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Urartu was an ancient kingdom in the mountainous region north of Mesopotamia. The people were related to the Hurrians and Hittites. The existence of the country dates from around 1000 BC, first as a group of emirates but forming a unified kingdom by 860 BC. It was defeated by the Scythians in 585 BC. Tushpa, the capital of the kingdom, was located at Van on the shore of Lake Van. They were experts in stone architecture and metal industry. They used Assyrian Cuneiform Script to write in.

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