A carved relief of Sargon II (credit 

Few campaigns have been written about as extensively, both contemporarily and in modern history, than Sargon II’s eighth campaign. Waged in the summer of 714 BCE, seven years after Sargon had assumed the throne in 721 BCE, the campaign sought to put down the troublesome Urartu. Sargon had previously attempted to suppress the Urartu in 719 and 717BCE but by 715BCE they had before more aggressive, seizing 22 Assyrian cities that year.[1] The campaign is the subject of a letter to the god Assur, written by Sargon II’s scribes and circulated throughout the Assyrian empire. Totalling 430 lines, the account is full of the glory of Sargon, and his thanks to the gods for their good fortune. But while the letter contains many geographic references, placing these on a modern map has proven difficult for historians. Utilizing interactive digital mapping, this project will highlight the variances in the routes suggested, linking interpretation to the original text to bring Sargon II’s campaign to life from the tablet. Through such an exercise, this project hopes to demonstrate the usefulness of such techniques for more clearly picking apart the similarities and differences within routes, with the hope that such a demonstration may help to identify which routes were more likely than others.

[1] Brian Todd Carey, “Perspectives: Assyrian King Sargon ll's Urartu campaign of 714 BC was as sensible as it was ruthless,” Military History, Sept, 2005, Vol.22(6), p.64.