The territory of the Armenian Highlands was one of the places of origin of Stone Age humans. The archaeological excavations carried out there, especially in the present-day Republic of Armenia, resulted in the discovery of many camps and settlements of the Stone Age populations with thousands of tools made of stones (obsidian, basalt), as well as pottery, bones, etc.
Figure 58 shows stone hammers found in the ancient Nakhichevan salt mine. Figure 59 shows obsidian tools unearthed near the villages of Cham-Meghri and Khphchag. These tools were used in Armenia during the Stone Age.
Many of these settlements with Paleolithic culture were found in present-day Armenia, the Ararat Valley, on Mount Artin (southeastern slope of Mount Aragats), in the Azokh cave, the Hrazdan Canyon near Yerevan and Arzni, the villages of Lusakert, Shannidar, etc.
In historical Armenia, similar settlements were unearthed in the basin of Lake Van, in the valleys of the Euphrates and Aratsani rivers, on the slopes of the Taurus Mountains, in the Harbert Valley, etc.
According to the Armenian Encyclopedia, in today’s Armenia, settlements of the Acheulian culture (500-100 thousand years ago) were discovered in Satani Dar, Areguni Blur, Haravayin Blur, Lusakert, Karmir Blur, Jrabber, as well as near the Azokh village in Artsakh.
Armenian historian Sh. Mkrtchyan tells about the excavations in Azokh. It is a huge cave with an area of more than 3000 square meters near the village of the same name. Nearby, a large camp of the Stone Age was found under a 7-meter layer of earth. But the main artifact was the well-preserved jaw bone of a Neanderthal, who is assumed to have lived more than 100,000 years ago.
In 1979, an international archaeological group called him “Azokhian”. The cave itself was called “the famous camp of the humans of the ancient civilizations.”
Before, remains of the Neanderthals were found in four locations – Morocco, Germany, the UK, and Italy. But Azokhian is much more remarkable. He supposedly is a transitive man from the Sinanthropus (400 thousand years ago) to Neanderthals (200-35 thousand years ago), from Neanderthals to Cro-Magnons (50-40 thousand years ago), who was a man of the present type (Homo Sapiens).
In addition, more than 20 thousand bones of 43 species of different animals, about 6 thousand stone tools, clay dishes and ornaments, fireplaces, wall pictures, processed stones, etc. have been found in the Azokh cave.
Thus, since the very deep past (more than 300 thousand years ago) and up to 50-40 thousand years ago in the Stone Age, Sinanthropus, Neanderthals, and Cro-Magnons have lived in Armenia. They all lead to modern Armenians.
An extract from the book “Armenians and Ancient Armenia” by Paris Herouni