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Mysteries of Armenia

Mysterious Origin

062_2_araratskiy_vulkanicheskiy_masivIt might seem today that the volcanic massif of Mt Ararat has always been double-peaked. Yet, its modern image was finally formed only 150 thousand years ago. The direct distance between the two peaks is 12 km. The slopes merge at the height of 2400–2550 m. Nevertheless, the notion of modern image is slightly conventional as even in historical (recorded) times the relief of the massif suffered significant changes. Intense eruptions on Mt Ararat caused the formation of new volcanoes, such as the Kinchel peak northwest of the massif. A severe earthquake in 139 BC brought about the formation of a huge precipice on the eastern slope of Great Ararat, which can easily be observed even at a distance. That earthquake was described by Ptholomeus and was later on mentioned in the works of great historiographer of the 5th century, Movses Khorenatsi. The canyon is over 2000 m deep. The earthquakes entailed many interpretations and legends. Episcope Ephrem of Edessa put forward a hypothesis that it was precisely due to one of them that the mountain split up into two peaks in 341.

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