The ruins of Hatra circa 1988
Shown within Iraq
|Location||Hatra District, Ninawa Governorate, Iraq|
|Type||Iranian (Parthian and Sasanian)|
|Founded||3rd or 2nd century BC|
|Public access||Inaccessible (in a war zone)|
|Criteria||ii, iii, iv, vi|
|Designated||1985 (9th session)|
Some believe Hatra may have been built by the Assyrians or possibly in the 3rd or 2nd century BC under the influence of the Seleucid Empire, but there is no reliable information on the city before the Parthian period. Hatra flourished under the Parthians, during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, as a religious and trading center. Later on, the city became the capital of possibly the first Arab Kingdom in the chain of Arab cities running from Hatra, in the northeast, via Palmyra, Baalbek and Petra, in the southwest. The region controlled from Hatra was the Kingdom of Araba, a semi-autonomous buffer kingdom on the western limits of the Parthian Empire, governed by Arabian princes.
Hatra became an important fortified frontier city and withstood repeated attacks by the Roman Empire, and played an important role in the Second Parthian War. It repulsed the sieges of both Trajan (116/117) and Septimius Severus (198/199). Hatra defeated the Persians at the battle of Shahrazoor in 238, but fell to the Persia's Sassanid Empire of Shapur I in 241 and was destroyed. The traditional stories of the fall of Hatra tell of Nadera, daughter of the King of Araba, who betrayed the city into the hands of Shapur as she fell in love with him. The story tells of how Shapur killed the king and married Nadera, but later had her killed also after realizing her ingratitude towards her father. Hatra was a major city of the Sasanian province of Arbayistan.
|Plan of Hatra, whc.unesco.org|
Hatra was the best preserved and most informative example of a Parthian city. Its plan was circular, and was encircled by inner and outer walls nearly 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) in diameter and supported by more than 160 towers. A temenos (τέμενος) surrounded the principal sacred buildings in the city's centre. The temples covered some 1.2 hectares and were dominated by the Great Temple, an enormous structure with vaults and columns that once rose to 30 metres. The city was famed for its fusion of Greek, Mesopotamian, Canaanite, Aramean and Arabian pantheons, known in Aramaic as Beiṯ Ĕlāhā ("House of God"). The city had temples to Nergal (Assyrian-Babylonian and Akkadian), Hermes (Greek), Atargatis (Syro-Aramaean), Allat, Shamiyyah (Arabian), and Shamash (the Mesopotamian sun god). Other deities mentioned in the Hatran Aramaic inscriptions were the Aramaean Ba'al Shamayn, and the female deity known as Ashurbel, which was perhaps the assimilation of the two deities the Assyrian god Ashur and the Babylonian Bel—despite their being individually masculine.
Hatra has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). Most rain falls in the winter. The average annual temperature in Hatra is 20.7 °C (69.3 °F). About 257 mm (10.12 in) of precipitation falls annually.
|Climate data for Hatra (Al Hadar)|
|Average high °C (°F)||12.8
|Average low °C (°F)||3.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||43
In inscriptions found at Hatra, several rulers are mentioned. Other rulers are sporadically mentioned by classical authors. They appear with two titles. The earlier rulers are called mrj´ (translation uncertain), the later ones mlk -king.
|Nashrihab||mrj´||AD 128/29 - 137/38|
|Naṣru||mry´||128/29 - 176/77|
|Wolgash I||mry´ and mlk - King|
|Sanatruq I||mry´ and mlk - King||AD 176/177||ruled together with Wolgash I|
|Wolgash (II?), son of Wolgash (I.)|
|Abdsamiya||mlk - King||AD 192/93 - 201/202||Supported the Roman emperor Pescennius Niger|
|Sanatruq II||mlk - King||AD 207/08 - 229/230|
Saddam Hussein saw the site's Mesopotamian history as reflecting glory on himself, and sought to restore the site, and others in Ninevah, Nimrud, Ashur and Babylon, as a symbol of Arab achievement, spending more than US $80 million in the first phase of restoration of Babylon. Saddam Hussein demanded that new bricks in the restoration use his name (in imitation of Nebuchadnezzar) and parts of one restored Hatra temple have Saddam's name.
