JOINT SURVEY AT YERERUYK HISTORICAL SITE

The Government of the Republic of Armenia approved Order # 1919 on the 21st of May, 2020. It states the support to the project of conservation of a unique early Christian site Yereruik located on the North-West of Armenia right on the border between Armenian and Turkey, next to the Anipemza settlement.
In this first phase of the project the National University Of Architecture
And Construction Of Armenia (NUACA ) in partnership with the experts from Milan Polytechnic, Bologna University and ROCHEMP Center will prepare the conservation project for the 5th -6th cc. Yereruik Basilica and the vault, a project of establishment of a museum in the house of culture of Anipemsa will be developed as well.

For this reason on September 16th, 2020 the experts of the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia with the staff members of ROCHEMP regional office for cultural heritage Conservation, Management and Protection have conducted a survey. The architect restorers Dr. Emma Harutyunyan and Nanar Kalantaryan implemented observations of disorders of the remains of Basilica, recorded the humidity level in the stone of the walls, took endoscopic measures using as their expertise, so new technological means.
The map of signage around the site, information panels, walking paths and all required arrangement for the visitors was drown.
The results of the survey will be used for the preparation of the Conservation project of the Yereruyk site.
In 2016, the archaeological site of Yereruyk and the near village of Anipemz have been inserted in the prestigious list of the 7 MOST ENDANGERED sites of Europe thanks to the nomination submitted by the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (CSDCA).


Yereruyk is the historical site chosen by the scientific board of the ROCHEMP Center as the main site for the training on job of the Training for Cultural Heritage experts.

For more information please visit; http://www.rochemp.org/2020/05/25/webinar-on-ereruyk-a-major-archaeological-site-high-place-of-christian-armenia/

Follow our Blog for further development on this topic.

ROCHEMP Center’s Director Ani Avagyan was invited to talk with Maria Titizian on EVN Report’s podcast about the field of preservation of Armenian cultural and historical heritage

During the talk Ani Avagyan presented the vision, mission and current activities of the ROCHEMP’s Center, as well as discussed relevant issues, challenges in this field and possible solutions for the development and regulation of the field of cultural heritage protection and restoration.

For the podcast follow the link below: https://www.evnreport.com/podcasts/preserving-the-cultural-heritage-of-armenia?fbclid=IwAR1DB25aUO0JCcXm0jeO10Ra5c5U71bxqIBu56-MYmCNy3dZKlwvGQWO4Lc

36 Regional Museums and Museum-Reserves were Provided with the Material and Technical Support

The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, in collaboration with ICOM Armenia and ROCHEMP Center, has conducted the assessment of needs of museums and museum-reserves based on it, in frames of USAID “My Armenia” initiative, was developed the COVID-19’s impacts relief program. In the first phase of the initiative “My Armenia” program provided 36 museums and reserve-museums of Shirak, Lori, Tavush, Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions of the Republic of Armenia with the technical equipment, hygiene and safety kits, printed posters with guidelines introducing the visiting rules during the pandemic.

The first event of the program’s donation took place at the Khachatur Abovyan’s house-museum to which participated the Deputy of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia,  Narine Khachaturyan. She congratulated the representatives of museums and museum-reserves on the occasion of museums reopening after a long interruption and talked about the importance of joint programs: “I am grateful to the organizers that made every effort to implement this program. This approach and collaboration are extremely important. The provided material and technical support which is also important from the healthcare’s point of view, will contribute to the effective organisation of work at the reopened museums, – said N.Khachaturyan, expressing hope that museums will not have lack of visitors.  

The program manager of USAID “My Armenia” program, Sisak Mkhitaryan stressed that with this initiative they aim to help museums to deal with the problems and challenges posed by COVID-19: “With this support museums will be able to create conditions for their employees and visitors, work more productively, continuing their extremely important and valuable activities’’, – he said, thanking all participants of the project.

The choice of regions which have received support in the first phase of the program is conditioned by the geography of “My Armenia” program, the initiative will be of a continuing nature.

