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The Mitanni Empire or Hanigalbat (Hittite: URUMi-it-ta-ni; Assyrian: Ḫa-ni-gal-bat) was a Hurrian kingdom in northern Mesopotamia and south-west Anatolia which controlled the territory of modern day Syria, Palestine, and Iraq between 1530-1330 BC. Its heartland was the Khābūr River region, where Washukanni, its capital, was probably located. Dr. A.E. Crowley suggests that these Mitanni are direct descendants of Midian, the son of Abraham.[1] After being sent away by Abraham, the descendants of Midian settled in the region of the Caucasus, both north and south of the mountain range.

Biblical Origin

"And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country." - Genesis 25:5-6

They were sent east of Palestine, not south into modern Saudi Arabia, as many speculate. After multiplying greatly, they came pouring down into Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia (with some settling south of Edom in northwest Arabia), being known at that time as the Hurrians.[2] One branch of the Hurrians became known as the Mitanni and their rulers the Maryanni. They were evidently named after their forefather, Midian. The Mitanni were of the Aryan (Indo-Iranian) branch of the Indo-Europeans[3]. Ayyaswami Kalyanaraman in his book, Aryatarangini: The Saga of the Indo-Aryans, describes the bust of Queen Nefertiti (a Midianitess) and the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten as "Nordic".[4] They invoked the actual gods of the Aryans of India and used their Vedic names. It may be significant that the first god they invoked was the Vedic Sun-god, Mitra or Mithra, which may have been Midian himself, deified. In so many ways they were quite similar to their neighbors, the Hittites.[5]


  1. Bristowe, S (1971) Sargon The Magnificent. Association Of The Covenant People, Vancouver, Canada, 12
  2. Cottrell, L (1975) The Concise Encyclopedia Of Archaeology. Hutchins Of London, 178
  3. Bashan 1959:29
  4. Kalyanaraman, A (1969) Aryatarangini: The Saga of the Indo-Aryans, Vol. 1, 79
  5. Gayre of Gayre, R (1973) The Syro-Mesopotamian Ethnology As Revealed in Genesis X. The Armorial, Edinburgh, Scotland, 23