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Mysteries of Armenia

Armenian Clay

072_2_takyr_koluchka01The Ararat Valley brackish areas are still famous for their dry and cracked deserts. They are known as clay takyrs in geomorphology. They were formed in parallel with salification. Soft, loose and sedimentary clay piled on the salt grounds of the plain. Takyrs present a frequent sight in the Armavir Desert. Unlike great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Armenia has never been the culture where the construction material predetermined traditions. However, Armenian clay has been famous since ancient times and in this respect, it resembles the history of salt that was believed to have been mined in prehistoric times. It was Armenia where salt paved its way from. The European alchemists frequently made references to sal armeniacum and another legendary alchemist Vassiliy Valentin, who hydrochloric acid and aqua-regia are attributed to, used Armenian salt in his experiments. As for Armenian clay, in Ancient Greece and Rome it was called bolus armenia. Galen and Theophrastus wrote about its healing powers. In the Middle Age Moslem East clay was known as gil ermeni and had a high value. Avicenna made constant references to it in his works.

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