Tuesday, January 24, 2023

We have overlooked one remarkable toponym in Sevan basin.

We have overlooked one remarkable toponym in Sevan basin. It is the Uskia in Urartian texts. Uškia [(A LAND)] (GN)

It is mentioned only once, in a context of campaign toward lake Sevan basin. Some believe Uskia was close to modern Sotk and might be related to Armenian word oski (ոսկի, modern voski ) meaning gold. That is quite plausible given the proximity of Sotk gold mine which was exploited since 2th millennium BC. Although the origin of word oski (gold) in Armenian is uncertain it's quite likely that it was used as a toponym in Iron Age.
Notice the word for gold in Hurrian is known and it's very different. While the Urartian word is unknown because they used the Sumerian ideogram GUSKIN for gold. How they were pronouncing that ideogram is unknown. It's more likely that it was related to the Hurrian word, which would mean that Armenian word for gold is not a loanword from HU languages.
PS the two words for gold attested in Hurrian dialects are the hiyari and aaraxi. The first can be related to Sanskrit hiranya-m meaning gold.

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