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Turukkaeans (Turukkum, Turukku) were an ancient near eastern people in the north western parts of Ancient Iran during the Bronze Age. In particular, they inhabited the Urmia basin and the valleys of northwestern Zagros Mountains. Turukkum appears to have consisted of a group of kingdoms whose populations were of mixed stock, perhaps predominantly Hurrian-speaking but with significant East Semitic-speaking components.

The Turukkaeans were long considered to be a semi-nomadic tribal people who repeatedly raided the cities and kingdoms of northern Mesopotamia. But according to Eidem and Laessøe, evidence provided by the Shemshara archives indicated that Turukkum was made up of a number of polities with a relatively complex political organization and systems of noble lineage sharing territorial power. The kingdom of Itabalhum seems to have been the most important of these polities. The Turukkaeans were a constant threat to the security of the Old Assyrian Empire during the reign of Shamshi-Adad I (1813 - 1782 BC) and his son and successor Ishme-Dagan (1781 - 1750). The name of Hammurabi's 37th year records his defeat of Turukku.

See also[edit]



  • German Archaeological Institute. Department of Tehran Archaeological releases from Iran, Volume 19, Dietrich Reimer, 1986 (in German)
  • Jesper Eidem, Jørgen Læssøe: The Shemshara archives, Volume 23, The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 2001, ISBN 8778762456
  • Jörgen Laessøe, The Shemshāra Tablets (Kopenhagen 1959)
  • Jörgen Laessøe, The Quest for the Country of *Utûm. Journal of the American Oriental Society 88/1, 1968, pp. 120–122
  • Victor Harold Matthews, Pastoral nomadism in the Mari Kingdom (ca. 1830-1760 B.C.), American Schools of Oriental Research, 1978, ISBN 0897571037