NKR: Archeologists Discovered Ancient Town Of Tigranakert

ARCHEOLOGISTS DISCOVERED ANCIENT TOWN OF TIGRANAKERT

Azat Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh Republic [NKR]
22 Aug 2006

Over the past few years the area lying 30 km from Martakert, NKR is
pointed to as the place of Tigranakert, one of the towns founded by
the Armenian King Tigran the Great (95-55 BC). After the excavations
in this area there are no doubts. An expedition of the Institute of
Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences and
Yerevan State University funded by Yerkir Union of NGOs dug a 30 m part
of the wall and part of the citadel, colored ceramic objects, fragments
of a flask and a bead. Tigranakert was surrounded by a 5 m-wide wall,
the stones are white, joined by dovetail, and even the knife would
not pass through these stones. After Artashat and Armavir no similar
buildings were discovered to the east of the Caspian Sea. Tigranakert
lasted until the 14th century, the invasions of Mongols. On the other
side of the wall houses were located. "There was a settlement, but it
could be a small village. It seemed that we would find little. On the
first day we chose two stones, dug, we found some things but nothing
of importance. We went on searching and on the very first day we found
out that the two stones were parallel. Then we discovered that the
side of the hill is covered with buildings," says Hamlet Petrosyan,
senior researcher of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography
of Armenia. "They needed to put large stones on one another to have
an even fundament for the wall. If we restore it ideally, it will be
something like the terraced gardens of Babylon, because the stone used
here was white and in the ancient world marble was something ideal,
this was a white town, even the town of Aghdam which was founded much
later means "a white house," says the archeologist. He says the town
used to have a drainage system. "We need to continue the excavations in
several parts to reconstruct the structure of the town. It should have
had a population of 50-60 thousand. Building such a town by slaves
would take 10 years," says the archeologist Haik Hakobian, Yerevan
State University. By the initial findings of excavations this is the
town founded by King Tigran. The early Christian Armenian church,
which is on the other side of the mountain and dates back to the 4-5
centuries, and the khachkars show that the early Christian culture
began and lasted here until the 14 century. In the upcoming months
a booklet will be published with the pictures of objects discovered
during the excavations.

KARIN GRIGORIAN.
22-08-2006

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