When I deciphered the so-called “Urartian” cuneiform in 1959 and read it in the language of the archaic grabar (Classical Armenia), it was the end of the pseudoscientific concept of “Urartu”. It became completely clear that no state such as Urartu had ever existed. Instead, the teachings of the father of Armenian history Movses Khorenatsi (5th century) and “Chronological Tables” by historian Mikael Chamchyan (1785) regarding the foundation Armenia as a state of Hayk and the existence of the Haykazuni dynasty turned out to be rightful.
It was a revolutionary act that ruined all ideas about the most ancient history of the world included in textbooks.
No one wanted to publish my transcript. I had to instead publish it as a manuscript titled “Decryption of the Armenian cuneiform”.
The academic leaders of Armenia have used all possible and impossible levers against me. They even collected and burned my books! Allegedly, I was a “nationalist”, and as if hostility towards Georgians and Azerbaijanis (?) was coming from my book. That’s nonsense!
Everyone remembered that time, 1963, with its Stalinist dogma “Urartu, conglomerate of peoples.” I managed to save only 50 books out of a total of 500 copies at the initiative of the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia Hovhannes Baghdasaryan.
Then, Academician Boris Piotrovsky told me: “As a geologist, you know very well that any process in nature leaves its traces… If you claim that Movses Khorenatsi is right, then show us the archaeological traces of the existence of ancient Armenia.”
It was fair! Indeed, at that time, there was no object in the territory of Armenia dating back from the 4th to the 2nd millennia BC, except for Shengavit that had been excavated by archaeologist Sardaryan on the outskirts of Yerevan. But it was a miserable structure that contained almost nothing in itself and could not in any way testify to the existence of ancient Armenia in the interpretation of Movses Khorenatsi.
… The situation where my manuscripts covering the interpretation of cuneiform writing were collected and destroyed in 1963 was more than tragic for me. At that time, miner geologist Azat Veguni turned to me and said that he knows a strange cuneiform in the Etchmiadzin area that he wants to show me.
At the end of November 1963, Veguni drove me to the village of Zeyva. Geologists Artyom Harutyunyan, Jim Hovhannisyan, and Koryun Mkrtchyan (I hadn’t known him before) were in the car as well.
Having examined the two hills in Zeyva, I said that there are no cuneiform records here. Instead, there were unknown Armenian hieroglyphs along with an ancient mining and metallurgical object that needed to be excavated.
Having deciphered the Armenian cuneiform dating to the 18th century BC, I knew that the more ancient period of the existence of ancient Armenia should be associated with the presence of hieroglyphic writing. Medieval manuscripts of Armenia (including the Yerznka manuscript) did contain information about them.
And it would turn out that on Metsamor — I named the two hills near the village of Zeyva in honor of the Mother Goddess Metsamor of the pagan pantheon — on the very first day of my visit, I indeed discovered images of hieroglyphic writing of Armenia.
At my request, the guys went to search the hills for metallurgical slag and remains of ceramics. When they returned, everything was clear – in their hands were black glazed ceramics from the 5th millennium BC and metallurgical slag.
It was November 30, 1963. The problem of proving the existence of Movses Khorenatsi’s ancient Armenia no longer was a problem.
I organized an expedition to Metsamor under the Department of Earth Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia, obtained funding, and carried out excavations in 1965-66.
As the head of the Metsamor expedition, I handed over all the materials to the next expeditionary group in 1966. By 1968, I would publish more than twenty articles and a monograph in Moscow. In 1968, I defended my dissertation on Metsamor.
I cannot complain that my work lacked appreciation.
Metsamor is the history of Armenia, the history of the Haykian dynasty of kings. Excavations of Metsamor were of world-historical significance.
The pseudo-scientific “concept of Urartu” was overthrown. The significance of the decryption of the Armenian cuneiform writing and the excavations of Metsamor are difficult to overestimate.
Turning to the events of almost half a century ago, we can say that the idea brightened by daring and hard labor has won.
… I would also like to note the following. Already in February 1964, I published the first report on the discovery of Metsamor in the journal “Izvestiya AN Arm. SSR” (“News of the Academy of Sciences of the Arm. SSR”).
Piotrovsky and his entourage raised a fuss that Metsamor was merely dated to the 15th century rather than to the 5th millennium BC. They also claimed that the hieroglyphs I had discovered were either gypsy tamgas or Arabic script. Possessed by this stupidity, Piotrovsky was accusing me.
By agreement with the Academy of Sciences of Armenia, I was supposed to excavate the Metsamor ancient mining and metallurgical object for two years, in 1965-1966. After this period, in October 1966, I resigned and no longer appeared on Metsamor, considering my task completed.
The reader can find special data regarding the discovery and excavation of Metsamor in my following works:
- “The ancient mining and metallurgical structure of Metsamor”, “Izvestia AN Arm. SSR”, 1964.
- “Once again on the Metsamor mining and metallurgical structure”, the same magazine, 1964.
- “On the issue of the raw material base and the smelting system on Metsamor”, the same magazine, 1964.
- “Assyrian-Babylonian sources on the export of metals from the Armenian Highlands”, “Scientific works of NIGMI”, volume V, 1966.
- “The Metsamor Ancient Mining and Metallurgical Structure”, “The Question of the History of Science”, Academy of Sciences of Arm. SSR, 1967, Yerevan.
- “On some issues of the history and metallurgy of ancient Armenia”, VINITI, 1967, Moscow.
- “Metsamor”, newspaper “Grakan Tert”, September 4, 1970, Yerevan.
- “The oldest metallurgical furnace”, newspaper “Komsomolets”, October 11, 1970, Yerevan.
- “Belts-calendars of Armenia”, newspaper “Avangard”, January 4, 1971, Yerevan.
- “The Metsamor Astronomical Observatory”, newspaper “Komsomolets”, February 7, 1971, Yerevan.
- “The Metsamor Observatory”, newspaper “Avangard”, February 13, 1971, Yerevan.
- “Armenian Neroglyphs”, journal “Literary Armenia”, 1971.
- “Development of geology and mining in ancient Armenia”, abstracts of documents from the Transcaucasian Conference, Academy of Sciences of Arm. SSR, 1972.
- “Development of mining and metallurgical knowledge”, collection “History of mining”, materials from the First All-Union Coordination Meeting in Tbilisi, “Metznireba”, 1979.
After I handed the Metsamor expedition into the wrong hands in 1966, no excavations would be carried out there.
Furthermore, all kinds of ignoramuses and adventurers would attribute Metsamor not to the 15th century as they really wanted from the very beginning but to the history of the “state of Urartu”, i.e. the 7th – 6th centuries BC, which would be recorded in the false “Encyclopedia of Armenia.” They did not mention the history of the Hayasa-Haykan dynasty of Armenia, nor the fact that I had discovered and excavated Metsamor.
Suren Ayvazyan, newspaper “Metsamor”