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Mysteries of Armenia

The Bastion

74

Very few cities in the world possess documentary evidence of their own origin. The thirteenth capital city of Armenia, however, is one of them. In 1879, an inhabitant of Erivan came across a basalt stone with cuneiform in the foothills of Arin-Berd, which immediately attracted specialists’ attention. Archaeological excavations revealed a stunning bastion with fortress walls and temples, granaries and storage rooms, residential areas and military quarters. On October 25, 1950, archaeologists found cuneiform text inscribed on basalt steles. This made it possible to establish the fact that the monument under consideration was the Erebuni Fortress, which had been built by one of the greatest monarchs of Ararat, Argishti I. Thus, they managed to ascertain not only the etymology of the Armenian capital, but also its age. According to Khorkoruni chronicle, the king founded Erebuni in his fifth year on the throne, which is 783–782 BC. Argishti I, the son of Menua, who reigned over the country for more than twenty years, was an excellent warrior and the most influential ruler of the time. Under his reign, the country became one of the most powerful monarchies of the ancient world. Even the pathetic Assyrian inscriptions depicted the King with expressions demonstrating badly disguised fear: “Argishti, a Urartian, whose name is as fearful as a tempest, and whose power is extensive…”

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