The Kurds


I am currently reading a book on the Kurds and Syria by Kerim Yildiz published in 2005 by Pluto Press of London….I’ll be sharing the highlights as I go along.

Today’s Kurdish population is believed to be descended from the Hurri, Guti, Kurti, Medes, Mittanni, Hittites, Mard, Carduchi, Gordyene, Adiabene, Zila and Khaldi kingdoms that ruled the areas of Kurdistan at different times. Of these, the most influential appears to be that of the Hurrians, found in the Zagros, Taurus and Pontus mountains from around 4300 BC onwards. By approximately 2500 BC, the small Hurrian-founded states began to evolve into larger political entities, including the polities of Urartu, Mushq/Mushku, Urkish, Subar/Saubar, Baini, Guti/Qutil and Manna.  Qutil became a powerful Hurrian principality, and it is often thought that ‘Kurd’ is a derivation of ‘Qutil’.

 According to Mehrdad Izady, nearly two thirds of Kurdish clan names and roughly half of topographical and urban names are of Hurrian origin; and many tattoos worn by Kurds on their bodies are identical to motifs found on Hurrian figurines.

           Professor Izady is a Kurdish-Belgian scholar who has written profusely on Kurdistan. . Izady finished his BA degree in History, Political Science and Geography at Kansas State University and then went onto Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York for his masters and finally his doctoral studies at Columbia.  Izady has  his own website at Kurdistanica.  It seems my book is a tagalong to Izady’s as it relies on the latter’s research heavily.

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The Hittites…well they come up in early in the Bible.  They are descended from Heth, the son of Canaan (and great-grandson of Noah, Genesis 10:15).

Assyrian records refer to Syria and Palestine as “Hatti-land. ”  Joshua 1:4 includes Hatti-land as a great part of the Promised Land for Israel.

 Abraham was well acquainted with the Hittites, and he bought the burial cave for Sarah from them in Genesis 23.

 Esau took wives from among the Hittites (Genesis 26:34), and Uriah the Hittite was one of David’s mighty men (2 Samuel 11:3). 

The Hittites are mentioned throughout the kingdom years and even after the Jews’ return from captivity (Ezra 9:1) but there is no record after that and Yildiz is pointing that they were assumed by  the Hurrians which according to Archaeology today are the modern day Armenians.  You can read more about that theory from the Buccellati i team here, complete with snaps.