– The mysterious kingdom of Urartu does still hold many ancient secrets. The kingdom’s beginnings are lost in the mists of pre-history, but before it was destroyed, Urartu was situated in Eastern Turkey, Iran and the modern Armenian Republic.
In ancient times the kingdom of Urartu was known under a variety of different names. The Assyrians called it Urartu and the Hebrews referred to it as Ararat, and in more modern times it has been named Kingdom of Van.
Very little is known about this ancient place and the origins of its people. Who were they? Where did they come from? The earliest documentary mention of the land of Urartu can be found in Assyrian sources.
Based on what we know, the people of Urartu were famous metalworkers, spoke a language that was related to Hurrian (a language that has no other known connections), and they adapted the Assyrian cuneiform script for their own purposes.
Inhabitants of the Urartu kingdom were skilled craftsmen and produced extraordinary ancient jewelry. Techniques used for ornamenting jewelry that were used by the Urartian Kingdom nearly 3,000 years ago are still in practice in the sector even though technology has dramatically changed. The Urartians used metals like gold, silver, copper, lead and iron in various forms of jewelry. In addition, 20 types of semi-precious stones were used in the jewelry.
Discovered artifacts help to piece together the enigmatic history of the Urartu kingdom.
In Gegharkunik region of Armenia, several intriguing archaeological finds have been unearthed and the ancient objects stand out in terms of their form and preparation method.
Some of these ancient artifacts are a red, polished jug-cup with two lugs, an ancient clay bawl, two large oval agate beads, engraved inserts made of animal vertebrae bones, remains of iron daggers and spears and some others are of paramount importance. The anthropological and animal remains make up a large part of the findings.
“We received a call from the Geological Museum of Gegharkunik noting that the villagers have accidentally come across archaeological findings during the construction works, however they could not manage to acquire the important materials due to the lack of funds.
We headed to the scene to study the area to find out that a mausoleum of Urartian period had really been discovered near the cemetery in Hatsarat village of Gavar.
Following the talks the inhabitant who had discovered the archaeological findings agreed to completely hand it over to the Protection Service SNCO,” Deputy of the SNCO’s Director on scientific works, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Ashot Piliposyan said.
The remains of the human beings are of great importance.
“Human and animal bones have been found out in the mausoleum. The current study shows that they belonged to five adults four of whom were men. It is already clear that those men have suffered spine diseases.
We have launched the activities of joining the bones which will be followed by skull restoration, which is the most difficult part as the skull bones are crushed. The skull studies will reveal the death causes of those people,” SNCO’s archaeologist Hasmik Simonyan said.
The objects will be cleaned and restored to later be displayed as part of Metsamor Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve’s permanent exhibition of Urartian era.