STEPANAKERT (News.am)–An archeological museum dedicated to the study and preservation of the excavated ruins of an ancient Armenian city opened its doors Tuesday in liberated Aghdam. The museum marks a milestone achievement in ongoing efforts to uncover the city of Tigranakert, one of the many built throughout the Armenian plateau by Armenian King Tigranes the Great in the 1st century B.C.
At the museum’s opening ceremony, Karabakh’s head of tourism, Sergey Shahverdyan, hailed the event as renewed confirmation of the “historical truth.” “Tigranakert is our homeland, like Van, Mush, Kars and Ardahan,” he exclaimed, adding that he was confident the excavated city would “become one of the largest tourism centers of the country.”
Tigranakert was among four cities founded by Armenian King Tigranes the Great, who expanded the Armenian Kingdom beyond its traditional boundaries, transforming it into an empire and the strongest state east of Rome.
According to Armenian archaeologists, the city was founded sometime in the 80s B.C. and survived through the 15th century. The excavated area around Tigranakert features artifacts and ruins from both Armenia’s Hellenic and Christian eras. Among the findings are 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.”
In related news, efforts are underway in Armenia to officially designate a national holiday in honor of Tigranes the Great. Legislation drafted by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, commemorating the 2150th anniversary of the Armenian emperor, was submitted to Parliament on Tuesday for consideration.
Speaking to the National Assembly, ARF Deputy Ruzanna Arakelyan urged her colleagues to support the resolution, which she said was important in ensuring Armenian generations continue to remember and celebrate their heroes and history.