Portasar or Gobekli Tepe?

Portasar is situated in the South of the Armenian Highlands, 15 km south-east from the old city Urha /Edessa, Urfa/ of Armenian Mesopatamia. The discovery of the cultural layers/three layers/ of Portasar shows that it was a religious-ritual centre for sedentary people for several millenniums. The territory is in Armenian cultural area.

Armenian is one of the oldest languages of the region/Armenian Highlands and surrounding areas, Small Asia/ which, according to the recent studies, was a spoken language 8000-9000 years ago. The name Portasar given to the monument means the centre of the Earth and life, navel, mountain.

By the way, Portasar was named by people who knew it was a religious-ritual monument. They knew that life existed not only on the Earth, but also in Heaven, they worshiped Anggh /Angel/ as the God who connected these two worlds.

And stone pillars/cross statues, stone obelisks, stone icons and later also xachqars/ existed in Armenia all the times. This about 12 thousand year-old monument, discovered in Armenian Mesopotamia, is the archeological proof which, along with comparative linguistics allows to say that Armenia is the cradle of modern civilization.

It’s worth to mention an interesting testimony preserved in Armenian historiography. Pavstos Buzand/V century/, telling about the deeds of the Armenian King Pap/353-374/, writes that he sent a delegation to the Greek king saying.

“Cesaria and also ten other cities belonged to us. Give them back. Urha was founded by our ancestors, so if you don’t want disagreement between us, give them back. Otherwise we will wage a war.” (Pavstos Buzand, Armenian History, Yerevan, 1968, page 27, chapter ԼԲ). As it was mentioned above the monument could be named Portasar only by Hay-Armens, who were inhabitants of the region and knew about the religious-ritual nature of it.

And the Turks, who appeared in those areas only 8-9 centuries ago, could not know that the mountain was a cultural monument. So this is enough to conclude that it were Hay-Armens, the ancient inhabitants of the area who gave the name Portasar to the monument.

Later, the Turks coming to that territori, named the mountain Gobekli Tepe /bloauted mountain, paunchy mountain/ and now are trying to introduce the monument to the world with the name Gobekli Tepe.

We should note that there are a lot of placenames in Armenia which point the sense and purport of the words like Portasar /Gandzasar-gandz+sar(treasure mountain), Ukhtasar-ukht+sar(( mountain of covenant), Yerkatasar-yerkat+sar(iron mountain). The same is in the case of Portasar.

So Portasar is the oldest name of the monument and truly demonstrates the sense, purport and meaning of this ancient monument of the Armenian Highlands.

By Anjela Teryan

Photo by mirrorspectator.com

Anjela Teryan Graduated from the Faculty of History of the Yerevan State University, senior initial employee of the State Museum of the History of Yerevan. She is engaged in research in the field of the ancient history of Armenia, the author of scientific articles and the book “The Cult of the God Ar in Armenia” (1995), on which Teryan worked for 5 years.

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