Orontid Armenia, Yervaduni

Armavir Location

Capitals of Armenia



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Author: Smbat Minasyan - E-mail

Ancient ArmavirArmavir was inhabited from the 5th-6th millennium BC onwards. Ancient Armavir was located  not far from modern villages of Armavir, Ailavan and Jrashen of Hoktemberian region.

Urartian inscriptions tell us that in 776, that is 6 years after the foundation of Erebuni, king Argishti built a new city- Argishtikhinili (Armavir), one citadel of which was situated on the east hill, and the other- on the west (on the hill of Surb David).

 Various obsidian instruments, bronze objects and pottery have been found from that place. In the beginning of IV BC Argishtikhinili was awfully devastated. The signs of violence and fire can be easily seen. The town fell into decline, and the water-supply system broke down. Only in the eastern part of Argishtikhinili life normalized little by little.

When Akhemanid’s power fell under the blow of Alexander Makedonski ‘s army, the ruler of the country Yervand proclaimed himself the king of Armenia and constructed a capital city in Armavir. The Urartian defensive wall and the buildings were still good and could be used.

Gold medallion from  Armavir

Gold medallion from  Armavir

As a palace complex for kings of the Yervandid dynasty became a many-roomed building on the eastern slope of the hill. The Urartian temple then is reconstructed and made the king’s temple of Sun and Moon. In order to fortify the entry to the temple from the north-west side, a half-rounded turret is built down the slope, the stones of which are connected with each other by iron clamps which have the form of swallow’s tail.

In the West side of the fortress between the two fortress’ walls lived rather modest people, the foundations of whose houses still remain.

At the southern foot of the hill on two rocky blocks king Yervand ordered Greek inscriptions, which give an account of political matters at the end of III BC, the worship of the God of the Sun in Armavir, and the innovations of the Hellenistic world

Owing to the change of course of the river to the south Yervand moved his capital city to his newly founded city Yervandashat, situated by the Akhuryan and Araks rivers confluence. But life still went on in Armavir. The eloquence - evidence of which are the beautiful examples of painted ceramics, metal agricultural implements and weapons, fragments of stony dishes, and clay statues. The town itself stretched till the rocky mountain ridge, situated west of present Armavir.

A king’s farmstead???? of Hellenistic times was founded here, the dwelling houses of which were heated by fire-places, and in the agricultural side of the buildings they had a special place for pressing the vine, and other agricultural implements.

Life in the town little by little died away in the beginning of AD. Armavir was already an abandoned fortress in king Arshak’s time (IV AD). Life returned here in the middle of the century.

During Bagratid’s power a small settlement existed with its own dwellings and agricultural halls, which functioned till the Mongols’ invasions, after which the hill was consigned to oblivion.







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