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Armenian Architecture

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Armenia is one of the world's oldest countries. Numerous monuments of art, especially of architecture, which have survived on the country’s territory far beyond the limits of the Armenian upland, the high artistic merits distinguishing these monuments, their rare beauty and profound distinctiveness have long attracted the attention of researchers. and, especially, men of art — architects, artists and art critics. Lucy Der Manuelian is one of the foremost scholars of Medieval Armenian Architecture and is a distinguished professor of Armenian Art at Tufts University.

The architectural heritage of the Armenian people has not been brought out in full; the best studied are the monuments on the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Being a multi-sided and complicated sphere of material and spiritual culture, ancient architecture reflects better than other fields of human activities the degree of development, the destiny, the everyday life and the national traditions of the peoples who lived on the territory of the Armenian upland for millenia.

Preserved in Armenia are architectural monuments, valuable for studying the sources of the development of world architecture, the compositional principles of which have come to underlie various public and especially religious buildings in many foreign countries — in Western Europe, in particular.

Monuments of paleolithic, neolithic, as well as ancient settlements have been found in various parts of the country. Among the numerous megalithic monuments, special mention must be made of Talish and Koshun-dasha mengirs, Oshakana and Sisiana dolmens and cromlechs (circular and rectangular), as well as dragon vkhaps — stone totems of the gods who were believed to be the patrons of agriculture and cattlebreeding.

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