In 1916, academicians Nicholas Marr and Hovsep Orbeli discovered what is considered to be the oldest set of cuneiform inscriptions in the world. The 2,700 years old inscriptions were found in the city of Van, which used to be one of the major cities of the Kingdom of Van (more commonly known as Urartu).
Unfortunately, the inscriptions have been vandalized, which rendered them unreadable. It is known though that the inscriptions belong to Urartian King Sarduri II (764 – 735 BC). They tell about the visits of the king to the land that would later become known as Western Armenia.
To preserve the cuneiform inscriptions, Yüzüncü Yıl University of Van suggested to move them to their museum and instead place their copies. However, the damaged inscriptions should firstly be recovered. It should be noted that this case underwent criminal investigation, and the vandals could be sentenced to 5 – 10 years of imprisonment.
«ԱՐԱՐԱՏ-ՈՒՐԱՐՏՈՒ ԹԱԳԱՎՈՐՈՒԹՅՈՒՆԸ» The Kingdom of Ararat-Urartu with English subtitles