It can be argued that the Hurrians are the ancestors of Urartians since they flourished on the remnants of the Hurrian civilization. Lake Van was the center and the capital of the Urartians, then called, Tushpa. Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions state the Urartians existed as late as 1271-1242 BC, but the strong state of the Urartians coincides with the eras of Menua (810-780 BC), Argisti (780-760 BC) and Sardur II (760-730 BC).
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While the Hittites gained their strength in the central Anatolia, Urartians became the dominant power of east with crucial ports aiding their struggle against Greece. At their high point the lands of the Urartians went beyond Caucasus in the north, covered north-west Iran , Malatya and Urfa. The triangle of Lake Van , Lake Cildir and Urmiye were also within the Urartian borders. Their end was signalled by invasions from the Med at some point, either in the 7th century BC or 585 BC.
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The findings of their art were unearthed in Toprakkale, Altintepe and Karmir Blur. The findings demonstrated that the Urartians were effected by Assyrian art. Clear investigation of excavations in Italy showed that the Urartian art was so developed that the art works were imported by the Etruscans. The cuneiform inscriptions in the huge Rock of Lake Van is worthwhile for researching their past.