From 1987 the Italian Archaeological Expedition, directed by R. Ricciardi Venco (University of Turin), has worked at Hatra. The excavations were focused on an important house ("Building A"), located close to the Temenos, and on deep soundings in the Temenos central area. Now the Expedition is active in different projects regarding the preservation and development of the archaeological site.
Actions by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which occupied the area in mid-2014, have been a major threat to Hatra. In early 2015 they announced their intention to destroy many artifacts, claiming that such "graven images" were un-Islamic, encouraged shirk (or polytheism), and could not be permitted to exist, despite the preservation of the site for 1,400 years by various Islamic regimes. ISIL militants pledged to destroy the remaining artifacts. Shortly thereafter, they released a video showing the destruction of some artifacts from Hatra. After the bulldozing of Nimrud on March 5, 2015, "Hatra of course will be next" said Abdulamir Hamdani, an Iraqi archaeologist from Stony Brook University. On March 7, Kurdish and Iraqi official sources reported ISIS had begun the demolishing the ruins of Hatra. A video released by ISIL during the next month showed the destruction of the monuments.
The pro-Iraqi government Popular Mobilization Forces captured the city on 26 April 2017. A spokeswoman for the militias stated that ISIL had destroyed the sculptures and engraved images of the site, but its walls and towers were still standing though contained holes and scratches received from ISIL bullets. PMF units also stated that the group had mined the site's eastern gates, thus temporarily preventing any assessment of damage by archaeologists. It was reported on 1 May that the site had suffered less damage than feared earlier. A journalist of EFE had earlier reported finding many destroyed statues, burnt buildings as well as signs of looting. Layla Salih, head of antiquities for Nineveh Governorate, stated that most of the buildings were intact and the destruction didn't compare with that of other archaeological sites of Iraq. A PMF commander also stated that the damage was relatively minor.
Abdsamiya was a king of Hatra, an ancient city and kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia (Iraq). He reigned from about AD 180 to 205. Abdsamiya was the son of king Sanatruq I and the father of Sanatruq II. Abdsamiya is known from eight inscriptions found at Hatra. One of them reports the building of a porticus for the king and is dated to year 504 of the Seleucid era (AD 192/93). Another inscription appears on a statue and is dated to AD 201/202. Abdsamiya is most likely also mentioned by Herodian (3.1.3). There he appears as Barsemias. He supported in year AD 192 Pescennius Niger against Septimius Severus.Al-Mada'in District
Al-Mada'in District is a district of the Baghdad Governorate, Iraq. It includes the city of Salman Pak, which incorporates the ancient ruins of Al-Mada'in, and the oldest freestanding mud brick arch in the world. Other metropolitan areas include Jisr Dyala, an urban district that borders the Baghdad city district of (???), the northern village of Nahrawahn with its major brickworks, and the central village of Wahedah that sits astride the Basrah Highway into Wasit Province.Al-Shatrah District
Al-Shatra District is a district of the Dhi Qar Governorate, Iraq.Amara District
Amara District (Arabic: حي عمارة) is a district of the Maysan Governorate, Iraq.
The population of Amara District is currently around 1,250,000 people.
Amarah is located inside of Amara District and is the capital and largest city of Maysan Governate, The population of the city is
511,542 and is the 7th largest city in Iraq by population.Anah District
Anah is a district in Al Anbar Governorate, Iraq. It is centred on the town of Anah.Aramaic of Hatra
Aramaic of Hatra refers to inscriptions from the site of the ancient city of Hatra that were published by W. Andrae in 1912 and were studied by S. Ronzevalle and P. Jensen. The excavations undertaken by the Iraqi Department of Antiquities brought to light more than 100 new texts, the publication of which was undertaken by F. Safar in the journal Sumer. The first four series were the subject of reviews in the journal Syria. The texts range in date from the 2nd or 3rd century BCE to the destruction of the city c. 240 CE; the earliest dated text provides a date of 98 BCE.
For the most part, these inscriptions are short commemorative graffiti with minimal text. The longest of the engraved inscriptions does not have more than 13 lines. It is therefore difficult to identify more than a few features of the Aramaic dialect of Hatra, which shows overall the greatest affinity to Syriac.
