Art of the Ararat Kingdom

Artistic metal products of the 5th-4th centuries. BC e. are remarkable in that they reflect the influence of the culture of the Ararat Kingdom (Kingdom of Van-Urartu) on the culture of Achaemenid Iran.

Vessels with handles in the form of winged ibexes, bulls, lions, horses, rhytons with images of the same animals and horsemen, pectorals (breast decorations in the form of a crescent moon), common in the Ararat kingdom, are also characteristic of Achaemenid Iran, a later state.

Achaemenid samples go back to the Armenian prototypes. The question of the influence of Ararat culture on the Mediterranean is very interesting. Among metal products from the period of the Ararat kingdom (Ararat kingdom, Urartu), a special group is made up of cauldron decorations depicting a bird with outstretched wings and a human torso.

Bronze cauldrons with such handles were widely used outside the Ararat kingdom. Two excellent examples of such cauldrons were found in the tomb of the Phrygian king, excavated in a huge burial mound in Gordion. Moreover, the researchers unanimously recognized them as products of the period of the Ararat kingdom.

A large number of such figures are of Mediterranean origin – from Greece, both from the mainland and from the archipelago, and reach Etruria.

Not all items found in the Mediterranean countries can be considered products of the Ararat kingdom, many of them were made on the found sites, but all of them were made according to the models of the figurines of the Ararat kingdom.

It should be said that the Musasir temple of the god Khaldi, was built in the 9th century. BC e. and depicted on the reliefs of the palace of the Assyrian king Sargon, has all the characteristic features of an ancient Greek temple – a podium, columns along the facade, a triangular pediment, wall, and column decorations with shields.

It is important that between the temple of the period of the Ararat kingdom and the Greek one, there is a big gap both in time and territorially.

The Assyrian king Sargon II plundered the Musasir Temple of the ancient Armenians in the 8th century BC. It should be noted that the Musasir temple in its type and architecture preceded the oldest Greek temple of this type by more than 250 years, and its architecture served as the architectural basis for the Greek temples that the Greeks began to build later.

Helmets of the Ararat kingdom.

An early type of helmet, with a crest at the top, was found on bronze figurines from Toprak-Kale. This crest was a brush of hair wound around a curved comb, which was then attached to the top of the helmet.

This type of helmet, from the period of the early Ararat kingdom, found its imitators in Greece in the 6th century BC, and later it became generally accepted.

David Leng wrote about this in his work – Armenia: Cradle of Civilization.

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