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Arghishtihinili

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The excavated remains of Arghishtihinili (Ancient Armavir) spread over two volcanic hills and the intervening ridge which rise out of the river plain. Site of an Armenian capital city in antiquity, the ruins are now a series of low stone walls and decaying mudbrick, strewn with ancient pottery fragments and the occasional ancient coin. On the S edge of Nor Armavir, a paved road runs E to the unprepossessing chapel and pilgrimage site of S. Davit, rebuilt in 1833 on a foundation of ancient boulders. The entire ridge above the church is occupied by the massive walls of the Urartian city of Argishtihinili, founded ca. 776 BC by Argishti I, who added the Arax valley and much of the rest of modern Armenia to his empire based near Lake Van. A cuneiform inscription discovered at the site says, "For the greatness of god Khaldi, Argishti son of Menua, speaks. I built a majestic fortress and gave it a name from my own, Argishtihinili. The earth was wilderness: nothing was built there. Out of the rivers I built four canals; the vineyards and the orchards were divided. I accomplished many heroic deeds there." There are still substantial remains of mud brick walls visible in the scarp, and an ample scattering of potsherds, some decorated, from the Iron Age to the Late Medieval period.

Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook




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