ISSN 1829-4618


By: Ghazaryan Robert, PhD in History

The Upper (or High) Land mainly included the territory which later became known as Armenia Minor. That is, in the geographical sense a considerable part of its territory was part of the Armenian Highland and from that viewpoint its history is also part of the history of the old period of Armenia. It can be assumed that the Hittites adopted the toponym Upper Land from the Hattians. Anyhow, already during the Old Kingdom (17th-16th centuries BC) the territory of Upper Land was within the Hittite state. The main river of Hatti, Marassantiya (Halys) originated and flowed in Upper Land mentioned in the Hittite sources and the name of the region is conditioned by the circumstance of going up the river and getting to its headwaters. The Hittite sources do not allow to precisely mark the borders of the Upper Land (especially because the Hittite-Kaskian north-eastern borderline always changed), it is definite that it was mainly in the upper basin of the river Halys and included mainly the territory from Zile (Zela) to Kamakh, in the north reaching the valley of the river Gayl (Lykus) and the territory of Eastern Pontic mountains (where it bordered with the lands of the Kasks) and in the south - Tegarama. After the fall of the Hittite Kingdom (about 1180s BC) the Hittite Upper Land was no more mentioned in the sources. It is likely that the territory of Upper Land was temporarily invaded by the combative Kaskian tribes. The name of Upper (Higher) Land is also closely related to the name of Upper Armenia mentioned in the Armenian sources. The territory of Upper Armenia province was geographically close to that of the Upper Land or probably was also part of it.

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