The stone inscriptions bear witness to an effort to establish a monumental script. This script is little different from that of the Aramaic inscriptions of Assur (possessing the same triangular š, and the use of the same means to avoid confusion between m, s, and q). The ds and the rs are not distinguished from one another, and it is sometimes difficult not to confuse w and y.Destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL
Deliberate destruction and theft of cultural heritage has been conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, and to a lesser extent in Libya. The destruction targets various places of worship under ISIL control and ancient historical artifacts. In Iraq, between the fall of Mosul in June 2014 and February 2015, ISIL had plundered and destroyed at least 28 historical religious buildings. Valuable items from some buildings were looted in order to smuggle and sell them to finance ISIS activities.ISIL uses a unit called the Kata'ib Taswiyya (settlement battalions) to select targets for demolition. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova branded the ISIS activities in this respect as "a form of cultural cleansing" and launched the Unite4Heritage campaign to protect heritage sites threatened by extremists.Dujail District
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Haditha is a district in Al Anbar Governorate, Iraq. It is centred on the city of Haditha.Hatra District
Hatra District is a district of the Ninawa Governorate, Iraq.Hatran alphabet
The Hatran alphabet is the script used to write Aramaic of Hatra, a dialect that was spoken from approximately 98/97 BC (year 409 of the Seleucid calendar) to 240 AD by early inhabitants of present-day northern Iraq. Many inscriptions of this alphabet could be found at Hatra, an ancient city in northern Iraq built by the Seleucid Empire and also used by the Parthian Empire, but subsequently destroyed by the Sassanid Empire in 241 AD. Assur also has several inscriptions which came to an end following its destruction by the Sasanian in 257 AD while the rest of the inscriptions are spread sparsely throughout Dura-Europos, Gaddala, Tur Abdin, Tikrit, Sa'adiya and Qabr Abu Naif. Many of the contemporary ruins were destroyed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in early 2015. It was encoded in the Unicode Standard 8.0 with support from UC Berkeley's Script Encoding Initiative.Kifri District, Diyala Governorate
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The Kingdom of Araba (or simply Araba) was a 2nd-century CE Arab kingdom located between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire, mostly under Parthian influence, located in modern-day northern Iraq.The city of Hatra was probably founded in the 3rd or 2nd century BCE, under the Seleucid kingdom. Arabs were common in Mesopotamia at the time of the Seleucids (3rd century BC). In the 1st and 2nd century, Hatra was ruled by a dynasty of Arabian princes. It rose to prominence as the capital of Araba and became an important religious center as a result of its strategic position along caravan trade routes.Araba is one of the first Arab states to be established outside of Arabia, preceded by the Kingdom of Osroene (132 BC–216 AD) and the Kingdom of Emesa (64 BCE–300s CE), and followed by the Ghassanids (220–638) and the Lakhmids (300–602), buffer states of the Roman and Sassanid Empires, respectively.List of World Heritage Sites in Iraq
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Iraq accepted the convention on 5 March 1974, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list; as of 2016, five sites in Iraq are included.The first site in Iraq, Hatra, was inscribed on the list at the 9th Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Paris, France in 1985. Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) was inscribed in 2003 as the second site, followed by Samarra Archaeological City in 2007. Erbil Citadel and The Ahwar of Southern Iraq were added to the list in 2014 and 2016, respectively, the latter being Iraq's first mixed property.As of 2019, three of the five properties are placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger. Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) was added to the list in 2003, the same year it was inscribed as a World Heritage site, due to concerns that a dam project might partially flood the site; while the project has since been put on hold, the site remains on the list as a result of the lack of protection. Similarly, Samarra Archaeological City was put on the list simultaneously with its World Heritage site inscription in 2007, as authorities have been unable to adequately manage and conserve the site since the outbreak of the Iraq War. Hatra was inscribed on the list in 2015 due to its reported extensive destruction by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.Mosul District
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The Parthian style is a style (sabk) of historical Iranian architecture.
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Wolgash or Vologash was a king of Hatra, an ancient city in nowadays Iraq. He is known from more than 20 inscriptions found at Hatra and reigned from about AD 140 to 180. He was the son of Naṣru who reigned from about AD 128 to 140. He was one of the first rulers of Hatra calling himself mlk (king), but he bears also the title mry' (lord). Both titles are also attested for his brother Sanatruq I. It is unclear whether they both reigned together and took the title king at some point in their reign, or whether Sanatruq succeeded Wolgash. His successor was either his brother or his nephew Abdsamiya.