added by archaeologs A kingdom of the 1st millennium BC in the mountains north of Assyria (northwest Iran, northeast Anatolia, Armenia, in the mountainous region southeast of the Black Sea and southwest of the Caspian Sea) which was the last important Hurrian-speaking state. Its people, relatives of the Hurri, established themselves around Lake Van during the 2nd millennium BC. Mentioned in Assyrian sources from the early 13th century BC, Urartu enjoyed considerable political power in the 9th-8th centuries BC. The citadel of their capital at Van could be entered only by a rock-cut passage, upon which are cuneiform inscriptions which supplement the records of the Assyrians, with whom the Urartians were usually at war over access to raw materials, such as metal. A promontory nearby had a temple. Urartu is famous for its metalwork, particularly the great bronze cauldrons on tripod stands which were traded as far as Etruscan Italy, and for fine, red burnished ware. They adapted a cuneiform script to their own language, a late dialect of Hurrian, which has been deciphered. The language is mainly known from rock-face inscriptions dating from 8th century BC in the eastern part of Asia Minor. Pressure from the Cimmerians, Phrygians, and Scythians led to disappearance of kingdom c 590 BC, and they were overcome by invading Armenians.