From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Arrapha and other cities of Mesopotamia in the second millennium BC

Arrapha or Arrapkha (Akkadian: Arrapḫa, Syriac: ܐܪܦܗܐ, Arabic: أررابخا ,عرفة‎) was an ancient city in what today is northeastern Iraq, on the site of the modern city of Kirkuk.[1] It began as a city of the Gutian people, became Hurrian, and was an Assyrian city[2] during most of its occupation.

In 1948, Arrapha became the name of the residential area in Kirkuk which was built by the North Oil Company as a settlement for its workers.


The city was founded around 2000 BC by Zagros Mountains dwellers who were known as the Gutian people by lowland-dwellers of Southern Mesopotamia. Arraphkha was the capital of the Guti kingdom (Gutium), which is mentioned in cuneiform records about 2400 BC.[3]

Arrapha was an important trading center in the 18th century BCE.[1] By the 14th century it was a largely Hurrian city, the capital of the small, Hurrian kingdom of Arrapkha, situated along the southeastern edge of the area under Mittani domination.[1][4][5]

The city reached great prominence in the 11th and 10th centuries BC under Assyrian rule. In 615 BC, seeing the Assyrians occupied with the Babylonians, the Median king Cyaxares successfully invaded Arrapha, which was one of the last strongholds of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.[6][7] The region later became part of Achaemenid Persia. During the Parthian and Sassanid Empire the site was the capital of a small kingdom called "ܒܝܬܓܪܡܝ", that is Beth Garmai, in Aramaic.[8]

Arrapha is mentioned until Hellenistic times, at which point the settlement was refounded under the name Karka.[1]

Arrapha has not been excavated yet, due to its location beneath Kirkuk.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Trevor Bryce. The Routledge Handbook of The People and Places of Ancient Western Asia. Routledge. pp. 67–68. ISBN 978-1-134-15908-6. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  2. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, page 17, by John Boardman
  3. ^ William Gordon East, Oskar Hermann Khristian Spate (1961). The Changing Map of Asia: A Political Geography, 436 pages, p: 105
  4. ^ Kimmons, Sergeant Sean. "Soldiers Help Preserve Archeological Sites".
  5. ^ M. Chahin. Before the Greeks, p. 77.
  6. ^ Martin Sicker. The Pre-Islamic Middle East, Page 68.
  7. ^ I. E. S. Edwards, John Boardman, John B. Bury, S. A. Cook. The Cambridge Ancient History. p. 178-179.
  8. ^ Mohsen, Zakeri (1995). Sasanid soldiers in early Muslim society: the origins of 'Ayyārān and Futuwwa. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 135. ISBN 978-3-447-03652-8. 

External links[edit]