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Cave of Yerevan

Due to favourable climatic conditions the Armenian Highlands was one of the most ancient centers of people’s settlement and the culture created by them. The cultural values discovered in the area of Hayk give an opportunity to study the period of mankind history development beginning from the ancient stone-age period (about 1 million years ago). A number of cultural values of the Low Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic periods were found in our Highlands (Mount Artin, Mount Aragats, Arzni).
 
The archaeological excavations revealed that the areas including the middle flows of the Hrazdan are reach with ancient stone-age monuments of culture. In the 1960-70s significant discoveries were made in the Yerevan bank of the Hrazdan: terns of caves were discovered which used to be settled from the earliest period of mankind history (early ancient age). The caves-settlements of the Hrazdan gorge lying between the settlements of Yerevan and Arzni are outstanding. They are known as Yerevan-1, Yerevan-2, Zovuni, Lusakert and others. A rich stone-age cultural collection was discovered in the Yerevan-1 cave (Mustier period). Various  tools made of obsidian, flint, basalt and jasper were found here and their number excels 2500. The cave was a long way from the sources of the raw materials and the found materials (ready samples, debris, pieces) testify that the settlement used to be a “workshop” of pre-historic hunters- stone-masons. In the center of the shanty found in the settlement there used to be a hearth which is of about 48000 years old. The bones of rhinoceros, bear, elk, wild ox (they were studied by zoologist Sona Mezhlumyan).
In the cave Amo-1 in the Hrazdan gorge the traces of Man’s activity belong to the late stone- age period. They were studied by archaeologist H. Azizyan. 4 cultural layers were found in the cave: from its square a large manual obsidian cutter of Asher period made in high technique and well-preserved was found. This  Upper Paleolithic layer is also significant as together with tools there was found a well-preserved skeleton of the cave inhabitant. The bones of the skeleton were covered with black manganese dendriform traces and some bones were fossilized. The skull was restored by professor A. Chagharyan.
In the right corner of the cave, in 1,1 m depth begins an early Iron Age layer of 0,5 width which goes back to the late 2nd millennium  BC. A hearth made of pebble-stone and the pottery characterized this period were discovered here as well.
So, the districts adjacent to the Hrazdan river are those areas where mankind history rose and continued for thousands of years.
 
Anzhela Teryan
The head of the division of Ancient and Medieval History of the Yerevan History Museum