History Files


Middle East Kingdoms

Ancient Anatolia





Two obscure kingdoms or tribal regions which emerged to the north and east of Ishuwa in the sixteenth century BC were those of Hayasa and Azzi. They formed a confederation which for a time troubled the Hittites. Hayasa was south of Trabzon on the south-eastern Black Sea coast, while Azzi was situated between Hayasa and the Euphrates, around Lake Van (now in eastern Turkey). Scholarly opinion is split on whether the two were distinct kingdoms or one and the same.

c.1375 BC

The Kaskans suffer the loss of their grain to locusts so, in search of food, they join up with Hayasa-Azzi, Ishuwa, and the Lukka, as well as other Hittite enemies. The devastation to the grain crops may also have been suffered by others, making it not only easy to get them all to unite but highly necessary, and the Hittites may be taken by surprise by the sheer forcefulness of the attack. Recent Hittite resurgence suffers a knock when their fort of Masat is burned down, but then the capital, Hattusa, is itself attacked and burned. Their secondary capital may also be attacked, and Hayasa-Azzi seizes the Hittite city of Samuha. This disaster personally weakens the position of the Hittite king but seemingly does little to set back the Hittites themselves.

? - c.1370 BC

Karanni / Lanni

Defeated by Suppiluliuma?

c.1370 BC

As Tudhaliya's general, shortly before seizing the throne, the Hittite king, Suppiluliuma pushes back an invasion by the Kaskans and invades Hayasa-Azzi. Twelve tribes of Kaskans unite under Piyapili and attempt to support their recent allies, but are defeated. Details of the subsequent showdown between the Hittites and Hayasa-Azzi near the city of Kumaha are lost, but the Hittites soon establish it as a vassal state.

Mount Nemrut
Representative of some of the terrain in Hayasa-Azzi is Mount Nemrut, north of Lake Van, which in the first century BC became a tomb sanctuary for the kings of Commagene


Vassal of the Hittites?

fl c.1360s? BC

Hakkana / Hakkani

Vassal of the Hittites.

Hakkana agrees to a treaty with the Hittite king, Suppiluliuma, and marries his sister.

c.1336 BC

Hayasa-Azzi appears to remain a vassal of the Hittites and is perhaps hit by the same plague which kills Suppiluliuma and, soon after, his son.

fl c.1326 BC


Vassal of the Hittites, 'Lord of Azzi'.

c.1326 BC

While the Hittites are occupied with the Kaskans under Pihhuniya, Anniya raids the land of Dankuwa on the Hittite border, capturing the area's population. He refuses to release his prisoners. Mursili II immediately attacks the border fortress of Ura and, the following spring, crosses the Euphrates and settles his army at Ingalova.

c.1324 BC

Hayasa-Azzi remains undefeated. Anniya launches a major counter-offensive by once again invading the Upper Land region on the Hittite north-eastern frontier, destroying the land of Istitina and placing the city of Kannuwara under siege.

c.1323 - 1321 BC

The Hittites launch a major attack against Hayasa-Azzi's forces in the Upper Land, resoundingly defeating them. The following year, Hayasa-Azzi itself is invaded and re-conquered. Hayasa-Azzi formally submits in 1321 BC. It is never again mentioned as a unified state in either Hittite or Assyrian records.

c.1200 BC

If the old state even exists by this date as a recognisable entity, it now vanishes during the Bronze Age collapse. The Nairi emerge in the region of Lake Van, followed subsequently by the kingdom of Urartu.