreme of the Zagros chain in the Bronze and Iron Ages has remained largely overlooked by scholars, mostly due to its position at something of a crossroads between different regions and the difficulty of the sources involved. Seeking to address this as a part of his role as the epigraphist for the University of Tübingen’s ongoing Eastern Ḫabur Archaeological Survey, the present author presents new historical and archaeological data on a region stretching from Dohuk and Zaxo, Iraqi Kurdistan, in the south up to Hakkâri, Turkey, in the north for a timespan spanning the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages.

By means of study combining techniques both new and very much old, the present author sheds light upon a region which likely enjoyed far greater prominence in these periods than has previously been thought. Crucially, he supplements traditional methodology with scrupulous reading of both autochthonous and western geographical and ethnohistorical sources, demonstrating how much more is still to be mined from such genres for archaeological purposes, and the often striking nature of linguistic and cultural continuities within the Zagros. Finally, new and innovative localisations are presented for a number of important cities within this region in antiquity.