It is with considerable excitement and no small amount of pride that we announce the publication of the first issue of “Aramazd ‘s Armenian Journal of Near Eastern Studies”, which was funded by a grant from Project Discovery!
Aramazd principally covers ancient history, philology, religions and culture of the ancient and medieval Near East and the Caucasus. This is the first periodical of its kind published in Armenia.
Published by the Association for Near Eastern and Caucasian Studies, Aramazd has an editorial board comprising leading scholars from around the world, headed by Dr. Aram Kossyan, head of the Department of Science, Ministry of Education and Science, and Dr. Armen Petrosyan. The editorial board’s stated objective is to create an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual understanding between the scholars of the Caucasus and other countries, transcending political ideology, and to improve the level of their scientific communication.
Aramazd, the lord of wisdom, was the supreme god of the Armenia’s in pre-Christian times. The editors hope that they will have the wisdom to complete this undertaking successfully.
During the Soviet era, and even afterwards, Armenian scholars made considerable strides in the scholarship of the history, philology and culture of the Armenian Highland and the Caucasus. However the results of their research were published, for the most part, in eastern Armenian and Russian, thereby rendering it largely inaccessible to the international scholarly community.
Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that only a small part of the research on this subject published outside of Armenia is currently available to Armenian scholars. Hence, the inclusion of articles by foreign authors in Aramazd will open the door to scientific information from around the world for Armenian scholars. Those involved with this project firmly believe that Aramazd will inaugurate the international rebirth of Armenia’s famous scientific school of the humanities.
Comprised of an impressive 300 pages, Aramazd contains 14 articles on the archaeology, history, religion and philology of the Armenian Highland and adjacent regions, and two book reviews, by authors from Armenia, the US, Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Turkey. All of the articles are written in English, with the exception of two written in German. A 16 page summary of the articles in Armenian is located at the back of the Journal.
Accolades from leading scholars around the world have been pouring in to the editors of Aramazd. More telling are the numerous offers from scholars to submit articles for future issues, ensuring the continuity and success of Aramazd.
With a successful first issue under their belts, the editors are enthusiastically at work on the second issue, which will be published in the spring of 2008, with continued funding from Project Discovery!
Project Discovery! is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to discovering and preserving Armenia’s archaeological and cultural heritage. For more information about Project Discovery! please visit its website at www.projectdiscovery.net.
Contents of Aramazd
Many of the articles cover topics on the Urartu. For example, leading Turkish archaeologists, Veli Sevin and Altan ?ilingio?lu, present the results of archaeological and historical research on the late epoch of Urartu, the first state to unify the Armenian Highland under one crown (9th-7th century BC). Cilingiroglu’s article deals with the Urartian fortress Ayanis and Sevin’s article commen’s on the Urartian capital city of Toprak Kale.
John Greppin deals with the remnants of the Urartian language in Armenian, claiming that the Caucasian lexical parallels in Armenian should be considered Hurro-Urartian borrowings. (The Hurro-Urartian tribes appeared in the Armenian Highland in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC from the East. )
Nicolay Harutyunyan details the different weapons mentioned in Urartian cuneiform inscriptions.
Yervand Grekyan’s article represents a new approach to the Urartian pantheon and shows that the cult centers of the main gods of Urartu were situated to the extreme south of the Armenian Highland, beyond the borders of Urartu. This region was the earliest center of the Hurro-Urartian tribes.
Armen Petrosyan argues that the god of Mithraism, a religion which was widespread in the Roman Empire during the 1st-4th centuries BC and which had a strong influence on Christianity, originated from the Armenian god Mithra/Mihr/Mher, the Iranianized version of Haldi, the supreme god of the Urartians.
Three articles represent the results of recent archaeological research conducted in Armenia, one by an Austrian team, and two by collaborations between Armenian, French, Italian and Austrian archaeologists. Stephan Kroll published the results of his excavations in Syunik in southern Amenia from 2000-2003. Pavel Avetisyan, Christine Chataigner and Giulio Palumbi published the results of their excavations of Nerkin Godedzor (2005-2006). Hayk Avetisyan and Wilfrid Allinger-Csollich report their findings from excavations at the fortress of Aramus from 2004-2005.
Other articles include Aram Kosyan’s study of the relations of the Hittite Kingdom with the principalities of the Armenian Highland in the mid-second millennium BC; Levon Abrahamian’s exploration of the chained mythological heroes of Armenia and adjacent regions; Tork Dalalyan’s discussion of Satana, the heroine of the epics of the Caucasian peoples, whose name the author claims derives from the legendary queen of Armenia, Sat%u218enik; Arsen Bobokhyan’s comparative study of the evolution of Early and Middle Bronze Age objects in the Caucasus, Europe and Near East; and Artak Movsisyan’s discussion of the identity of Erimena, the father of Urartian King Rusa.