Tombs of Teishebaini, Armenia

Tombs of Teishebaini, ArmeniaTeishebaini (modern Karmir Blur (Armenian: Կարմիր Բլուր, English: Red Hill), referring more to the hill that the fortress is located upon) was the capital of the Transcaucasian provinces of the ancient kingdom of Urartu. It is located near the modern city of Yerevan in Armenia.

The site was once a fortress and governmental centre with towered and buttressed perimeter walls, massive gates, a parade ground within its walls, and storage rooms that entirely occupied the ground floor. The site of the city, palace and citadel together measure over 0.45 km2 (110 acres).

The name Karmir Blur was given to the site because of the hill’s reddish hue. It became this color after the city was set on fire and the upper tuff walls fell and crumbled because of the heat. After the tuff was heated by the fire, it took on a more intense red color and therefore the hill became red. The lower portions of the walls were left standing after the fire since they were built with a stronger stone.

Hakop Simonyan, the deputy of the director of the Scientific Research Center of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, told about excavations conducted in Teishebaini.

According to him, systematic excavations in Teishebaini began in 2015-16, resulting in detection of 281 tombs, structure of which surprisingly corresponds to modern building standards. The excavation works were quite complicated due to the tight schedule and the need to work carefully.

The most valuable finds are probably those which have been stored in specially built rooms and strongboxes. Also, a huge arsenal has been found.

Besides that, as a result of excavations and subsequent analysis, various aspects of the life of inhabitants of Teishebaini became known, including their traditions, beliefs, fashion style, health condition, diet, and others.

Simonyan says that modern technology can aid the determination of the genetic features of the people of Teishebaini, and it may become possible to figure out who they have been and which modern nations they are connected with.

Another astounding find is a 40 m2 (430,56 square feet) tomb, which was supposedly built for a high-ranking person. At the moment of discovery, the tomb was full of bones and objects, which had been probably brought there as a sacrifice or as gifts.

On top of the tomb is a huge tuff obelisk in the form of a phallus. Archaeologists think that such mass sacrifices could have been only done for a top-echelon individual. Another possible evidence of it is a curved staff, which might have been a symbol of authority.

Hakobyan thinks it is the time for a museum in Teishebaini to be established for people to be able to become acquainted with the historical properties of Armenia.

Urartu Kingdom at Karmir Blur w/Armen Martirosian

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