MIGRATIONS IN THE ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA: HISTORICAL AND LINGUISTIC INFLUENCE OF THE GUTIANS
The article deals with the ancient Near Eastern ethnic groups and tribes that used to occupy a territory of the modern-day Zagros Mountains range (Western Iran) from the 3rd millennium BC until the middle period of the first millennium BC. The main objects of the research are the major ethnic groups (The Gutians and the Kassites,) from the above-mentioned region, who had a visible impact on ancient Mesopotamia and therefore, are frequently referenced in the cuneiform sources.
During the period of two millennia, the populous migrations from the east were a frequent occurrence in ancient Mesopotamia. In most cases, the migrations from the Iranian Plateau were caused by starvation and eventually had a violent nature, which is evidently represented in the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian texts. Presenting those examples could give us subjectively, but still, important information regarding the traits of the migrated tribes and ethnic groups.
The origin of the above-mentioned ethnic groups and tribes is still unknown. Most of the languages do not show resemblance to any known language family. The Specific metaphors and adjectives, which were used to describe the Gutians in the Sumerian texts have been translated and analyzed to gather additional data regarding the lifestyle, cultural traits, and migrational patterns of the above-mentioned people.
After reviewing the onomastic data, several assumptions have emerged, regarding the possible links between the Gutian and other, neighboring languages. According to the suggested theories, the largest ethnic groups from the ancient Iranian Plateau could have spoken the languages from different language families.
Keywords: Gutians, Sumerians, Kassites, Migration, Assyriology.