The country Subartu (Sumerian KUR SU.BIR4KI; Akkadian Šubartum / Subartum; Assyrian mâtŠubarri ) lay to the north of Babylon on the Tigris.


The term Subartu is also found in the Amarna letters, and SBR in Ugarit. Only once (BM 121057, 123532A ) is found in Assyrian inscriptions the spelling Matsu - bar - te. Millard sees this as evidence of Babylonian influence and wants to put Tiglath- pileser I. I or in the reign of Tukulti -Ninurta the board.

The language of Subartu is referred to as Akkadian SuKI/SU.BIR4AKI ( from Subartu ).

Since the end of the Neo-Assyrian period, and especially in Neo-Babylonian period Subartu is also used as name for Assyria used ( inscriptions of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar II and Nabonidus ). Even in the reign of Cambyses II Subaraic and Cimmerian prisoners are mentioned.


Already Sargon I should be drawn against subir to war, which, as well as campaigns against Simurru are occupied on Zab, is not completely ruled out. Naram -Sin even claims to have extended his rule to Subartu and the cedar forest ( Amanus Mountains ). ISBI ​​IRRA, king of Isin boasts of his victories against Subartu and Elam. Subaraic names are in Babylon since the Ur III period ( Šu - Sîn ) is what Gernot Wilhelm leads back to the slave trade. Under Ammidatana and Ammiṣaduqua a number subaräischer slaves are mentioned, previous evidence is sparse (one from the reign of Rim -Sin, from the two of Samsu - iluna ). Hammurabi of Babylon declares in his 30th year of reign a victory over Šubartum and its kings. Also Subaraic slaves are mentioned from his time. In Kassite time Kurigalzu II led war against Šubartum.

As the first Assyrian king Ashur - uballit should have ( according to inscriptions of Adad - nirari I. ) won victories against the Subaraeans. Tukulti - Ninurta I then called the conqueror of the extended Subaru and Guti countries, Assurhaddon King of the countries of Subartu, Guti and Hatti.

History of Research

The term Subartu was first used in 1891 by P. Jensen. Arthur Ungnad interpreted it as the first peoples or country name. Arthur Ungnad assumed that the Mitanni were from Subartu and early Hittites. Since 1900, he developed his Pan - Subaraic theory that Subaraeans not only the founder of the Assyrian empire were, but had lived in the entire area between Anatolia and Egypt. In a book from 1936, he presented the thesis that the original inhabitants of the area were Subaraeans between the Mediterranean and Persia, Armenia and Mesopotamia. They were, as he took the reliefs from Tell Halaf brachycephalic and in its early days, the creators of the painted Halaf pottery ( painted pottery ), has been the Hittite hieroglyphs later. Its center took Ungnad at the top Khabur.

Ephraim Avigdor Speiser, Benno Landsberger and Cyril John Gadd would equate Subartu and Hurri ( Hurrians ).

Cities in Subaru

  • Arinu
  • Šasili
  • Turḫu
  • Ubumme
  • Zaduri


As gods of Subartu are:

  • Teššup
  • Šawuška
  • Zizānu
  • Parsi
  • Nawarsi
  • Lahuratil, which is also known from Elam