Aratta was a country located in the Ararat Plain. It occupied Lake Van along with other regions of the Armenian Highlands. In Sumerian mythology, Aratta was connected with the legendary names of kings Enmerkar and Lugalbanda, the first rulers of the city of Uruk (Erech, Orchoē, Orech).
In the Sumerian literature, Aratta is described as a country rich in gold, silver, lapis lazuli, other precious materials, as well as experienced craftsmen who skillfully processed them.
Aratta was located far from Uruk and was hard-to-reach. The country was the home of deity Inanna (Anahit, Astghik, Ishtar), who would one day favor Uruk more than Aratta. The country was conquered by Enmerkar from Uruk.
The stories of Inanna, the goddess of Uruk, recount that she arrived in Eridu, the city of the first kings, to receive the gifts of civilization. Enki, the god of Eridu, attempted to retrieve those gifts, the sources of his power, but later acknowledged that Uruk is the center of the earth. This is the mythical description of the transfer of power further north by the deities of Uruk.
Babylonian texts tell that deity Marduk created Eridu as the first city (V. Vahanyan, G Vahanyan, 2010 – 2011), a “sacred city, the dwelling of their [gods’] delight [joy]”. The Euphrates River led ships from Ararat Plain to Uruk.
Uruk was one of the oldest cities in Babylon. In Bible, it was referred to as one of the cities of Numrod. Genesis 10:10: “The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar”. Hayk killed Nimrod during his attempt to conquer the country of Ararat and later buried him on the Mount Nimrut.