In order to unload the traffic of Yerevan, the City Hall initiated the construction of a highway in the territory of the Karmir Blur hill, a significant archaeological site. However, specialists were tasked to investigate the site prior to the commencement of the construction of the highway.
Archaeological excavations that commenced in August 2013 allowed the researchers to conclude that the cemetery in the Charbakh district along with the adjacent territories now used as junkyards had been used as a burial site in antiquity. Similar evidence had already been found prior to these excavations, but there hadn’t been enough data for any concrete assumptions.
The tombs of the Karmir Blur site belong to members of the antique high class. Remarkably, there haven’t been any traces on the surface that would indicate the location of the burial site. By late 2013, there had been approximately 500 tombs discovered, each containing at least 2 individuals. Apart from this, nearly 1,000 items and artifacts discovered during the excavations gave the researchers the opportunity to answer many questions.
Each tomb looks like a regular room. They are filled with soil and covered with large cobbles and lime from above. The knees of the buried individuals are bent. Women are lying on the left side, while men on the right. Along with the nobility are buried their servants, whose bodies were dismembered before burial. Next to the buried were found idols in the form of tuff slabs, which were put there to protect their masters from evil spirits in the afterworld.
One remarkable find is the skeleton of a very tall woman with a copper bracelet on her leg. Among other noteworthy finds are huge wine cellars, which have enough area to store over 500,000 liters of wine. Barns found at the site were filled with large reserves of seed. A stable was also found. The remaining tombs probably belonged to the working class of the ancient city.
In 2013, only the first stage of the excavations was completed, and researchers from all over the world have already been with interest watching the work of Armenian archaeologists.
Sensational discoveries bring forth difficult questions: where could approximately 5,000 artifacts be kept and showcased to the public? Initially, it was decided to send the finds into restorative laboratories. These finds could become valuable sources of information that could shed some light on many questions.
Armenian scientists argue that sending the finds abroad for research is unreasonable. They think that an anthropological laboratory needs to be established in Armenia instead. After all, Armenia is the inheritor of a wealth of archaeological and cultural heritage.