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The royal seal of king Shaushtatar

Shaushtatar (also spelled Šauštatar) was a king of the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in the fifteenth century BC. Two tablets of Shaushtatar (AIT 13 and AIT 14), legal decisions, were found at Alalakh. They mention Niqmepa, the king of Alalakh, providing a synchronism.[1] A tablet of Shaushtatar was found at Tall Bazi, granting land.[2]

Invasion of Assyria[edit]

Shaushtatar was the son of Parshatatar. By the time he ascended the throne ca. the 15th century BC, his father had installed Hurrian client kings in a number of cities, making it easier for Shaushtatar to make Mittani a Mesopotamian power. Now freed from the constant threat undergone by Mitanni of the Egyptians, Shaushtatar turned his attention toward Assyria.[3] He invaded Assyria and sacked and looted its capital, Assur.[4]

Later Battles[edit]

After his invasion of Assyria, Shaushtatar turned his army westward across the Euphrates, along the way gathering beneath his sway all the northern Syrian states as he brought his army to the Mediterranean coast. He succeeded in extending the boundaries of Mitanni to include the areas of Alalakh, Nuzi, Assur, and Kizzuwatna.[5][6][7][8] He was looking to extend Mitanni's power further south, perhaps into Palestine. However, much of southern Syria still lay within the Egyptian sphere of influence, which had long been a threat to Mitanni.

There was a consequence into Shaushtatar's expansion into Palestine: war with Egypt. Despite Mitanni's advantage that Palestine had a significant Hurrian population at the time, the war would be difficult to win.[9] During the planning stages, however, Shaushtatar died, and his son Artatama I would negotiate with the pharaoh Amenhotep II over an alliance.


  1. ^ von Dassow, Eva. “Archives of Alalaḫ IV in Archaeological Context.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, no. 338, 2005, pp. 1–69
  2. ^ Torrecilla, Eduardo, and Yoram Cohen. “A MITTANI LETTER ORDER FROM AZU (HAD 8) AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHRONOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EUPHRATES REGION IN THE LATE BRONZE AGE.” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’archéologie Orientale, vol. 112, 2018, pp. 149–58
  3. ^ Yamada, Shigeo. "The Editorial History of the Assyrian King List" , vol. 84, no. 1, 1994, pp. 11-37
  4. ^ Bryce, Trevor. Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East..
  5. ^ E. A. Speiser, A Letter of Sauäsatar and the Date of the Kirkuk Tablets, J AOS 49 (1929), pp. 269—275
  6. ^ D. Stein, A Reappraisal of the "Saustatar Letter" from Nuzi, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 79, 36-60, 1989
  7. ^ Yamada, Masamichi. “The Land of Aštata in the 14th Century B.C. before the Hittite Conquest.” Orientalia, vol. 84, no. 3, 2015, pp. 276–91
  8. ^ Yamada, Shigeo. “AN ADOPTION CONTRACT FROM TELL TABAN, THE KINGS OF THE LAND OF HANA, AND THE HANA-STYLE SCRIBAL TRADITION.” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’archéologie Orientale, vol. 105, 2011, pp. 61–84
  9. ^ Na’aman, Nadav. "1. The Hurrians and the End of the Middle Bronze Age in Palestine". Canaan in the Second Millennium B.C.E.: Collected Essays, volume 2, University Park, USA: Penn State University Press, 2021, pp. 1-24
Preceded by Mitanni king
15th century BC
Succeeded by