A Unique Archaeological Monument of the Van Period Found in Odzaberd

A Unique Archaeological Monument

Archaeological excavations in the Odzaberd fortress (Armenian: Օձաբերդ) located between the villages of Tsovinar and Artsvanist in Gegharkunik Province of Armenia revealed an inclined plate, parts of a spindle, an amphora, a stable, barley grain turned into coal, animal bones, and funerary karases (vessels). The head of the expeditionary group Mikayel Badalyan shared his findings with the correspondent of NEWS.am.

Archaeologists pay careful attention to Odzaberd fortress because it houses a cuneiform inscription made by Rusa I, a ruler of the Kingdom of Van (Urartu).

“It is very important for us to understand what happened in the Sevan basin after Rusa I. It is important to understand what happened with Odzaberd after the fall of the Van Kingdom,” said Badalyan.

The head of the expeditionary group said that excavations in the territory of the fortress had begun back in 2014, and their results have been encouraging.

“We found a number of buildings dating to the late period of the Van Kingdom and after its fall. We discovered an outside settlement and early buildings. Last year, we unearthed equilateral structures with 2-meter walls that are very rare in the area of the Sevan basin.”

According to Badalyan, the most important achievement in the archaeological excavations in Odzaberd is the discovery of an inclined plate adjacent to the fortress walls.

“Such slabs are especially characteristic of Hittite architecture. A slab angled at 30% significantly increases the protection of the fortress and gives it an aesthetic appearance.”

Archaeologists made a test cavity on the upper side of the slab to study the chronology of the structure by the revealed layers. They did so since the fortress has a wall built of clay bricks in an earlier period.

“We found household items such as spindle heads and an amphora. We assume that one of the buildings of the fortress has served as a stable because its structure is very similar to buildings that exist now in villages.

In addition, a large amount of barley grain and many animal bones were found. In the external settlement dating to the period after the Van Kingdom, we found funerary vessels near the walls,” said Badalyan.

He also added that three people are now working at the excavation site. They are currently focused on just one of the fortress’ areas.

Original publication: NEWS.am

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