Archaeologist Hakob Simonyan presented the results of unique excavations conducted in village of Aghdzk, Aragatsotn province, Armenia, during which remains of Armenian kings were discovered.
According to Simonyan, the remains, which have been found not in the Arshakid Kings Mausoleum and Basilica, but under the adjacent church’s pavement, belong to the kings of Artaxiad and Arshakid dynasties.
As a result of excavations and research, three sealed stone chests were discovered in front of the altar. Two of them were unlocked and had human remains in them. According to Simonyan, the bones had been cleared of soft tissues before being put in the chests. If there is still organic material in the remains, DNA analysis will be required.
Simonyan also noted that the third chest has not been opened yet as archaeologists want to open it in presence of high-ranking officials and journalists. According to the preliminary plans, excavations will continue for another year.
A deputy of National Assembly of Armenia Aragats Akhoyan is the ideological supporter of the excavations. According to him, this is the only tomb of kings location of which is known, and it should be preserved and passed on to future generations.
Today, the territory of Aghdzk is a part of tourist programs, and during the most active periods the number of its visitors exceeds 500.
14 monuments were included in the list of historical and cultural monuments of Aghdzk in 2002, including the archaeological complex of Aghdzk, built in the 4th century, the Arshakid Kings Mausoleum and Basilica, built in 364, the ruins of a 4th century church, and other monuments.