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Urartian fort in Çavuştepe.jpg
The ruins of Sardurihinilli.
Çavuştepe is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Location Gürpınar, Van Province, Turkey
Coordinates 38°21′11″N 43°27′40″E / 38.35306°N 43.46111°E / 38.35306; 43.46111
Type Fortress
Builder Sarduri II
Founded 1st half of 1st millennium BC
The site of Çavuştepe.
Throneroom of Çavuştepe.

Çavuştepe ; Urartian: Sardurihinilli) is a village in the Gürpınar district of Van Province in Turkey's Eastern Anatolia region. It is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Van still in the area of the Lake Van along the road leading to the city of Hakkâri.

Çavuştepe was used by the Urartian kings as fortress during the 8th century BC. It was built by Sarduri II between 764 and 735 BC. The fortress is situated upon the ridge of the Bol Dagi overlooking the Gürpınar Plain. This gave this place its strategic importance. An important military road from Tushpa to Musasir passed the Kelashin-pass near Haykaberd.


The fortress of Çavuştepe was built at the climax of power of the Urartian Empire. It was excavated between 1961 and 1986 by Afif Erzen. It is composed of fortification walls as well as the remains of the Urartian royal palace of Sarduri-Hinlini. There are upper and lower sections of the fortress. In the smaller upper section the Temple of Khaldi was located. In the lower section citadel walls, the king's tower, workshops, storehouses, cisterns, a kitchen, the palace with a throne room, a "royal" toilet, the harem and colonnaded halls were found. A moat surrounded sections of the fortress.

All over the fortress it was possible to find Inscriptions by Sarduri II to Khaldi. It was destroyed in the 7th century BC, presumably by the Scythians. Traces of a later medieval occupation exist at the fortress.


  • O. Belli (2001): Çavuştepe (Šardurḫinili) Excavations. In: O. Belly (ed.): İstanbul University’s Contributions to Archaeology in Turkey 1932-2000. Istanbul, pp. 173–178.
  • A. Erzen (1978): Çavuştepe I. M. Ö. 7.-6. Yüzyil Urartu Mımarlik Antilari ve Ortaçağ Nekropolü . Ankara.
  • A. Erzen (1978): Ausgrabungen auf der urartäischen Burg Çavuştepe im Gebiet von Van. In: E. Akurgal (ed.): The Proceedings of the Xth International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Ankara-İzmir, 23-30.9.1973. Ankara, pp. 55–59.