For a long time, the technology of iron smelting remained a great mystery in antiquity. One of the most authoritative archaeologists Gordon Child noted in this regard: “An effective method of iron smelting was discovered by a tribe of Armenian mountaineers, but it was kept in secret.”
Homer and Aeschylus considered Armenia the motherland of metallurgy. Other Greek authors like Euripides and Xenophon mentioned the Armenian metals’ highest quality and Aristotle noted that “it practically does not rust.”
The secret of obtaining metals with such properties is lost today. A well-known German specialist Karl Bucks is convinced that the process of the acquaintance of other peoples with metallurgy should be studied in the context of the migration of Armenian tribes, “the greatest miners in history who were called dwarfs in Europe because of their low height.”
The scientist believes that this fact formed the basis of the Middle European myth of gnomes-miners. Humanity became acquainted with metal processing quite early, but the technology of mining and iron smelting only dates back at the middle of the 2nd millennium BC.
Samples of the most ancient metallurgy products were found in many regions of Armenia, including the shores of Lake Sevan. The ancient settlement Lchashen is one of the richest archaeological sites in this and many other regards. Since the 3rd millennium BC, it was one of the largest settlements of the Bronze Age and reached its heyday in the Iron Age.