There are various legends about the foundation of Mardin. According to one of them; The Persian ruler Ardashir (226-241) placed a tribe named Marde in the region and the name of the city originated from this tribe. According to another legend, one of the Persian rulers brought his sick son here to heal him and the name of the prince, which is Mardin, was given to the region. According to another legend, the foundation of the city is tied to the story of a scholar named Dîn, who settled where the Mardin Castle is today and spent his day in worship. A commander sent by Heraclius first became friends with Dîn and then killed him. The commander built a castle here and it was claimed that “Mâte Dîn”, which means Dîn is dead, turned into Mardin. Based on these legends, Syrians called the city Merdin, Merdi, Merdo, Mirdo, Merde, Marda, Mardin, which means Castle or Castles in Syriac. Byzantines Maride, Mardia; Armenians are Merdin; Arabs Maridin; Ottomans also named it as Mardin.
Mardin’s real name is mentioned as “Merdin” in most sources. Indeed, most of the people today say that. The name Merdin means “Castles”. The existence of many castles in the city caused it to be named this way. The most important reason why Mardin is mentioned so often with the concepts of fortress is the existence of sheltered structures that assume the duty of natural defense and surveillance that protect and watch over each other.
It is not known exactly when and by whom Mardin was founded. According to the ancient Near Eastern history; The foundation of the city is based on Subari. Subaris, Hurrians, Sumerians, Akkads, Mitannis, Hittites, Assyrians, Scythians, Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Abbasids, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks, Artukids and Ottomans were dominant in the region since 4500 BC. The branch of Meyyafarikinin (Silvan) was established during the time of Artukoğulları, and during this period the city had a great development and developed.
During the excavations conducted by the archaeologist Baron Marvan Oppenheim between 1911-1929, it was understood from the remains uncovered here that the Subarians lived in Mesopotamia (4500-3500 BC). As a result of the archaeological excavations and researches that started in 1982 at the Gırnavaz ruin site and continued until 1991, Gırnavaz was discovered in the 4th century BC. It was understood to be a permanent settlement area until the century. Mardin, which was settled in the classical sense starting from 4500 BC during the excavations in the region; Subari, Hurri, Sumerian, Akkadian, Mitani, Hittite, Assyrian, Scythian, Babylonian, Persian, Macedonian, Abgar, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Seljuk, Artukid and Ottoman period, it is an important open air museum. There are many important areas for scientific excavations in the city. As a result, it will create the opportunity to put the history of the city better.