Source: https://escs.am/am/news/7025?fbclid=IwAR2rqM0-6dm6I7Tu0goeT_g3VjrmUTWBjrEFaxER5sWPM1Qowunp9uoLhD8

A Study of the Toponyms of the Kingdom of Bia/Urarṭu

SERIE ORIENTALE ROMA n.s. 19

(Scienze e Lettere 2020)

by Roberto Dan

This volume by Roberto Dan is the second he has written in the Serie Orientale Roma N.S. The first study (From the Armenian Highland to Iran A Study on the Relations between the Kingdom of Urartu and the Achaemenid Empire, S.O.R. 4, 2015) focused on a systematic analysis of complex matters such as the “direct” and “indirect” relations between the state of Urartu and the Achaemenid Empire, with a special focus on the so-called “Median transition,” a work that was aimed at historians, archaeologists and art historians. This second volume is devoted to a study of Urartian toponomastics based on the publication of the Corpus dei Testi Urartei by Mirjo Salvini (five volumes, 2008-2018). It is jointly published by ISMEO and the Dipartimento di scienze umanistiche, della comunicazione e del turismo of the Tuscia University, Viterbo. Part of the research has been conducted within the framework of a Research Fellows Program (“Urartu and the Achaemenids: archaeological and textual comparisons”) at DISUCOM, Tuscia University, PRIN Project “Territorio, ideologia, società: il continuum culturale in Iran dalla tarda età del ferro allo stato achemenide (ricerche archeologiche ed epigrafiche),” directed by Prof. Ela Filippone (2015RMKAFR_002). In the volume, Roberto Dan has addressed the study of Urartian toponyms in a complete way for the first time since 1985, the year in which Nikolay Harutjunjan published his fundamental (now of course somewhat dated) monograph on this topic. The publication of this important work, which certainly constitutes considerable progress in Urartian studies, testifies to ISMEO’s commitment to become heir and developer of the “Urar?u Project” started years ago by Mirjo Salvini that has produced fundamental contributions to the discipline. This commitment is manifested not only by scientific publications in the field, but above all by the three archaeological projects carried out in coollaboration with local scholars and institutions by R. Dan in the Southern Caucasus, Armenia (Kotayk Survey Project, Vayots Dzor Project) and Georgia (Samtskhe-Javakheti Project), that in 2018 saw the creation of a single label under which all these activities related to the same cultural area are grouped, the Archaeological Mission to South Caucasus – ISMEO (AMSC – ISMEO). This incessant field activity is reflected in the pages of this work, in the depth that can be offered by a scholar familiar not only with I parte – intro + preface LoghiLinea_Layout 1 14/07/2020 09:13 Pagina VII the archaeology, history and history of art, but also with the philology of Urar?u and Assyria. The book is divided into a series of sections whose main part is dedicated to the detailed analysis of every single toponym known in the Urartian documentation. These toponyms, considerably more numerous than in previous publications, have been subdivided on the basis of the determinative that precedes the name into categories such as rivers, mountains, countries, tribes and towns. A series of useful appendices enrich the volume, including the first systematic comparison between Urartian and Assyrian toponyms, a summary of the places that can be identified with modern locations, all the known geographical coordinates of inscriptions and the reconstruction, where possible, of the places of origin of erratic inscriptions. To conclude, this work is a welcome addition not only for those directly interested in the civilization of Urar?u, but for all scholars involved in the study of Assyria and the other actors in the complex political  scenario that characterized the 1st millennium BC in Mesopotamia and in the mountainous lands located south of the Greater Caucasus chain.

ADRIANO V. ROSSI

President of ISMEO

CONTENTS

Foreword by Adriano V. Rossi

Preface by Gernot Wilhelm

Acknowledgements

Marie-Claude Trémouille, The Geography of the Kingdom of Bia/Urartu

INTRODUCTION .

URARTIAN TOPONYMS

Rivers (ÍD)

“Lands,” “Mountains” (KUR) Fragmentary and Acephalous

“Lands,” “Mountains” (KUR)

“Tribes” (M) Fragmentary

“Tribes” (M) and Cities with Royal Names

MUNUS

“Towns” (URU) Fragmentary

“Towns” (URU)

Theophore Toponyms (DINGIR)

Toponyms Without Determinatives

APPENDIXES

1. Chronological Table with Synchronisms between Assyrian and Urartian Kings

2. Urartian Toponyms Identified with Modern Places

3. List of Urartian Toponyms with a Certain or Possible Correspondence with Assyrian Toponyms

4. Locations of Urartian Inscriptions

5. Reconstruction of the Original Locations of Erratic Urartian Inscriptions and General List of Cited Toponyms

PLATES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

List of General Abbreviations

List of Bibliographical Abbreviations

Bibliography

Source: http://www.scienzeelettere.it/book/50187.html?fbclid=IwAR1DLeE6Sda7Sg7jIPpMrsDB17wl6xU1wnCJ8xsxnhpOMnZ_f30r1iky29k

Closer and more tangible to the history and monuments: Ruben Sargsyan’s profession gives a new breath to our heritage

“Imagine a classroom where, by wearing special VR glasses, pupils appear in some historical period, see it in digital reconstruction all its glory, with fortresses and palaces, temples and cities…”, presents attracting aspects of his profession architect-3D reconstructor Ruben Sargsyan, believing that every child who studied in such conditions would go to school with utmost pleasure.

