Urartian seal found in Elazığ

Urartian seal found in Elazığ

ELAZIĞ – Anadolu Agency
Urartian seal found in Elazığ

Archaeological excavations in the Harput Castle in the eastern province of Elazığ have unearthed an Urartian seal

Head of Harput Castle excavations Professor İsmail Aytaç said the castle, which had been established in the eighth century B.C. at the time of the Urartian Kingdom, had later been home to many civilizations, including the Romans, Sassanians, Byzantine, Abbasids, Seljuk and Ottomans. 

Aytaç said the castle had traces of those civilizations and the excavations had unearthed these traces. 

The professor said the seal found in the Sarayönü part of the castle revealed the existence of Urartians there. 

“This seal dates back to the seventh century B.C. It shows the authorities of important people and the understanding of private property in the Urartian era. As far as we understand, the Harput Castle was an administration center. Thus, the city had kept this characteristic for centuries. So far, we have unearthed findings from the Urartian era in the castle but this seal is one of the written documents we have,” he said. 

Historically, the tradition of seals had started in the sixth century B.C. and it was like a signature, said Aytaç. 

“The first seals were made of terracotta and then stone and metal seals began to be produced. This seal has a winged goat figure on the head and winged horses on the sides. The fact that this seal was found in a part of the castle called Sarayönü shows that there was a Urartian settlement from Sarayönü to the south of the castle. This settlement continued in the Hellenistic Rome, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman eras. We have found different seals in the excavations in the castle but this one is the oldest among them. It is an important document for us,” said the professor.