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Mitanni Empire, also called “The Forgotten Empire,” existed from about 1550 BC to 1360 BC and as a vassal state until 1250 BC. During its height, it defeated the more powerful empires at the time, the Hittites and Assyria, and was a close ally of Egypt. It is one of the most prosperous kingdoms during the Bronze Age.
See the fact file below for more information on the Mitanni Empire or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Mitanni worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ORIGIN OF THE MITANNI EMPIRE
- Mitanni Empire rose during the period of decline of the Babylonian.
- The Mitanni leaders took the Babylonian’s weakness as an opportunity to expand its borders.
- Some historians also claimed that Mitanni emerged after the destruction of Aleppo and Hittite’s sack of Babylon by Mursili I.
- Very little was known about the early kings of Mitanni as their records were destroyed when the Assyrians conquered them.
- The correspondence of the Mitanni kings with the kingdoms outside Mitanni and the world’s oldest horse training manual gave more insights to the forgotten empire.
- Mitanni was situated from Kirkūk (ancient Arrapkha) and the Zagros Mountains in the east through Assyria to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.
- It was in the middle of the powerful empires, Babylon, Hatti, and Egypt.
- It’s location allows them to control the land and trade routes between these empires.
- It also makes them vulnerable because they needed to be adept in both wars and diplomacy.
- Their location supported agriculture and cattle; sheep and goats were raised.
PEOPLE AND WAY OF LIVING
- The Mitanni Kingdom was referred to as Hurri by the Hittites, the Hanigalbat or Hani-Rabbat by the Assyrians and Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni by Egyptians Mitanni’s population was composed of Hurrian speaking people.
- Historians claimed that they are responsible for the establishment of the Kingdom of Mitanni.
- However, some artifacts suggested that the Indo Aryans imposed themselves among the Hurrians population during the Mitanni expansion. The artifacts have names of the Mitanni leaders in Indo-Aryan origin and as well as the deities.
- Hurrians were the same as any ethnic group in the region. They were composed of farmers, traders, nomads, etc.
- A chariot horse training text written by Kikkuli was also discovered acknowledging the Mitannians as horse-trading leaders.
- This training text was said to be responsible for the successful campaigns of the Hittites and Mitanni to widen their territory.
- Shaushtatar – the king of Mitanni who sacked the capital of Assyria, Assur, and took the royal palace to Washshukanni in 1472 BC. He managed to extend the boundaries of Mitanni to include the areas of Allepo, Alalakh, Nuzi, and Kizzuwat.
- Shuttarna II – king of Mitanni in the 14th century BC. During his time, Mittani was at its height in power and prosperity. He was an ally of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III and made democratic dealings, including his daughter’s marriage to the Pharaoh, taking with her an enormous dowry. He also defeated the Hittite’s attempt to invade the northern border of Mitanni.
- Tushratta – son of Shuttarna II, he became a young king when his brother King Artashumara was murdered. He killed those responsible for his brother’s death when he grew up. His reign starts the decline of the Mitanni empire. He survived the first campaigns of the Hittites but was assassinated during the second campaign by a group led by his son. He is the last independent king of Mitanni before it became a part of the Hittites.
EGYPT AND MITANNI
- Mitanni and Egypt were at first rivals for territories in Northern Syria.
- They engaged in wars with their allies but never a direct war with each other.
- As Hittites gain more power, Egypt and Mittani allied to protect each other’s territories.
- Diplomatic marriage sealed a good relationship. There was a theory that Queen Nefertiti was the Mitanni Princess Tadukhipa who married Pharaoh Amenhotep III and later his son Akhenaten after he died.
- They regularly exchanged letters and gifts. The Mitanni kings always refer to the Pharaoh brother in their correspondence.
- Historians also suggested that the Mitanni kings were also interested in the Egyptian golds while the Pharaohs were after foreign wives.
- During the internal conflict at the time of Tushratta, the Egyptians suspected the days of Mitanni were about to end.
- To protect their territories in Syria, they received an envoy from Mitanni’s vassal states in Hittites and Assyria. Mitanni was reduced into a vassal state until Assyria destroyed it.
DECLINE OF MITANNI
- A relative named Artatama II declared himself as Kung of Hurri challenged Tushratta reign.
- Due to this political unrest, one of Mitanni’s vassal state rulers began to ally themselves with the Hittites led by King Suppiluliuma and quickly gained control of Amurru and Nuhasse. It became the Hittite’s official territory through the treaty with Artatama.
- Artatama and his son Shuttarna took control of all Mitanni after Tushratta’s son murdered him and his brother Shattiwaza fled.
- Assyria took his chaos as an opportunity to conquer Mitanni. They succeeded and put Artatama and his son Shuttarna in charge but only as Assyria’s vassal state.
- Years later, Shatiwazza asked for Hittite’s help to claim Mitanni again and his rightful throne. He married the Hittite king’s daughter and a formal treaty was signed.
- Shatiwazza, together with the Hittite’s king’s son Piyassili, marched to reclaim the kingdom. Shuttarna asked for Assyrians’ support, but a small army came.
- After Shuttarna’s defeat, the Mitani people demanded his dethronement and surrendered to the Hittite Kingdom.
- Shatiwazza regained control of Mitanni, but Piyassil got all the land they previously conquered, severely reducing Mitanna’s territories.
- In 1295 Assyria, through its leader Adad-nigari, became aggressive again to gain more territories and targeted Mitanni. Its current leader, Wasashatta, asked Hittites for help. As Hittites were also suffering from the decline of their power, they refused to help Wasashatta.
- Assyrians won all of Mitanni and captured Wasashatta’s wife and children. Mitannians rebelled against the Assyrians with the help of the Hittites Arameans but lost. The Mitannians were enslaved and deported to the foreign land. Mitannians with their leader, Shattuara II, rebelled against the Assyrians. The Assyrian king, Shalmaneser I, defeated the Hittites and the Mitanni Kingdom.
- In 1200 BC, the Hittites and Assyria engaged in a full-blown war.
- Assyrians remain victorious, and the land of Mitani served as a casualty.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Mitanni across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mitanni worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Mitanni Empire, also called “The Forgotten Empire,” which existed from about 1550 BC to 1360 BC and as a vassal state until 1250 BC. During its height, it defeated the more powerful empires at the time, the Hittites and Assyria, and was a close ally of Egypt. It is one of the most prosperous kingdoms during the Bronze Age.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mitanni Facts
- The Mitannian Leaders
- Facts About Mitanni
- The Forgotten Empire
- People of the Empire
- The Fall of Tushratta
- Mitanni’s Land
- The Mysterious Queen
- Hurrians The Explorer
- The First Alliance
- A Mitannian Life
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Link will appear as Mitanni Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 2, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.