Mannaeans (mănē`ənz), ancient people of Asia Minor, occupying the region E of Assyria and SE of Urartu, in present-day NW Iran. Their kingdom, which flourished in the 9th and 8th cent. B.C., seems to have acted as a buffer state between the Urartians and the Assyrians until it was conquered (7th cent.) by Media. Excavations that began in 1956 succeeded in uncovering the fortified city of Hasanlu.