The Kingdom of Urartu ruled over a wide area extending from the bend of the Euphrates River in the west, Lake Sevan in the north, the Zagros Mountains in the south, and the Urmia Basin in the east during the 9th and 7th centuries BC. Studies on the architecture, art, language, cultural and geographical interactions of such a powerful and important kingdom are increasing in time, yet (especially after the Covid-19 pandemic) there is a need for a scientific meeting to discuss recent research. The increasing numbers of excavations, surveys, and interdisciplinary studies carried out in recent years, both within the borders of Turkey and neighboring regions, raise the need for a scientific meeting. This led us to take action for this organization. We believe that an international symposium for scholars in the field will provide us with the ground to share and discuss recent results and ideas regarding Urartu and its contemporary cultures. This international symposium will be held in the newly opened (2019) Van Museum, which has an exciting display with the highest number of Urartian artifacts in the world.
      The symposium “URARTU AND BEYOND: Improvement and Interaction in the Iron Age Highlands” will be held between 07-09 September 2022, under the leadership and hosting of Van Museum. Academicians from Atatürk University, Istanbul University, and Van Yüzüncü Yıl University will serve as the organizing committee. These three universities have been known as host institutes of pioneering excavations and research in the region for long years. As the title of the symposium implies, the scope of the symposium not only covers the Kingdom of Urartu but also focuses beyond the borders of this powerful kingdom. The symposium aims to bring scholars with new perspectives and foster discussions relevant to recent data and interpretations at Urartu and its 1st millennium BC neighbors.
      The primary aim of the URARTU AND BEYOND symposium is to bring together researchers from Turkey and abroad, who are interested in the archeology of Urartu and 1st millennium BC in related geographies. Scholars with relevant studies in this field are welcome to present their studies and exchange information during the meeting. The discussions aim to cover the Iron Age in the region, in the light of long-standing or newly started surveys and interdisciplinary studies.
      The symposium proceedings are planned to be published via an international publisher after the review process. We hope the outcomes of this symposium will contribute to the field of Urartu and contemporary cultures with a comprehensive volume.