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Tigranakert excavations

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Excavations of the ancient site of Tigranakert have been underway for a few years now, with massive stone building foundations and ruins being unearthed, as well as many relics. Many of the relics are on display by the site inside of the Shakhbulag Fortress.

Among the various monuments meeting in the opposite side of Vankasar a speacial place occupy the grave-stones and khachkars covered with high-reliefs and unharmed medieval writings. Every person, who at least once has been here, certainly remembers the more than hundreds of gravestones of remarkable Armenian Ornament art. They are stoney laces, ingenious engravings on hard stones and are the works of celebrated masters of Artsakh. The ancient monuments are buried under earth and occupy a large territory. This old place is Tigranakert town of Artsakh.

It's known from history that Armenian Tigran Second king (95-55bc) had four Tigranakerts built after his name. The largest one of them was built in Aghdznik, which was to become Armenia's capital, surpassing Artashat, but had an unsuccessful end. The other towns of the same name were built in Artsakh, Goghtan region and Utik world. It's noteworthy that the first one of these four Tigranakerts was built in Artsakh (in 90's bc). We should certainly think that Tigranakert was the oldest town of Artsakh-Gharabagh. Unfortunately our historians haven't informed anything about Garabagh's first town, save its name, which existed around 1000 years. In 10c Artsakh's Tigranakert was already destroyed.

The silver coin with Tigran's picture, iron arrowes and sambres, clay vessels and shoes exhibited in historico-geological museum of Gharabagh region were found in these areaa. Besides that, the "Tkrakert" name saved in Khachenian language till this day is Tigranakart's perverse version, which is given to those ruins about which was spoken above.

The next group of historico-architerctural monuments refers to the late, especially developed Bronze Age, by which are rich as this ancient place, so the whole mountain area. Thse monuments that contain priceless materials about the prehistorical society, its social economical and political connections, sice 90's of 19c became an object of long-lasting examinations for Shushi's not-classical college's teacher Emil Ryosler and precepter Khachik Dadyan. In different periods the area's archeological monuments were also examined by arechologists R. Virkov, A. Ivanovski, S. Ter-Avetisyan, K. Kushnaryova, N. Minkevich-Mustafayeva and others. However the archeologists excavated mostly in the central part of the region- in Karkar and Khachen rivers middle streams, in the surroundings of Arajadzor, Khojalu, Stepanakert settlements, but the other tens of not less valuable ancient places need examination.

The Bronze Age monuments as grave-hills are placed in groups either along the streams of rivers or by the sides of old roads. Their spreading belt starts from Gharabagh valley (approximately from north-western sides of present Yevlakh, Barda, Aghdam, Fizuli towns) and stretches towards the depths of Lernayin Gharabagh, occasionally in tunnels, in valleys of Tartar, Khachen and Ishkhanik rivers- one towards Sevan basin, the other towards Syunik. Most part of the grave-hills is situated in the premountain part of the area. So, in Martakert territory there are 15 grave-hills, 8 of which are situated next to each other on one line. Not far from that grave-hills, near the Shah-Bulagh or old Artsakhian Tigranakert's ruins, along the roads start small groups of grave-hills, which end with a huge grave-hill.

These ancient monuments, as well as the settlements of Artsakh haven't yet been archeologically examined, say for instance the remainders of Tigranakert settlement's ruins, for by their source study information to have some idea about the far past of an important region's town of eastern Armenia.



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