Nestled to the west of the towering Aragats peaks, Arteni Volcano is more than just an isolated geological formation—it’s a window into Armenia’s distant past. Aged at roughly 10 million years, Arteni has witnessed epochs come and go, its once-volatile eruptions now stilled by time and erosion.
Imagine a period when immense quantities of molten lava erupted from Arteni’s depths, a likely source of dread for the prehistoric wildlife like mastodons and hipparions that roamed nearby. Though the volcano now stands at a rather unassuming height of 2,047 meters, with a base stretching 10 kilometers in diameter, its legacy extends far beyond its physical dimensions.
But what truly elevates Arteni’s status from a geological wonder to an archaeological goldmine is a groundbreaking discovery on its slopes—an ancient human settlement. This finding has not only intensified interest among historians but also thrown open new questions regarding early human civilization.
While Arteni’s eruptions once might have seemed forbidding, the presence of this prehistoric camp indicates that early humans found something worthwhile here. Whether it was the fertile soil enriched by volcanic minerals, or its advantageous position offering plenty of natural resources, the discovery has illuminated new facets of human evolutionary history and movement in this region.
In essence, Arteni Volcano stands as a remarkable testament to both the natural and human histories of Armenia, capturing the awe and scholarly attention of not only geologists and archaeologists but also anyone who is fascinated by the roots of civilization and the mysteries of the Earth.