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 Tuesday, March 19 2024 14:56
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Findings of Armenian-German expedition shed new light on various  processes ancient capital of Armenian Kingdom, Artashat

Findings of Armenian-German expedition shed new light on various  processes ancient capital of Armenian Kingdom, Artashat

ArmInfo. The data obtained by the Armenian-German expedition sheds new light on various cultural,  economic and political processes taking place in the ancient capital of the Armenian Kingdom, Artashat.  

According to the press service of the National Academy of Sciences of  the Republic of Armenia, scientists from the Institute of Archeology  and Ethnography of the National Academy of the Republic of Armenia ,  together with colleagues from Germany's  Munster University, obtained  new data about the ancient capital Artashat during excavations. They  shed light on the various cultural, economic and political processes  that took place in the capital of ancient Armenia, revealing the  extensive trade connections of this famous center of the Silk Road  and details of its political and cultural role in the Middle East.   "Since 2018, within the framework of the Armenian-German Artaxata  Project, Hills XIII and XVII of the ancient capital Artashat and the  territory of the monument have been studied. A geophysical survey of  about 40 hectares of the city was carried out, after which the  following were excavated: a sanctuary dated 2nd-1st centuries BC on  the Hill XIII, residential complexes of the 1st century BC and 1st  century AD, as well as a number of tombs were excavated.

Along the northern slopes of the Hill for about 0.5 km, unique for  our region, Roman aqueducts - a massive foundation for drainage  systems bridge were discovered. On the plain south of the Hill, two  parts of a monumental Urartian public structure with an area of more  than 500 sq.m. have been studied.  Excavations of the XVII Hill,  which began in 2023, have revealed the ruins of industrial and  residential complexes dating from the 1st century BC and the 1st  century AD, as well as a monumental tiled structure of the 2nd-3rd  centuries with charred logs of wooden flooring on the floor, the  study of which will continue in the near future," said the head of  the expedition, head of the archeology department of the Institute of  Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of the Republic of  Armenia  Mkrtich Zardaryan.  The third capital of ancient Armenia,  following Armavir and Yervandashat, Artashat was founded in 180 BC,  under Artashes I. It functioned as the political, economic and  cultural center of the country until the mid-5th century AD.

The core of the main development of the city is located in the area  of the villages of Lusarat and Pokr Vedi in the Ararat region of the  Republic of Armenia, on the 17 hills of Khor Virap (Upper City) and  on the adjacent plain, right up to the coast of the Araks (Lower  City), with a total area of about 600 hectares. The archaeological  site of Artashat with its suburbs and burial grounds occupies a  significant part of the plain between the villages of Lusarat - Pokr  Vedi - Taperakan - Shiraz, covering an area of about 3000 hectares.   Employees of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the  National Academy of the Republic of Armenia  have been conducting  excavations in Artashat since 1970. According to archaeological data,  the settlement of the territory of Artashat began in the 5th  millennium BC. In the early Iron Age (XI-IX centuries BC) a large  settlement functioned here, and immediately after its destruction - a  large Urartian city. After the heyday of the ancient era (II century  AD - V century BC), life on the territory of the monument continued  until the 15th century AD.

"Five monographs and about a hundred articles published in Armenia  and abroad are devoted to the results of Artashat's research," said  Mkrtich Zardaryan.

He noted that, despite its exceptional significance in the history  and culture of Armenia, the current state of preservation of this  monument is alarming.

"Its field parts are constantly being destroyed by agriculture,  construction and sand mining. The hillside is thoroughly disturbed by  the ever-growing Khor Virap cemetery. Of particular concern is  treasure hunting, which has intensified in recent years, resulting in  the constant destruction of areas of the city,"  said Mkrtich  Zardaryan. 

According to him, proper protection of Artashat as one of the ancient  monuments can be ensured by including its main area, 17 hills and the  adjacent plain in the archaeological reserve, properly controlling  this status. 

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