TIGRANAKERT, Artsakh (Panorama.am)—The excavation work in Tigranakert, Artsakh, lasted for 40 days this year, concluding in late August, the head of the archaeological expedition in Tigranakert, Hamlet Petrosyan, told Panorama.am. In his words, the excavation has been financed by Artsakh leadership. This year, some $37,800 was allocated to the project that involved around 30 workers, members of the expedition and covered some costs related to reconstruction, transportation and photography of the items.
As the head of the expedition explained, the works are carried out in three main locations. This year, the excavations covered the 66-foot-long part of the northern fence of the fortified region. The total height of the wall is about 7 feet long. Archaeologists hope to conclude the excavations of the whole fence in several years. The fence is of high interest, since its layout and structure is unique for the region.
“It seems to have been a reference structure and shows the scale of the initiatives of Tigran the Great, who gathered all famous architects from Asia Minor and Armenia to build a major city.”
Excavations of the second antique district continued this summer. The works in the first district are concluded. In Petrosian’s words, the districts were established next to the fortress during the 1st century BC, comprising separate walls and residential complexes.
“Several cultural layers have been discovered at the site built in the period of Tigran the Great at 1st century BC. Those are laid one on another with the old walls renovated and the new ones built. New tandoors were revealed,” noted Hamlet Petosyan.
In the archaeologist’s words, the findings uncovered by a team are mostly pottery – whole jars, pots and casseroles. “The richness of colorful pottery is striking which is phenomenal for the region. We have no monument in Caucasus that contained samples of so many colors and black tuned pottery. This proves Tigranakert had served as a regional hub that also spread modern trends.”
The excavation works in the third location are concentrated on the square of the early Christian period, where two churches have been discovered, the mausoleum, as well as remains of a Christian monument. The plans for this year was to expand the southern yard and the works are focused on layers dated in 12 to 13th centuries.
“Large complexes with plastered floors and tandoors are of particular important. Among numerous pottery there was a plate with a colored eagle depicted on it that demonstrated the richness of the city,” said the archaeologist
He added that, this year, they plan to work on top of Tsitsar Mountain, which is directly in front of Tigranakert. It contained a mausoleum with underground rooms, where remains of saints were found on the floors. An anthropologist from France has been invited to identify the gender, age and the chronology.
“Excavations works in Tigranakert discover a history of a major city that prospered until the13th century,” concluded Petrosyan.