Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Meshechs (Meshekhs/Mosokhs, Mushku in Akkadian, Moschoi in Greek) were an ancient, non-Indo-European and non-Semitic, indigenous tribe of Asia Minor of the 3rd-1st millennias BC. They were among the first people to introduce iron smelting there at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. They are considered a Proto-Iberian tribe.
They occupied a territory somewhere to the south of present-day Georgia, possibly in Cappadocia. The tribal name Meshech is believed to be the source of Meskheti, the name of a south-western Georgian province.
Most likely Armenian ancestors held territories adjacent to Meshekhs’ heartland (partly the lands from where the Indo-European demographic explosion might have come up much earlier, at around 7000 BC, leaving some number of indigenous people at the original place). Hayasa (possibly the ancient self-appellation of proto-Armenian tribes) and Mushku are referred not rarely in Hittitian sources as tribes threatening Hittites from the north-west. Hayasa may have moved into the Meshekh heartland soon after defeat of Hattites from Sea Peoples at around 1200 BC, when Meshekhs occupied the Central Anatolia establishing there their own state on the ruins of Empire of Hattites.
Meshekhs lost connection with their relative proto-Kartvelian (see Georgia) tribes further when forced to move west in 700s BC where they established the joint Phrygian-Moschoi state in Phrygia. And though this was a very short-lasting formation that collapsed within one generation, yet it became the reason for mixing up toponyms Moschoi and Phrygia in later times. Ancient Greeks (Hellenes) somewhat contributed to this misleading as they retained in memory most recent contiguity to Moschois in their final incarnation in Phrygia. However art of Moschois, especially music, had a notable influence upon the Ancient Greek art, influence that reached Hellas long before establishing of Moschois authority at the east coast of the Aegean Sea.
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