The Vanished Inscription Of Tamrut Fortress – Cilician Armenia

90 kilometers north of the city of Adana (modern Turkey), in a cozy, forested area rises the magnificent fortress of Tamburt (Tamrut) built during the times of Cilician Armenia.

Unfortunately, in the last 40 years, the fortress has been severely damaged due to the actions of treasure hunters. However, foreign fans of Armenian culture managed to preserve the fact of the Armenian identity of the Cilician fortresses.

This became possible thanks to photographs taken by famous traveler and researcher of Armenian and Byzantine architecture Robert Edwards. Based on his photos, it is evident that an Armenian inscription had existed above the entrance to the fortress at least until 1981.

But in a photo taken in 2004 by traveler and researcher of the Armenian and Greek fortresses of Cilicia Regis Khozat, the Armenian inscription is no longer there.

After some online search for information about the fortress, I accidentally stumbled upon an image of the inscription made by an unknown author. With the help of Sasun Danielyan, we were able to read the following:

“ՇԻՆԵՑԱՎ ԴՂԵԱԿՍ ՑԱՆԿԱԼԻ, ՈՐ Է ԱՆՎԱՆԻ ԲԵՐԴ ԹԱՄԲՐՏԻ, Ի ՀԻՇԱՏԱԿ ՀԱՒՐ ԹԱԳ[ՒՈՐ]Ի, ՈՐ ՊԱՐՈՆ ԿՈՍՏ[ԱՆԴ]ԻՆ ԱՆՈՒՆ ԿՈՉԻ, ՈՐՈՒՄ ՏԵՐՆ ՈՂՈՐՄԵՍՑԻ ԱՄԵՆ։ ԹՎԻՆ ՉԲ (ՉԲ= 702+551= 1253թիվ) և ԾՆՂԴ ԳԼԽԱՎՈՐ ՅԻՇԵՍՑՈՒՔ Ի ՔՐԻՍՏՈՍ։”

Which translates to:

“The fortress was built in 1253 during the reign of Cilician Armenian King Hethum I (1226-1270) in honor of his father Constantine.”

Hamlet Hovsepian




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