By the 9th century B.C., a confederation of local tribes flourished as the unified state of Urartu. It grew to become one of the strongest kingdoms in the Near East and constituted a formidable rival to Assyria for supremacy in the region. The Urartians produced and exported wares of ceramic, stone and metal, building fortresses, temples, palaces and other large public works. One of their irrigation canals is still used today in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital – a city which stands upon the ancient Urartian fortress of Erebuni.
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Origins of the Armenian nation