advanced search

History of Yerevan: view from Shengavit archaeological site


This year Yerevan has marked the 2803rd anniversary of its foundation. And how old is the settlement on which Yerevan was founded?
“There is some delusion that the history of Yerevan starts from Erebuni. However, it should be marked that it is the written history of Yerevan that starts from Erebuni, and there is a whole culture in the world history that is called Shengavit culture which spread from the North Caucasus to Palestine and a part of Iran. In fact, the Kura-Araxes culture used to be in this area and imagine our ancestors living here 5000 years ago. Moreover, here one can find certain grounds of urbanization”, mentioned the director of the historical and archaeological reserve-museum “Erebuni” Mikael Badalyan.
According to archaeologist Hakob Simonyan, this culture spreads over the territory of 15 modern countries and its centre is Shangavit in Yerevan.
The monument was discovered in 1930 by eminent Armenian archaeologist Evgeni Bayburdyan. Unfortunately, a part of the monument was destroyed during the construction of the hospital and became possible to save only a small fragment where excavations were started and are still going on. The findings are sent to restoration and the fragments are gradually collected into a whole item.
About 1500 findings are exhibited in the museum located in the area.
There are very rare samples in the collection such as 6000-year-old wheat, a fully preserved hearth, a human skull restored from fragments found in the mausoleum.
“DNA analysis testifies that an Armenian woman lived in this area 7000 years ago. Thus, we can state that we are people formed from local, autochthon tribe”, stressed Hakob Simonyan.
During the excavations carried out in 2012 a construction was discovered – a fire temple- in which a three-lever entrance, a prayer hall, even a sacrificial altar were preserved. This year the excavations will be restarted. Archaeologists’ viewpoint is that the excavations will make it possible to restore the temple completely.
Mikael Badalyan claims that Shengavit can become a visiting card for Yerevan.

Photo gallery

Alternative content

Get Adobe Flash player