Archaeological finds in Armenia can lead to sensational discoveries of global importance
The sensational finds of Armenian archaeologists, scientists, and the need for the world view of the phenomenon of Armenian civilization in an exclusive interview with “arch Style” said the Director of the Institute of archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a member-correspondent of NAS Pavel Avetisyan. Mr. Avetisyan, the year 2014 was quite a landmark for Armenia in terms of archaeological discoveries. Could you elaborate on the uniqueness discovered during the excavation of the finds?
Avetisyan – 2014 year entered the history of Armenian archaeology due to the numerous finds discovered during excavations. According to the results of one of them can be argued about beyond Armenian studies. We are talking about the discovery during the excavations in the Hrazdan gorge stone tools belonging to prehistoric man. The age of these guns, when processing using a bifacial and Levallois technology has replaced it, is 325-330 thousands of years. It is noteworthy that until now it was thought that the type of late Homo Erectus or early Homo Sapiens emerged in Africa and then spread across the planet. This man learned in Africa stone processing, ispolzovalsya technique, which replaced the more primitive a bifacial, which is then distributed throughout its distribution area.
Previously, wherever in Asia or in the territory of Eurasia would not have found the stones treated with the use of Levallois technique, immediately said it was a late Homo Erectus or early Homo Sapiens, who came here from Africa. During excavations in the nor Geghi (near Hrazdan gorge) we found out that these guns were introduced in an earlier period than the one date was found in Africa guns.
Moreover, all the data speak in favor of the fact that this technology has not been imported, and developed on the spot. That is, dominant to this day a point of view about the geographical distribution of the prehistoric man from Africa can be questioned. There is also another hypothesis about the origin and geographical distribution of the prehistoric man. Now need to find similar monuments and artifacts that confirm the hypothesis put forward by us. This suggests that there is another version of the colonization of planet Earth, in addition to traditional.
– What else do you remember 2014 in terms of a breakthrough in archaeology?
Avetisyan – every year We get very interesting information from Artashat. During our excavations, archaeologists discovered a Church there, the ruins of the public baths, and other buildings. We continue to find official seals, which were fastened letters, letters that indicate the existence in the city archives. Print these belong to the III-V centuries, the period of the Sassanids. This print depicting the kings. Each of them is priceless, and we have already found around 800 samples.
In 2014 was made 43 field research programs, most of which was associated with the restoration of monuments. It is very important that the government, realizing the importance of our work, gave us the means to parallel with the excavation, we began the restoration and beautification of monuments, in particular in the Western Dvina river. Previously we excavated objects are again gradually covered with earth, were preserved. This year, we will begin to reveal what was found at the time to Dvin became a landmark for attracting tourists. This is a very important and fundamentally new direction in our activity. Similarly, we are going to work in the village of Areni Vanadzor region of Armenia. Assume that you install a fence there to prevent unauthorized access by unauthorized persons to the historical monuments, leading to their destruction.
– Please share your plans for 2015-th year?
Avetisyan – in recent years we have completed large scale works, has collected a wealth of material, much of which can change the worldview of scientists, not only within Armenia, but also in the region. All these works should be published.
The second stage of archaeological research is the reconstruction of materials, analysis, and then transfer to the relevant museums. To this day we filmed the “cream” by publishing the most sensational discoveries, but most of us found materials is not explored properly. In 2015 it will become one of the priority directions of our activity. Will also continue with the archaeological excavations, some of which are implemented jointly with foreign partners. Definitely will continue the excavations in Dvin, Artashat, Tigranakert of Artsakh.
This year we plan to conduct in Armenia national or international scientific conference, during which will be presented and discussed the results of scientific activities. Then we will try to publish these materials, which is complex and costly.
– Sometimes it seems that in the world of archaeology the role and importance of Armenian civilization is not represented adequately. What is the reason?
Avetisyan – When we talk about Sumerian or Egyptian civilization, we mean the civilization of the early period with historical and monumental monuments, still striking in its grandeur. When we talk about Armenian civilization, during this period, it was not so impressive and could not compete with the above on the scale. But formed in the Armenian highlands culture are part of the civilization of Western Asia and have unique features, which certainly had a great influence on its development.
But there is another factor, not directly related to the values left by our ancestors cultural heritage. The Sumerian civilization was discovered and began to explore European scientists, who arrived in Egypt with Napoleon. They are so colorfully described his discoveries to the Europeans, that caused the influx of tourists to Egypt. Excavations in the Soviet period, as well as on the territory of Western Armenia was covered by the European experts are not as active for various reasons. Thus, the question of how to properly talk about the phenomenon of the Armenian civilization to the world, only recently stood before us. An important activity of our Institute is inviting foreign specialists, who must provide the scientific community with independent expert assessment on the Armenian civilization. Experience shows that when talking about this Armenian experts, they are often accused of nationalism.