as in the case of the Assyrian king Ashurnasipal II, who declared in 879 BC, 'I have subdued Matiate and its villages. I have won abundant spoils and subjected them to high tribute and taxes.' Such events as these were common in the region, which was ruled in turn by the Mitannians, Assyrians, Urartians, Medes, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Abbasids, Seljuks and Ottomans.
Today minarets and church towers rise into the sky above Midyat, where Syrian Orthodox culture has left its mark on stone carving, filigree work, weaving, woodwork, the arts of the goldsmith and coppersmith, and many other local handcrafts. The Syrian Orthodox people, also known as Assyrians, are among the most ancient indigenous inhabitants of Upper Mesopotamia. In 38 AD, when the region was still part of the Roman Empire, they rejected paganism in favour of Christianity. Today, however, the Syrian Orthodox community in Midyat is on the decline. Migration began in the 1960s when many went to Germany as guest workers, and is still continuing