One of the fields of activity of the State Service for the Protection of Historical Environment under the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Artsakh is conducting archaeological excavations at the sites of preserved settlements.
Since 2005, large-scale excavations have been carried out in the territory of ancient Tigranakert of Arstakh. Earlier, scientists conducted excavations in the Azokh Cave in Hadrut Province.
In recent years, archaeological excavations have also been carried out in Karkar, in the territories of the Nor Haykajur commune in Martakert Province, as well as in the Amaras Monastery.
Nzhdeh Yeranyan, the deputy director of the State Service for the Protection of Historical Environment, briefly introduced the results of archaeological excavations in Tigranakert.
“This monument features multiple layers: the most ancient artifacts date back to the antique times of Armenia. Apart from that, medieval items like ceramics, anthropological material, coins, various instruments have been found.
The majority of the finds was investigated in Yerevan, while the anthropological material was sent to European countries.
After study and restoration, some of the finds of the historical Tigranakert will be featured at the archaeological museum of Tigranakert. The rest of the artifacts will be kept by our service for occasional and temporary exhibitions.”
Excavations in the Azokh Cave have been conducted since the Soviet times. The Cave is one of the most important ancient settlements of the region as it presents the opportunity to research the shifts of ancient populations within the Armenian Highlands.
Since 2002, an archaeological expeditionary group headed by Tanya King has been conducting full-scale excavations in the Azokh Cave. The group discovered intact entrances to the cave, as well as numerous prehistoric artifacts, including antique instruments and remains of animals. After study in Europe, the finds were brought back to Armenia to complement the collection of the State Service for the Protection of Historical Environment. The examination of the artifacts allowed experts to conclude that this historical territory has already accommodated ancient populations about 2 million years ago.
According to Yeranyan, archaeological excavations in the territory of the Republic of Artsakh are financed by the state. Excavations in Tigranakert are planned to be carried on in the future. The village of Nor Karmiravan, the site of 3,000 years old anthropomorphic steles, will also be examined during the year. Apart from that, Yeranyan hopes to continue excavations in the Azokh Cave as well.