Today’s Elazığ was founded by the moving of historical Harput to its plains in 1834. And after the foundation of the republic it progressed and has become one of the important centres of the Eastern Anatolia. The Keban and Karakaya Dams, the archaeological excavations and researches in the framework of the Project for Salvaging the Ancient Works have contributed a lot in the understanding of region’s history. Under the light of these studies, the Hurris are the oldest residents known to have inhabited here. According to the information obtained from the tablets from the archaeological excavations the Hurris got spread to a large area in Pre-Asia, developed a lot and after having brought Subar Beyleri, of their race, under their rule by end of 2000 BC, they expanded their boundaries. After the Hurris the region went under the rule of the Hittites. As from the IX century BC the region was under Urartians rule. Some cuneiform epitaphs from this age were recovered in Palu, Kömürhan and Bağın. In the VII century BC it was Meds that ruled the region, and the during the following centuries by Alexander The Great’s beating them the Persian rule ended and the region thus came under the rule of Alexander’s armies. When the Roman forces lost against the Persians in 546 BC, the Persian rule showed again. As from this date until III century AD the region was a Persian-Roman battle scene. After the dividing of the Great Roman Empire, the Sasanis and Byzantine struggle started in the region. Attheendthe west side of Euphrates went under Byzantines rule and the east went under the Sasanis rule.


The history of Harput, very next to Elazığ, goes as far back as 2000 BC. It was of the most important residential centres of the east for its being located on the trade roads. Upon its being moved in 1834 onto the neighbouring plains, the old town has been left into loneliness on its own. It is still worthwhile to see it in spite of the negligence and the destruction of the passed years. Its castle has a 4000 years history. It was built by the Urartians and was used by Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. The Church of Virgin Mary in the great rocks beneath the castle was built by the Süryanis (Syrian Orthodox) in 179. The Ulu Mosque (with a leaning minaret), Sara Hatun Mosque from the Akkoyunlus, Kurşunlu Mosque from Ottomans are some other places of interest of Harput, worth to mention. Following the visit of Harput, the Museum of Harput should be visited, that is where they display the findings from the recovery excavations in the vicinity.

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