ArmInfo. The grave of two people, probably a couple - a man and a woman, in which the remains of three gold necklaces were discovered, was examined in Metsamor in Armenia by a Polish-Armenian team of archaeologists. It comes from the times when Ramesses II ruled Egypt.
Metsamor is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Armenia, located several dozen kilometers west of Yerevan.
It was a box grave. This means that the two skeletons were found in chambers sunk into the ground and framed by large stones. Researchers also found the remains of a wooden burial bed.
Archaeologists described that the bones were well preserved. Both skeletons had slightly shrunken legs. Preliminary estimates show that the couple died at the age of 30-40.
"The death of these people is a mystery to us, we do not know the cause, but everything indicates that they died simultaneously, because there are no traces of the reopening of the tomb" - told PAP the head of the research, Prof. Krzysztof Jakubiak from the Faculty of Archeology of the University of Warsaw. It is a joint project of the Center of Mediterranean Archeology of the University of Warsaw and the Department of Antiquities and Protection of National Heritage of Armenia. On the Armenian side, the project is headed by prof. Ashot Piliposian.
Prof. Jakubiak believes that this is a unique find, because the grave has not been robbed and is very richly equipped.
The tomb dates from the late Late Bronze Age (1300-1200 BC). It was around this time that the famous pharaoh Ramesses II the Great ruled in Egypt. Inside the tomb, archaeologists found over a hundred beads and gold pendants. Some of them look a bit like Celtic crosses. There were also dozens of carnelian pendants.
"Probably all these elements made up three necklaces" - believes Prof. Jacob.
The grave also contained a dozen or so complete ceramic vessels and a unique faience flask. However, it is not of local production. It was brought from the Syrian-Mesopotamian borderland, scientists have determined.
Prof. Jakubiak said that so far about 100 graves have been examined in the huge necropolis, which is probably about 100 hectares, but only a few of them have not been looted.
According to scientists, the graves in this cemetery had the form of burial mounds - stone boxes were covered with a large amount of earth. However, almost no trace of the embankments has survived to our times.
Archaeologists do not know who at that time - in the second half of the 2nd millennium - lived in Metsamor. The people who inhabited the large, fortified settlement there were not literate, so they left no texts. This makes it difficult for scientists to identify it.
"But it was a great settlement. Even fortifications made of huge stone blocks have survived to our times, encircling the so-called the citadel. At the end of the 2nd millennium BC, there was no settlement in the region that could be compared in terms of rank and size" - believes Prof. Jacob.
Metsamor is a protected archaeological site with the status of an archaeological reserve. Excavations in its area have been carried out since 1965.
In its heyday from the 4th to the 2nd millennium BC, the settlement occupied over 10 hectares and was surrounded by cyclopean walls. During the early Iron Age from the 11th to 9th centuries, Metsamor grew to nearly 100 hectares. The central part in the form of a fortress was surrounded by temple complexes with seven sanctuaries. At that time, it was one of the most important cultural and political centers in the Araks valley. The place was continuously inhabited until the 17th century.
From the 8th century BC, Metsamor was part of the kingdom of Urarat - the biblical kingdom of Ararat. The conquest was made by King Argishti I. It was during his reign that the borders of the state were extended to Transcaucasia, to the area of today's Yerevan. Polish archaeologists discovered the damage from this period in previous years.
The last research season took place in September and October 2022. Poles have been excavating in Metsamor since 2013 under an agreement with the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia and the Ministry of Culture of Armenia.