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Thread: Kassites: The Forgotten Mesopotamians2758 days old

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    Default Kassites: The Forgotten Mesopotamians

    Kassites and Assyrians in Iran by J.E. Reade Iran
    Vol. 16, (1978), pp. 137-143

    Kassites and Assyrians in Iran

    Kassites ruled Babylonian almost continuously from the seventeenth or sixteenth century B.C. until about 1155, and individual Kassites occupied important positions in the kingdom of Babylonia, Karduniash, until about 850. The origins of this people, who first appear around the eighteenth century, are unclear. It used to be thought that their language had Indo-European affinities, in which case they probably would have arrived across central Iran from the north-east, but the linguistic evidence is scant and indecisive. By the twelfth century, at any rate, they were established in the hills north-east of Babylonia.

    Two geographical names associated with the Kassites, and with each other, are Namri (earlier Namar or Nawar) and Bit Hamban. Brinkman treats these areas as the Kassite homeland in the twelfth to the ninth century; he is evidently right, and the situation was probably the same throughout the earlier period of Kassite rule in Babylonia. He further concludes that "the eastern mountain region remained linked with the central government of Babylonia during the eleventh and tenth centuries". Thus the Kassite empire was inherited in whole or in large part, after the Elamite interregnum of Shilhak-Inshushinak, by the "Post-Kassite" kings. By 843 at the latest, however, Namri and Bit Hamban had separated from Babylonia; about a century later they were part of the Neo-Assyrian empire.

    How far into the mountains did the Kassite homeland extend? Herzfield suggested that Namri was the Mahi Dasht, the series of wide and fertile valleys through which runs the great Khorasan Road linking Mesopotamia with central Iran. This view, however, has not found favour. The evidence now available for locating Namri has been given in Levine's invaluable survey of Zargos geography, published recently in this journal, and the detailed references need not be repeated here. Levine shows that Namri lay an uncertain distance east of the Diyala. It cannot lie in the plain south of Jebel Hemrin, while in the area immediately north-east of Jebel Hamrin, near modern Sa'diya, lay the important centre of Gannanate. North-east of Gannanate was the land of Halman, incorporating modern Sar-i Pul, Halman bordered on Namri. There was also a mountain pass between Namri and Zamua, the old land of the Lullubi, the southern end of which is now the Shehrezor plain. This leaves only one position available for Namri off the Iranian plateau: a small area along the Middle Diyala which might otherwise have been regarded as part of Halman or possibly as the land of Hashmar. Levine opts for this location, which indeed is generally accepted. He further suggests that Neo-Assyrian Namri may have been administered at times from Zamua and from Arrapha, modern Kirkuk, but this is doubtful.
    Another intriguing aspect I've discovered with the Kassites, is that their language, like Sumerian and Elamite is an unclassified language isolate.

    From Wikipedia.

    Kassite (Cassite) was a language spoken by Kassites in northern Mesopotamia from approximately the 18th to the 4th century BC. From the 16th to 12th centuries BC, kings of Kassite origin ruled in Babylon until they were overthrown by Elamites.

    Kassites in the Babylon state used mostly the Akkadian language. Traces of the Kassite language are few: a short Kassite-Akkadian dictionary containing agricultural and technical terms, names of colors etc., and lists of personal names (some names are collated with Semitic equivalents), names of deities and horses. A lack of Kassite texts makes the reconstruction of Kassite grammar impossible at present.

    Genetic relations of the Kassite language are unclear, although it's believed to be unrelated to Semitic; relation with Elamite is doubtful. Some words may have been adopted from the Indo-Iranian languages.

    Morphemes are not known; the words buri (ruler) and burna (protected) probably have the same root.
    From Encylopaedia Iranica

    Possible traces of Kassites in Iranian nomenclature are negligible, for instance, Kašgān, Kašakān < Kaæ[email protected], i.e., possibly "land of the Kassites" in Iran (see Eilers, 1957-58, p. 135). There is not a single connected text in the Kassite language. The number of Kassite appellatives is restricted (slightly more than 60 vocables, mostly referring to colors, parts of the chariot, irrigation terms, plants, and titles). About 200 additional lexical elements can be gained by the analysis of the more numerous anthroponyms, toponyms, theonyms, and horse names used by the Kassites (see Balkan, 1954, passim; Jaritz, 1957 is to be used with caution). As is clear from this material, the Kassites spoke a language without a genetic relationship to any other known tongue (cf. Paper, 1956, p. 252). The opinion of Eilers (1957-58, pp. 137 f.), namely that Kassite is related to Elamite, is unlikely. The attempt of Ancillotti (1981) to demonstrate that Kassite is originally an Indo-Aryan language is not convincing.
    It has been mentioned that the Kassites intermarried with Assyrian royalty.

    From Wikipedia

    Kassite rulers in Babylon were also scrupulous to follow existing forms of expression, and the public and private patterns of behavior "and even went beyond that — as zealous neophytes do, or outsiders, who take up a superior civilization — by favoring an extremely conservative attitude, at least in palace circles." (Oppenheim 1964, p. 62). Over the centuries, however, the Kassites were absorbed into the Babylonian population. Eight among the last kings of the Kassite dynasty have Akkadian names, Kudur-Enlil's name is part Elamite and part Sumerian and Kassite princesses married into the royal family of Assyria.
    Last edited by ZephyrousMandaru; 2012-03-30 at 14:41.

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    I have been curious about this group as well, have they left any physical monuments behind, if they had post it.

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    Kassites were proto-Iranic people from Kurdish Zagros mountains. The names of their leaders sound very very much Iranic. They called their land Kardunjash, land of Kardu. Kurds call their land Kurdistan, land of Kurds.

    ---------- Post added 2012-03-30 at 20:16 ----------

    Karaindash I

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