By Mehmet Kurtkaya, Published on April 9,2016 (Updated on November 8, 2017)
There are many overlooked civilizations in history including the Sumerians, but Hurrian is probably the most under-appreciated.
Apollo is a well-known name in the West. The famed Greek and Roman god Apollo derives from Aplu, the Hurrian god!
Aplu is also part of the Etruscan pantheon. Etruscans were the founders of Rome! Tourists visit Etruscan cities in Rome and around Italy but rarely know how crucial they were to the founding of the Roman Empire. Still, academics have extensively worked on this civilization, and Etruscan research continues in Italian Universities.
Hurrians were settled north of Sumer in what is today Southeastern Turkey, Northern Iraq, and Northeastern Syria as early as 2400 BC, but the discovery of Urkesh near the Turkey-Syria border in the 1980s and the subsequent 25-year research by an American archaeologist, Federico Buccellati, recently revealed that Hurrians may have arrived in the region with the Sumer people, around 4000 BC!
An amazing yet previously unknown discovery!
Unfortunately, the Hurrians never attracted much research interest, although some of their major artifacts can be seen in Louvre Museum, Paris. Their only significance to most historians was their relationship with Sumer to the south and to the Hittite Empire founded on their lands hundreds of years after their first mention in written records.
Hurrians contributed greatly to both the religious and cultural aspects of the Hittite Empire founded by conquerors arriving from the Caucuses who largely adopted the existing civilization of the Hattis (hence the name Hittite) and the Hurrians.
We know of Hurrian from Hittite records.
Hurrians most probably influenced ancient Greeks and Romans as noted above! They may have founded ancient Greek cities during the so called "Dark Period" of Greece.
The name for their most important city, Urkesh, seems to be made by adding two names, the names of the two most ancient Sumerian cities Ur and Kish.
Hurrians traded with Sumer. They were weapon-making horse-warriors, but also had founded city states and kingdoms in today's Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.
The connection between Hurrian and Sumerian languages was recently analyzed by a Russian researcher, Alexei Kassian and their close relationship has been established as one of linguistic shift.
Misnamed Hurrians!This major ancient civilization is not only underestimated but also misnamed as Hurrian!
Since Hurrian is analyzed through Assyrian(Akkadian) based Hittite cuneiform script which was in turn based on Sumerian cuneiform but with an Afroasiatic (Semitic) language, spellings deviate from the original when written. It is like writing a Turkish word in English, the sound may be slightly distorted even with the best efforts. So, a sound correction must have been made considering specifics of the Hurrian language.
Hu-ur-riThis is how it is spelled in cuneiform currently.
I have shown how the ending vowel is extra and this mistake is prevalent in Sumerian as well and only corrected at a few places, such as An instead of Anu and Elam instead of Elama. This may have something to do with Akkadians/Babylonians' inability to pronounce some consonant endings.
So, when I looked at the word Hurri, I thought of this. It should have been Huur, actually. Any Turkish person would say Hu-ur sounds very much like Ugur.
Just like in Turkish language, the word signifying the oldest Turkic people "ogur" is written as oghur in English. "H" appears in addition to g since there is no g sound in English. Yet it is a very close approximation of the sound.
Ugur was probably gur without the u. Today only some Turkish languages in Central Asia allow words to start with a guttural g - g -, but it could have been the default some 5,000 years ago. The preceding vowel that is used could be a historic shift.
Egyptian records (Afroasiatic people/Semitic) show a people pronounced as Khur which is compatible with Gur/gur as there is no g sound in their alphabet.
The word Khor in the Old testament, wrote Hungarian researcher Endrey Anthony, should be Gor as in MaGor/Magyar which is the name for people from Hungary.
More importantly Vecihe Hatipoglu found that in six or seven Arabic texts, Oguz Turks, which are Turks living in Turkey today, are mentioned as Guz so both the O was omitted and g represented as g. Arabic is Afroasiatic/Semitic so this proves how the misspelling of the Turkish sound g occurs. She also wrote this could apply also to Gur/Ogur.
This goes on to prove that Hur is actually gur as is Ogur/Ugur!The late civil engineer and avid researcher of Turkish history, Mehmet Unal Mutlu, suggests that the word "cumhur" comes from "dumugir" in Sumerian, meaning the people of the land, just like he showed the word democracy is based on the Sumerian word dumugiratuku. The relation of dumugir and cumhur shows ugir was used as hur in Arabic.
Renowned German scholar Ilse Wegner's Introduction to Hurrian book published in 1999 mentions how in Mari texts one can't make any distinction between H and g.
Hur was gur! and the sounds are very similar in Turkish.
Vecihi Hatiboglu was one of the students to not only meet Ataturk but to make a presentation on Turkish history while still a freshman from Ankara University's Language-History-Geography facility that Ataturk founded. Even the name of the facility shows Ataturk viewed how these three research areas were connected.
The fact that Ogur Turks were in southeast Anatolia to the north of Sumer (Iraq) some 5,000 years ago goes a long way for Ataturk's thesis that Anatolia was inhabited by the Turks for millennia, long before our last arrival in 1071. It is a pity that no Turkish historian or linguist, save for Vecihe Hatipoglu, went in the footsteps of Ataturk who had stated based on his readings and research that Sumer were Turkic people from Central Asia. Ataturk must have based this figure on the arrival date of Sumerians which were thought to have arrived in 5000 BC to Mesopotamia. Current research places their date of migration to around 4000 BC.
About Ogur TurksThere are three major Turkish groups in history: Ogud, Ogur and Oguz Turks. Ogur and Oguz Turks are the two most studied. groups The r-z change is the most important characteristic change in Turkish language, the other is the change l-ş. Most of the Turks in Eurasia are Oguz, and the only remaining Ogur Turks are Chuvash in Russian Republic.
Ogur Turks have been recorded in Chinese records as part of the Hunnic Empire and all Turkish historians use Chinese records as they are the earliest written records in East Asia/Siberia. Of course, Turkish historians are intimidated by the thought of being mocked by the Western history-teller. The reason Turkish historians and writers don't analyze the history of Turkey and analyze Sumerian and Hurrian records is that they completely accept Western look to their own history, hence disregarding Ataturk. These are the likes of Akurgal who have worked on Hittite but could not provide independent research on Hattis which were present in Anatolia 1,200 years before they mixed up with the invading so-called Indo-European speaking people who conquered parts of Anatolia especially central and Southeastern parts.
Ogur Turks were probably recorded as Ugor, or White Ugor/Black Ugor (remember Sumerians called themselves Black-Headed people), in what is today Ukraine about 1,000 years ago, almost 3,000 years after the Sumerian had vanished.
The truth was at hand for anyone wanting to look. The Ogurs who are only known to have existed in 3rd century BC as Huns in Siberia can be found in written cuneiform records in a faraway land, what is today Turkey at a much earlier date, 3,000 years earlier that is!
In case your browser does not display the special Turkish sound g I have changed g's to g in the text of this article. In Turkish alphabet the order of the letters is: abcdefggh.... The sound g is between g and h and does not exist in Western languages, Indo-European and AfroAsiatic languages. But it does exist in Sumerian the first known human language and Turkish. Hu-ur-ri = Ug-ur is misread/misused in Western languages as Hurrian, Hurrite, Khurri, Churri etc. This is another proof that the sound g in Western texts is not stable and is represented with h, kh or ch among others. Hu-ur-ri = Huur = Ugur / gur (Hurrian) Sumerian Ug=People Sumerian Ur= People, Base (city, city people) Turkish Ug= People, kinship, son as in Ugur, Ogur, Oguz, Oglan...