Shengavit settlement is a well explored monument of the early Bronze Age of the Armenian Highlands. It is situated in the south-western part of Yerevan, on the left bank of the Hrazdan , on the eastern mountainous bank of nowadays Yerevanian Lake.
The exploration of Shengavit by the archaeologists began from 1936 (E.Bayburdyan, S. Sardaryan, H. Simonyan). The cultural layers of Shengavit settlement arose during more than two thousand years and they have about 4 meters depth. The monument is dated at the beginning of the 4th -2nd millenniums BC. For the culture (Kur-Araks or
Shengavit culture) of the early Bronze Age was typical settled economic structure with developed agriculture, cattle-breeding and craftsmanship, especially with high developed pottery and metallurgy. Pottery of Shengavit is gray or red inside, the surface is black, brown, glazed, with stone-engraved geometrical decorations.
There were also found horseshoe pedestals of a hearth with the shape of a bull’s head, cult clay round hearths, as well as metallic, copper, bronze tools and ornaments. The inhabitants of Shengavit lived in round dwellings having 6-8 meters in diameter and rectangular buildings next to them. The settlement had Cyclopean walls with towers. Under the walls there was found a tiled tunnel coming down right to the Hrazdan.
Outside the walls was found a cemetery. After existing for more than 2000 years Shengavit settlement stopped existing by unknown reasons. But the life in the territory of nowadays Yerevan continued. This come to prove archaeological materials, dating at the 2nd -1st millenniums BC, found from the ancient settlements and tombs in different districts of Yerevan (Avan, Kanaker,Zeytun, Tsitsernakaberd, the hill next to the square adjacent to the station, Karmir berd (Red fortress ),Arin-berd, Karmir blur (Red hill).
Thus ancient Shengavit settlement, situated in the territory of Yerevan , with its early Bronze Age culture is identified with the excavated settlements (dated at the 4th -2nd millenniums BC) of the lower layers of the ancient world’s famous cities : Eridy /Erebuni, du=bu/, Erech-Uruk, Ur, Nineveh, Kish, Shosh (Suza), Troy, Krete and Mikene.
It is accepted that those settlements are about 4-6 thousand years old. But in the ancient written sources (Summerian,Akkadian,Hittitian,Assurian) the records of the afore-mentioned settlements concern nearly the 3rd -2nd millenniums BC. As we notice during the process of defining the age of those cities the archaeological material found during the excavations is taken into account. Whereas in case of Yerevan, the first written mentioning of the name Yerevan (Erebuni) in the cuneiform inscription was taken into account. In 782 BC the king of Armenian Ararat-Urartu country Argishti I founded a fortress town on the hill Arin-berd in the territory of nowadays Yerevan.
He named it Erebuni and attested it in the cuneiform inscription. The age of Yerevan is counted with the date 782 BC. It turns out, that Eridu, Erech-Uruk, Ur, Nineveh, Shosh and other cities are 4-6 thousand years old, and Yerevan, in the territory of which is situated Shengavit having a history of more than 6 thousand years, is only 2793 years old.
The 2750th anniversary of Yerevan was celebrated in 1967 during the years of Soviet power, when every manifestation of national originality was stopped by Soviet power. The cultures and histories of the Soviet people living there were equalized . In those conditions Soviet power couldn’t allow the Armenian capital to be five or six thousand years old.
The existence of 2750 years old Yerevan was attested by Argishti I’s cuneiform inscription, that was impossible to deny , and the celebration of the foundation of the city was organized. But as we notice in the early Bronze Age Shengavit: one of today’s districts of Yerevan, was one of the famous settlements of the Armenian Highlands.
And if today the ancient name of the settlement isn’t known it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t remember about it and shouldn’t connect it with Yerevan. You see, today’s Yerevan is a totality of districts involved in its structure. The history of each district is a part of the history of the city Yerevan. And the history of all the districts is the history of Yerevan.
Thus taking into account the history of one of the ancient districts of Yerevan, Shengavit, we can say, that Armenian capital Yerevan is more than 6000 years old and is one of those cities of the world, that have been inhabited for millenniums and continue to be inhabited.
Short variant of the artikle. Themes from Yerevan-3 scientific conferense, 2011.
Angela Teryan angelateryan.wordpress.com