Archaeological Discoveries in Artsakh – Ancient Fortress and Ziggurat

Archaeological Discoveries in Artsakh

The Department of Archeology and Ethnography of Yerevan State University together with the Academy of Sciences of Armenia has been studying the cultural and historical monuments of Armenia and Artsakh for many years. Interesting structures have been discovered in the Kashatagh area, in particular.

During the excavations of Kashatagh, the oldest settlement in the Karabakh region, three complexes were discovered – a fortress, a temple, and a burial place. Hayk Avetisyan, head of the Department of Archeology of Yerevan State University (YSU), told reporters about this on September 15.

“According to preliminary data, the age of the fortress is 3 to 4 thousand years. Findings indicate that the period of the fortress’ establishment spans a wide historical period – from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages, although we also found artifacts that can be attributed to the Iron Age,” Avetisyan noted.

According to Avetisyan, the ruins of cyclopean structures, presumably playing the role of fortified posts, were preserved behind the fortress. Avetisyan also noted that the fortress itself was surprisingly well-preserved.

The fortress seems to have belonged to an influential person – perhaps not a king but at least the ruler of the area.

Archaeologist and deputy head of the scientific expedition Gagik Sargsyan said that an interesting religious building was discovered at the excavation site – a temple that served as a place of worship.

“The temple, which we arbitrarily call a ziggurat, is located on the top of a mountain. A cascade of stone steps 70 meters high leads to it. The absolute height is 50 meters with a slope of 45 degrees.

The cascade is made of stones and consists of about 30-35 steps of different heights. There are even platforms on it. The entrance is 3 meters wide,” he said.

According to Sargsyan, a local ruler would not have managed to build such a structure, which means that the construction works have probably been carried out at a state level.

“This is a unique building unparalleled in the entire post-Soviet space. But we want to thoroughly explore this monument and tell the world about it,” Sargsyan emphasized.

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