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Home :: History of Armenia
History of Armenia
Babylonian clay tablet dating from VI BC
Any scientist engaged in a study of the history of the Ancient World is sure to come across many records and facts about Armenia and Armenians and any scientific research is sure to carry researchers to the Armenian Highland. At the beginning of XX c. the archeologist Schtrek writes, 'The light of history must have first shone around Lake Van. It is part of a mountainous land, which spreads to the upper Euphrates and Tigris as well as along the two banks of the Yeraskh and is called Armenia today.'

After studying Armenian and Bask national costumes, geographical names and customs, the Spanish scholar A. de Posa (XVI c.) concluded that the Armenian Highland was the homeland of Basks, one of the original inhabitants of Spain. An old source of the British history is The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (VIII c.) written by an unknown author. The three of its four existing manuscripts have prefaces clearly stating that the oldest inhabitants of the British Isles had come from Armenia. Moreover, Das Annolied (the Song of Anno), a medieval German poem (XI c.), mentions that the valiant German (Bavarian) nation came from Armenia. There is yet another interesting document: we learn from the Encyclopedia Britannica that according to an Irish legend, unknown pirates from the Greek region defeated the tribe of God Danu and conquered Ireland. Among the newcomers were the brothers Eire and Eremon. Eire was crowned king and bequeathed his name to the country-Ireland, which reminds us of the name Ayrarat.
Armenian Major
The archaeological excavations in Mesopotamia have demonstrated that the founders of the Sumerian civilization, prior to their advance on south Mesopotamia, had lived in the Armenian Highland. K. Keram, one of the renowned scientists of the history and culture of the Ancient World, believes that Sumerians came and settled in the delta of the Euphrates and Tigris. They brought with them advanced culture, schooling and laws. The nine tales of the famous Sumerian epic poem stress the importance of interrelations between the States of Sumer and Aratta. In the poem, State Aratta, which had emerged in the Armenian Highland was referred to as 'the Divine and Sacred Country of Law,' 'the Country of Immortals.' Sacred for Sumerians was their unforgettable country of origin, their homeland. The Arattians - the ancient Armenians - were the chosen people of the transitory but reviving nature and the god of awakening. God separated them from the others. The events recorded in the epic poem, date back to XXVIII-XXVII BC.

The 'credentials' of the Armenian statehood have reached us through maps. Maps have always shown Armenia. Thus, a Sumerian map dating from XXIV- XXIII BC refers to a place named The Mount of Gods 'Assembly. It denotes a country found at the sources of the Euphrates and Tigris - Armenia. Armenia is also mentioned in the map drawn by the Greek traveler and geographer Hecateos in VI-V BC. In addition to this, it is one of the 6 countries mentioned in a Babylonian map (VI BC). There is a world map on the flat front elevation of a four-storey high and 30 m wide rock next to the Coliseum and Forum in Rome. It displays the three largest states of the Ancient World - the Roman Empire, stretching from Greece to the Gibraltar, Armenia, from the Strait of Bosporus to the Caspian Sea and Persia. Their names are written in one-meter high letters in Latin. The map indicates the well-known, consolidated, stable and powerful states of the time.

Another ancient record about Armenia is the tri-lingual cuneiform inscription of the Persian king Darius I Hystaspes (522-486 BC) found on the rock of Behis- tun, which refers to one and the same country as Armina in Old Persian, Harmi-nuya in Elamite and Urashtu in Akkadian. The much older name of the country, Nairi (country of fire, light or rivers and seas), is found in cuneiform inscriptions dating from XII-XI BC. Whatever name the foreigners gave the country and its nation at different points in time -Armani, Aratta, Armenia, Hayasa, Somkheti, Ararad, Nairi, Urartu or Biayna - they meant the same country and the same nation. This nation lived in the territory of historic Armenia, had its unique language and culture and survived in this territory since ancient times to our days.

The origins of the Armenian people have spanned vast areas, absorbing many things from varied tribes and, as a result, producing a capable and stable gene. The anthropological Armenoid gene has emerged and spread all over the world. The Armenian State bordered Pontus, Babylon, Assyria, Cappadocia, Persia and Rome at different times in history.

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