Archive for the ‘Armenian Archeology’ Category

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[Armenian Archeology]: Karahunj.

September 20, 2010

By Levon Lachikyan

With a history stretching back farther than the pyramids, the stones of Karahunj near the town of Sisian in Southern Armenia, is considered by both Armenian and foreign archeologists alike to be one of the ancient astronomy centers of the world. For years, parallels have been drawn between Karahunj and England’s Stonehenge.

Recently, Vachagan Vahradyan, biologist, adviser and chief scientist of the 2010 Armenian-British “Stones and Stars” expedition, summarized his latest research, reporting that Karahunj is older than its previously thought 3,800 years, and that it is in fact 7,000 years old.

During a recent press conference he quoted Heinrich Schliemann, an excavator of ruins of the famed city of Troy by saying, “For Europe, the tragedy was to choose as the basis of its civilization the ancient Greek culture and not the ancient culture of Armenia.”

One of the brilliant examples of Armenia’s leadership as an ancient civilization is its ancient religious complex Portasar, located in Turkey. By drawing parallels between photos, stone shapes and galaxies, Vahradyan believes that the stones of these monuments appear to be a continuation of each other.

Months ago, Vahradyan presented these studies to Oxford University professors. They were received with great enthusiasm and interest. This September, a delegation of scientists from Oxford visits Armenia for a two-week expedition.

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[Armenian Archaeology]: Uncovering Armenia’s Past in Tigranakert.

August 2, 2010

Excavations and findings from the mountainous Tigranakert are now on display at the archaeological museum in Aghdam.

The city of Tigranakert was an ancient Armenian territory built on the landing of today’s mountainous Karabakh under the rule of King Tigran the Great in the 1st century B.C. It was once part of the Armenian empire and competed with Rome for political strength. The city now lies in the abandoned and disputed buffer zones of Karabakh, near the borders of Azerbejian. Findings heighten today’s tensions over historical possession of the territory between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. With modern politics coming into play, the ruins of Tigranakert remain as a testament to the strong Armenian presence in the area. FAR intern Samantha with the ruins of Tigranakert

Among the artifacts on display is a supposed dish made of clay with “My, Vache, the slave of God” etched into the side. Excavators at the site also uncovered tower walls dating to the Hellenic period and the remains of a 7th century Armenian Church. FAR’s Young Professionals had the opportunity to visit the site this year.

The exhibition opened its doors to the public on June 8th.

For more information, continue reading here.

FAR intern Samantha
at the ruins of Tigranakert

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Credit: Samantha McQueen

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[Armenian Archeology]: Winemaking Finds its Roots in Armenia and Georgia.

June 25, 2010

By Samantha McQueen

Winemaking was a popular practice of the ancients and remains significant in the modern world. We drink wine at parties, with dinner, and even for religious purposes. The Director of the Molecular Archaeology Lab at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Patrick E. McGovern, claims that he can trace the first winemakers back to modern-day Armenia and Georgia. In his book Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture, he studies archaeological remains in the region to date the drink’s earliest production. McGovern is interested in the tartaric acid that wine leaves behind when stored in ceramic pottery. The first pots containing this acid were dated back to Armenian lands 8,000 years ago.

McGovern found that production moved south and made its way down to Thebes in today’s Greece by the year 1400 B.C. It is still unclear how the actual process of winemaking was discovered, but it is clear the ancient occupants of Georgia and Armenia are responsible for one of the most lasting traditions over numerous cultures, old and new.

In 1994, FAR, alongside Peace Corps volunteers, helped to open one of the most successful wineries in Areni, Armenia. The factory has expanded over the past decade and is now a full wine factory.

For more information on McGovern’s research, continue reading here.

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Credit: Lou Bueno via Creative Commons / Flickr