Traces of processing very similar to machine processing were found on fragments of granite in a basalt fortress dating to the 2nd millennium BC on the Armavirablur hill in less than an hour drive from the capital of Armenia Yerevan.
The basalt blocks themselves have been clearly processed manually. In contrast, the granite fragments seem to be have been made in a modern workshop – next to them, the loose surface of the basalt blocks looks clearly primitive.
The first archaeological excavations here were carried out in 1880. However, systematic excavations of Armavir began only in 1962. The archaeological study of Armavir revealed the multi-layered nature of the history of the city.
The oldest layer dates back to the Urartian period (the 8th-7th centuries BC when King Argishti I founded the city of Argishtikhinili on this site), followed by the ancient Armenian Hellenistic (the 3rd-2nd centuries BC) and the medieval (the 10th-13th centuries AD) layers.
Armavir has been inhabited since the 6th-5th millennia BC. Archaeologists have found various instruments from obsidian, items from bronze, and ceramics in the layers of this period.
In 776 BC, ruler of Urartu Argishti I founded a fortress on the site of the city and named it Argishtikhinili. In 331 BC, when Armenia under the Yervandunis regained its independence from the Achaemenid Empire, Armavir was chosen as the capital of Armenia.
Clay tablets of the period of the Achaemenid dynasty written in Elamite and containing episodes from the epic about Gilgamesh were found as well.
In the Armavir area, numerous 3rd-century BC inscriptions in ancient Greek were found, including Hesiod’s poetry, lines from Euripides, a list of the names of the months of the Macedonian calendar, and the names of the kings from the dynasty of Yervandunis.
LAI Research Center