Ancient Grains Discovered in Armenia

YEREVAN (Arminfo)–Arminfo reports that while exploring the rocks in the canyon of the river Kasakh–a group of Armenian and French archaeologists have discovered a monument made of mesolite–a mineral not commonly found in the South Caucasus and Middle East–explains Boris Gasparyan–who heads the group and is from Armenia’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences.

The archaeoloists also discovered a wild wheat grain dating back 8,000-10,000 years in the Kmlo caves near the village of Apna–Aragatson region. If experts confirm the age of the grain–they will be one of the oldest grains ever found in the region. The discovered layers are well preserved–providing good opportunity to collect sufficient scientific materials about the period.

Despite the instability of the structures–three groups of archaeologists plan to continue their excavations. Besides the Kmlo caves–they are also exploring traces of man having lived in the area during the middle Paleolite period–and have found sites of primitive men who are assumed to have been hunters and fishermen.

Another group is examining rock paintings found in the Gegamavan I cave–one kilometer from the Kmlo caves. The unique paintings are in ochre–a substance believed to be used only in the late Eneolite and early bronze (IV-III) periods.

The Gegamavan I paintings–however–date back to the Neolite period when man had proven mastery in linear drawing technique. The paintings depict animals–but mostly deer. The findings could prove that rock painting–traditionally found in the mountains of Gegama–Sunik and Aragats–could be older than originally thought.

The objective of the expedition is to study the history of the use of obsidian as a tool of primitive man. Obsidian tools are widely spread over the territory of historical Armenia and perfectly characterize social-economic relations in the Stone Age.

The expedition is financed by Gfoeller Foundation (US).

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