STEPANAKERT (ArmRadio)–As international mediators continue to seek a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, archeologists in the mountainous republic are searching for the remains of ancient Armenian cities in Karabakh, buried under the sands of time.
The Armenian specialists came close in 2005, when they found one of four Tigranakert cities built by Armenian King Tigran the Great on the liberated land of Aghdam, to the southeast of Martaket region.
“For me this is Troy, this is how I would assess it,” said Vardges Safaryan, member of the Tigranakert expedition. “We continue finding different items here, but it’s not the most important. What’s important is that the city once existed here,”
According to Safaryan, the city, founded sometime in the 80s B.C., survived through the 15th century, which explains the presence of not only Hellenic monuments, but Christian ones as well. Among the findings were two main walls and the towers of the Hellenic styled city and an Armenian church built sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries, in which was found a clay, dish-like item with an engraving that reads “My, Vache, the slave of God.”
“This inscription dates back to the 6th-7th century, and it is the most ancient Armenian inscription found on Karbakh soil to date,” said Safaryan.
The authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh have attached a great deal of importance to the excavations of Tigranakert and the government has been financing the project for approximately two years now.