عنوان مقاله [English]
Simultaneously with the formation of class societies and civilizations in Mesopotamia, there was an increasing need for various sources. The civilizations in the Mesopotamian Plain, due to their limited and in some cases the lack of such sources, were forced to establish extensive connections with another areas. Tukrish is one of the areas that has been considered by the Mesopotamians in this regard. In Most of the researches that have been done on the approximate location of Tukrish, scattered references to this area in the inscriptions, have led researchers to consider only a few limited inscriptions for the final conclusion. In addition, there is an imbalance in the investigation of inscriptions and ancient works, among the researches related to Tukrish. For these reasons, various ancient areas and cultures have been proposed for this toponymy. In this research, an attempt has been made to investigate about the inscriptions related to Tukrish, ancient mining and trade routes, in order to suggest the most suitable area for it. In the Mesopotamian inscriptions, Tukrish is introduced as a mountainous land, with a political system of princely settlements, with various mines and as a commercial intermediary. Tukrish is first attested in Ur III period. According to archaeological findings, a lapis lazuli and tin trade route was formed in the north of the Iranian plateau in the Ur III period. According to the available evidence, Tukrish was located somewhere on this trade route, in the northwest on Iran and the east of Assyria. According to the mentioned mines for Tukrish, its more precise location can be considered as the boundary between the two mining axes of Astana-Sarband and Takab-Dashkasen. This placement guarantees access to gold, silver and tin mines in the Sanandaj-Sirjan orogenic axis, especially Takab and Shazand mines, which have many ancient mining artifacts.
Keywords: Tukrish, Lapis Lazuli Trade Route, Ancient Mining, Mesopotamian Inscriptions.
Considering the continuity of the history of human culture and civilization, knowledge of early cultures and civilizations can be the basis for knowledge about cultures that are more advanced and civilizations in later periods. Western Asia hosted many city-states and local governments in the Bronze Age. These types of governments are reflected in the Mesopotamian Bronze Age inscriptions (Renette, 2018). Tukrish can be considered one of these regions, that main reasons for its importance are having mines, including gold and lapis lazuli, and commercial mediation. In the Mesopotamian inscriptions, Tukrish is described as a mountainous land with a decentralized political system. This region is rarely placed next to Far East toponymys such as Magan, Melluha and Marhashi, and more often next to Zagrosian and Anatolian toponymys. Due to the scattered inscriptions related to Tukrish and the lack of balance in the investigation of inscriptions and ancient works in some researches, there are many disagreements about the location of this toponymy. Relying only on archaeological findings to identify the ancient regions mentioned in the inscriptions can be very misleading, and in this context, much attention should be paid to the written data (Potts, 2012). As a result, besides paying attention to the findings, it is possible to propose a suitable range for it only by carefully examining all the inscriptions related to Tukrish.
The main question of this research is as follows: What region or regions can be considered for Tukrish? The authors assumes that parts of the west and northwest of Iran are the most suitable areas for this toponymy. The intermountain valleys in parts of northwestern Iran have been a suitable areas for the formation of decentralized political system.This areas are close to the Anatolian plateau. In addition, these mountainous areas were also located on the lapis lazuli trade route. In addition, in this areas, the Sanandaj-Sirjan transformation belt has many mines (including gold, silver and tin) and ancient mining works. Particually in Takab-Dashkasan and Astaneh-Sarband minings axes.
The method of collecting information in this research is library. In this way, by first dealing with the inscriptions related to Tukrish and their historical context and toponymys, this area has been examined from different angles. From this point of view, according to the features described for Tukrish, the ancient mining and trade routes have been discussed. Finally, by discussing the collected materials, a virtual area has been proposed for it.
Sargonic inscriptions, in which Tukrish is mentioned, are related to the centuries after the destruction of the Akkadian dynasty. However, these texts can provide us useful information in terms of geography. Sargonic inscription of Kanesh suggests a location near Anatolia for Tukrish. The Hittite Sargonic inscription suggests an area in the west or northwest of Iran for this area name (Van de miroop, 2000). The inscription known as Sargon’s geography mentioned Tukrish between Marhashi and Elam (W. Horowitz, 1998: 71). The first real attested to Tukrish appears in the Ur III period in practice texts from Nippur (Piotr Michalowski, 1988). Another Sumerian inscription, the epic of Enki and Ninhursag, mentioned Tukrish as a trade intermediary between Harali and Dilmun (G. Komoroczy, 1972). In general, the Sumerian inscriptions that mention Tukrish are mythological texts that mostly have a commercial aspect and indicate the lands that were important for the Mesopotamia in terms of the trade of valuable sources like gold and lapis.
The inscriptions of the Old Babylonian period provide us with a clearer picture of the geographical location of Tukrish than the Sumerian inscriptions. From the Shamshi Adad I inscription, it can be concluded that this toponymy refers to a large territory, with a decentralized political system (Luckenbil 1912). Hammurabi also mentioned Tukrish with Zagros toponymys (Van De Mieroop, 2011). The only traces of ancient lapis lazuli mining have been identified in Badakhshan, Afghanistan (M. Casanova, 2013). Archaeological evidence shows that during the Ur III period and after that a lapis lazuli and tin trade rout was formed from the north of Iranian plateau (Renette, 2018: 366, 367). Also the axis of the Sanandaj-Sirjan orogeny, hosting various deposits and mines of metals such as gold, silver and tin, in the west of Iran (Momenzade et al., 2016, Nezafati 2006).
According to the Mesopotamian inscriptions, the general picture we have from Tukrish is a mountainous land with a large area and a princely political system. Tukrish is mentioned as a land rich in mines and exporter of various products to Mesopotamia, and it is mentioned as a commercial intermediary between Harali and Dilmun. According to the examined evidence, the location of Tukrish was somewhere on the lapis lazuli trade route, in the northwest of Iran and the east of Assyria, and probably the formation of the trade route in the north of the Iranian plateau in the Ur 3 period caused the growth and recognition of Tukrish in a short period of time by Mesopotamians. Due to the location of Gutium and Turukum in the northern Zagros and around the Lake Urmia, Tukrish should located in the west of those. According to the mentioned mines for Tukrish, its more precise location can be extended between two mining axes of Astana-Sarband and Takab-Dashkasen. This placement is well in line with the opinion of most researchers and guarantees access to gold, silver and tin mines in the Sanandaj-Sirjan orogenic axis, especially Takab and Shazand mines, which have many extensive ancient mining artifacts.