Urartian stelas at Van Museum

Urartian stelas at Van Museum

VAN – Anadolu Agency
Urartian stelas at Van Museum

DHA Photo

Two 2,800-year-old Urartian-era stelas found in the Patnos Brigade Command campus in the eastern province of Van have been transported to the Van Museum. 

Three three-meter tall stelas were found in 1990 by soldiers at the Urartian castle of Aznavurtepe in Patnos during an excavation to place a telephone pole, after which they were taken under protection by the commanders at the time. Two of the stelas had been on display in the Ağrı Brigade Command and one in the garden of the Patnos Brigade Command for 25 years. 

The Van Culture and Tourism Directorate initiated work to bring the stelas to the museum. After talks with the Defense Ministry, which took two years, two of three stelas were brought to the Van Museum. 

Speaking to press members, Culture and Tourism Provincial Director Muzaffer Aktuğ said the stelas were made by the Urartian King Minua around 800 B.C. for the God Haldi. 

The stelas, which held religious meaning, were the first and only in Turkey, said Aktuğ, adding, “The stela in Patnos got damaged during the road construction work and was broken into pieces. We are now working to bring [it] to the Van Museum, too.”

Aktuğ added their protection in the military field enabled the stelas to survive.