Summing up Armenia's archeological finds for 2013
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 26, ARMENPRESS. A number of exceptional archeological finds and facts have been discovered at the course of the excavations held in the Republic of Armenia during 2013. According to the archeologists the archeological finds from various regions of Armenia can be precious assets even for Hermitage and Louvre Museum.
The excavations launched in Aknashen turned out to be very fruitful and recorded exceptional achievements. In a conversation with “Armenpress” the Director of Archeology and Ethnography Institute of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia Pavel Avetisyan stated that the archeologists discovered a sensational sample of ancient seal in Southwest Asia. Among other things the Director of Archeology and Ethnography Institute of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia Pavel Avetisyan underscored: “The seal certifies about the existence of the complex social communities.”
Aknashen is a town in the Armavir Province of Armenia. The town's church is dedicated to Saint Bartholomew; nearby is a ruin of an 8th-century building.
Previously it was reported that the archaeologists have found another archive fact during the excavations in Artashat this year. The Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia Pavel Avetisyan told Armenpress that the archive of the findings is exclusive, as it dates back to the 3-4th centuries. “We have excavated more than 800 seals in 2013. The recent findings are new and quite important facts”, - he said.
Avetisyan stated that there are the images of the kings and their names depicted on the seals.
The excavations of 2007 showed that on the territory of the ancient Artashat 150,000 people lived, which is 6 times more than the current population of Artashat.
On June 10 2008 a group of Armenian archaeologists, headed by the Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia Pavel Avetisyan, began the excavations in Artashat and in the result they found an entire system of ancient bathhouses.
Also, The scientists discovered a huge gravesite at the course of the excavations launched in Karmir Blur, which sheds light on the ancient funeral rites. The Director of the Scientific and Research Centre of Historical and Cultural Heritage Hakob Simonyan stated this at the course of the press conference held on November 21. In addition he noted that they have studied 700 meters of territory within the framework of the first stage of the activities. Among other things the Director of the Scientific and Research Centre of Historical and Cultural Heritage Hakob Simonyan underscored: “We shall study each grave separately at the course of the second stage.”
Karmir Blur, also known as Teishebaini was the capital of the Urartian Transcaucasian provinces. It is presently located near the modern city of Yerevan in Armenia. The site was once an Araratian fortress and governmental centre with towered and buttressed perimeter walls, massive gates, a parade ground within its walls, and storage rooms that entirely occupied the ground floor. The site of the city, palace and citadel together measure over 110 acres (0.45 km2). The name Karmir Blur translates to "Red Hill" because of the hill's reddish hue. It became this color after the city was set on fire and the upper walls which were made of tuff fell and crumbled because of the heat. After the tuff was heated by the fire it took on a more intense red color and therefore the hill became red. The lower portion of the walls were left standing after the fire since they were built with a stronger stone.
Archaeological evidence shows that the city of Teishebaini was destroyed by fire sometime around the beginning of the 6th century BC. Numerous fragments of cloth, rope, and other items such as seeds have been found charred from the city's destruction. It is thought that Teishebaini was attacked during the night since numerous human remains have been found, and rooms within the buildings still had everything in them as if the people living within the city's walls had no chance to flee. During the excavations, skeletons were found holding objects of gold in their hands. It is theorized that when the city was set on fire, that residents of the city began either to loot or save their own possessions from the burning buildings as the city was under attack.
The artifacts found in the medieval capital of Armenia Dvin can be etalon for the region. In a conversation with “Armenpress” the Deputy Head of the Archeological Expedition Group Nyura Hakobyan summed up the archeological activities of 2013 and stated that the activities have been carried out in the Western and Eastern parts of the Catholicos’s Palace, which dates back to the 5th century AD.
Among other things Nyura Hakobyan emphasized: “We have also organized excavations in the surroundings of the Southern pyramid, where we have found a stove, which dates back to the Early Metal Age.”
In addition the Deputy Head of the Archeological Expedition Group Nyura Hakobyan underscored that they have opened a part of an Arab structure. Also, a residential zone has been opened in the Southern pyramid of the archeological site (11-13 centuries).
Dvin was a large commercial city and the capital of early medieval Armenia. It was situated north of the previous ancient capital of Armenia, the city of Artaxata, along the banks of the Metsamor River, 35 km to the south of modern Yerevan. The site of the ancient city is currently not much more than a large hill located between modern Hnaberd (just off the main road through Hnaberd) and Verin Dvin, Armenia. Systematic excavations at Dvin that have proceeded since 1937 have produced an abundance of materials, which have shed light into the Armenian culture of the 5th to the 13th centuries.
Dvin was the birthplace of Najm ad-Din Ayyub and Asad ad-Din Shirkuh bin Shadhi, Kurdish generals in the service of the Seljuks; Najm ad-Din Ayyub's son, Saladin, was the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. Saladin was born in Tikrit, Iraq, but his family had originated from the ancient city of Dvin.
The excavations of Tigranakert of Artsakh will start on June 25 this year and will continue until August 20. Hamlet Petrsyan, the head of the archeological expedition group, mentioned in a conversation with Armenpress that the excavations of the Antic District of Tigranakert will continue this year. “New tombs are discovered, we’ll try to excavate them. We will also continue to open the 180-meter-open gate,” he said.
Petrosyan – giving importance to cooperation with archeological institutions of different countries mentioned that negotiations are going on with two European universities. “23 million AMD was allocated by the government of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh for realizing excavations. Bako Sahakyan – President of Artsakh - assigned to buy us a home for which we are very glad as we do not have our own abode here,” – Petrosyan said. The archeologist says that 4 brigades will work on the excavations. The excavation group will consist of 14-16 people. “This year we will try to create a new museum exhibition. We want to extend the previous exhibition of the museum which has about 35.000 visitors per year. The work on the book “The Monument and the Society in Tigranakert of Artsakh” is also going on. We will introduce in the book not only the results of the excavations but also the public approach towards the monument as activities in Tgranakert are not only academic activity for us,” – he said.
Article by Ani Danielyan