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Mysteries of Armenia

The Dormant Giant

101_3About 10 million years ago in the central part of the Armenian plateau a new volcano rose, approximately 3500 m in height. It was trapezoid-shaped and though its flat summit resembled the cone of Mt Kilimanjaro, its lava consistence was different. The volcano grew due to the colossal magma amounts it erupted. About 5 million years ago, a new summit appeared, already cone-shaped. Later, a cupola rose over the cone. The mountain was doomed to dominate the whole plateau and to symbolize Armenia. The present image of Great Ararat is over 3,5 million year old. The height of the volcano has caused may disputes for a long time. In 1829, Professor Parrot from Dorpat University (present Tartu University) and the Armenian writer Kh. Abovian recorded it to be 5280 m. According to the expert in geography, Kh. Khodzko the volcano is 5156 m in height, a figure, which is likely to be found in many publications and on separate maps. Later P. Guru stated the height of the volcano to be 5200 m. However, in the first part of the 20th century some maps recorded the height of the volcano to be 5604 m. The more exact measurement of 5165 m above sea level is considered to have been made by the French alpinists during the shoot in 1952.

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