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Ancient Armenia

The rocky mountains, stones, and caves of Armenia are covered with petroglyphs. The drawings on these stones and walls tell of everyday life and traditions of the ancient citizens of the mountainous highlands.

The State of Urartu, Ararat Kingdom

The Armenian people are one of the most ancient peoples of the world. The historical homeland of the Armenian people is the Armenian Highlands. The Armenians themselves call themselves hay, and the country is Hayastan. In the first Millennium BC Assyrian cuneiform mention the state of Urartu, covering the entire vast territory Armenian highlands. The state of Urartu (Ararat Kingdom) has reached a high level of civilization and left behind itself rich cultural heritage. It was at this time that the construction of the fortress of Erebuni (782 BC), one of numerous fortifications of the ancient kingdom, which gave the name of the modern capital of Armenia - Yerevan.


Lands of Great and Lesser Armenia

After Urartu, the Armenian kingdom was created, and in 189 BC an independent state was formed, united the lands of Great and Lesser Armenia. The apogee of its power the Great Armenia reached during the reign of Tigran the Great in the I century. BC.  Extensive Empire Stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from the Mesopotamia Tigris and the Euphrates to the foothills of the Greater Caucasus. According to the testimony of the Greek geographer-historian Strabo (1st century BC), all the people who inhabited the Armenian Highlands, spoke the same language. The capital of Armenia, Artashat, was compared by the great ancient author Plutarch with Carthage. He wrote about the beauty and glory of this city, which was on the Silk Road and was, in a way, a trading bridge between East and West.


Zorats-Karer, the "Armenian Stonehenge"

In Armenia, there are several historical monuments that are actual evidence of the history of the Armenian nation and culture. One of them is the megalithic complex "Zorats-Karer" (another name is Karaunj). This is a prehistoric complex located in Armenia, not far from the city of Sisian. This famous megalithic structure consists of hundreds of Armenia vertically arranged two-meter stones - menhirs, located in the upper part of through holes. Armenians call this the "Armenian Stonehenge". The menhirs stretched from the south to the north.

Until now, the age of this ancient monument is unknown. The opinions of scientists on this issue have differed. Some say that Karaundzh was built not later than the 3rd millennium BC, and they also believe that the building was erected in the 4th millennium BC, while others came to the conclusion that the age of the complex is about 7500 years.  But regardless of the age, Zorats-Karer impresses with its appearance: on the plateau, among the high mountains, 300 vertical megaliths rise. The stones are arranged in the form of two rings. Located in the centre of the ring contains 40 stones that form an ellipse.  There are several assumptions over the cult or astronomical purpose of the monument.  The name of the structure is translated as "warrior stones," although its designation was not military at all. In total, four expeditions were undertaken to study mysterious stones. As a result of the study, scientists came to the conclusion that Karaundzh at least not younger than Stonehenge or the Egyptian pyramids. And he had several appointments. First, Zorats-Karer, which is an ancient observatory, because the holes in the stones will allow us to make fairly accurate calculations and correspond to the position of the stars in the sky. Secondly, it was the temple of the sun god Ara. The foregoing premises about the cult significance of the monument, there used to be a large dolmen, which served as a burial and sanctuary, since a stone box and a burial place were found in the mound.

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