Sites & cities that bear the name of Harran


Today in : Turkey
First trace of activity : ca. 6,200 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 20th century C.E
Recorded names : Harrānu, Aran, Carrhae, Ἑλληνόπολις, Hellenopolis, حران‎, חָרָן‎, Ḥārān, Հառան, Κάρραι, Kárrhai, Altınbaşak

Description : Harran (Arabic: حرّان‎ Ḥarrān; Turkish: Harran; Ottoman Turkish: حران‎; Akkadian: Ḫarrānu; Hebrew: חָרָן‎ Ḥārān; Armenian: Հառան Harran; Latin: Carrhae; Byzantine Greek: Κάρραι Kárrhai) was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is near the modern village of Altınbaşak, Turkey, 44 kilometers southeast of Şanlıurfa. The location is in a district of Şanlıurfa Province that is also named "Harran". A few kilometers from the village of Altınbaşak are the archaeological remains of ancient Harran, a major commercial, cultural, and religious center first inhabited in the Early Bronze Age III (3rd millennium BCE) period. The city was called Hellenopolis (Ancient Greek: Ἑλληνόπολις meaning "Greek city") in the Early Christian period. It is mentioned, in Movses Khorenatsi's and Mikayel Chamchian's History of Armenia, as being under the authority of prince Sanadroug of Armenia, the sovereignty of which he assigned to Queen Helena of Adiabene. The settlement that would become Harran began as a typical Halaf culture village established circa 6200 BCE as part of the spread of agricultural villages across West Asia. From its location at the confluence of the Jullab and Balikh rivers it gradually grew in size until a period of rapid urbanization in the following the Uruk period. During the Early Bronze Age (3000-2500 BCE) Harran grew into a walled city. The city-state of Harran was part of a network of city states, called Kish civilization, centered in the Syrian Levant and upper mesopotamia. The rise of Harran closely mirrored the similar rise of its trade partners, Ebla, Ugarit, and Alalakh, in a process called secondary urbanization. Its life as a sovereign city-state came to an end when it was annexed into the Akkadian Empire and its successor the Neo-Sumerian Empire. After the fall of Ur it was again independent for a time until it was abandoned in the Amorite expansion in 1800 BC. It was later rebuilt as an Assyrian city of Harrānu, meaning 'cross-roads' in the Akkadian language.

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