The Hurrian state of Mitanni ruled over an empire that extended into Syria and northern Mesopotamia from its homeland in what is today south-east Turkey. The Hurrians were famed for their horses and chariots. They may well have introduced both into the warfare of the Near East. Many ancient terms used by Hittites, Egyptians and Canaanites for chariot gear and their aristocratic warrior crews are claimed to be derived from the Hurrians. Mitanni grew to become the most powerful Hurrian kingdom after the fall of Babylon to the Hittites and Kassites. The Mitannian empire covered much of northern Mesopotamia and Syria and at that time Mitanni fought with Egypt for control of the Levant.
For a while the empire of the Mitanni was the most powerful of the various northern kingdoms in Mesopotamia. It eventually began to disintegrate under increasing pressure from its neighbours and from civil war within its own borders. The land ruled over by the Mitanni eventually fell to the Assyrians and was divided into a number of successor states including Hanigalbat and Naharin which were drawn into the rival orbits of the Assyrians and Hittites.
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