Ruben Sargsyan with his 3D modelling reconstruction of the Urartian palace

Ruben compares his profession with an intensive care unit of the hospital. “Of course, the reconstruction institute as such is just being formed in Armenia but in the 21st century complementing history with just a text is not enough. As people say, it is better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times”, he substantiates his point of view.

Ruben is a research fellow and a graduate student at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. He was born in the family of architects and has applied to the Faculty of Design since his parents insisted that it is a high demand and more suitable profession. Nonetheless, during his years of study his insatiable love and interest in architecture and history always stimulated him to study and learn about these fields on his own. Later, using an opportunity, he has passed examinations on his beloved subjects and has become a graduate student at the Chair of the Theory, Restoration and Reconstruction of Architecture — already implementing in practice all the knowledge and skills that he has obtained in the field.

“Unlike to a restorer, a reconstructor gets a final form of a given structure by 3D modelling. For example, there is a structure of which only foundations are remained, and you do not have enough material for its restoration but by a reconstruction, based on the facts you have, you can get almost its precise image”, explains Ruben, noting that one of his works has been printed in Artak Movsisyan’s book “Ararat-Urartu”. It is his first professional achievement.

Today Ruben also practices his profession at the “Erebuni” historical and archaeological museum-reserve. He tells that he has met the present director of the museum Mikael Badalyan by accident during the archaeological excavations at the Odzaberd fortress archaeological site and common interests have stimulated future collaboration. “Working at the “Erebuni” museum is one of my achievements. Although the field of academia is underpaid but it does not restrict you from loving your work. I come home every day with a smile because I made something good today, got one step closer to my final goal “, Ruben says excitedly.

Soon will be published a book of 3D modelled projects of the young scholar, as well as together with the museum’s administration they intend to make 3D modelled exhibit related to the Kingdom of Van. It is not important how much you are paid what is more important how much you believe in what you are doing – this idea drives the hero of our story. “One day it happened so that I wanted to guide pupils visiting the museum to the fortress although my work is not related to the guides’ department. I was wearing the Urartian period soldier’s outfit reconstructed by my friend. Together with children we went to ‘conquer’ Argishti’s fortress. Children’s excitement was so great that I was no less excited”, says joyfully Ruben ‘the soldier’. In his opinion, presentation of Armenia to tourists should start from the Erebuni. He proudly recalls that when he was in Italy as a tourist the guide referring to him affirmed that you cannot impress Armenians with ancient history.

Ruben’s research topic is the Kingdom of Van – providing clues for many issues related to that period by 3D modelling. His ancestors are from Van. They have settled in Yerevan in 1915 and from that time on they live in the city center at the Grigor Lusavorich avenue. Throughout the years the city has grown around their place, and today, using his professional skills, he is going to reconstruct ancient Van — his ancestors’ city. Our hero opens up about his deep-rooted love toward his profession: “As funny as it may seem the first seeds of my interest appeared after watching “The Mummy”, especially after that episode when the girl returns in her mind to the past and imagines the actual look of that place”.

Ruben also says that he has visited the “Erebuni” museum for the first time when he was 18 years old, on his birthday. “There was a book about the Erebuni at home, I went through its pages by chance and became curious instantly. After two months I was recruited to army and that time was enough for me to understand that architecture and history are those fields that I want to work in. And over the years, step by step I got to my place”, he says shifting from past to present.

Besides 3D modelling, Ruben has an amateur job, he reconstructs the garments of a king, a queen and a high priest dating to BCE 1st century. “My personal experience shows that when I do any work its application finds itself later. We have such a rich historical heritage that even if we have an army of reconstructors there would always be a work to be done and for good work investors are always found. It would be great if our motherland with its rich historical past had many architect-reconstructors”, concludes the young scholar.

Edited by Lala Badoyan

Link to the source: https://escs.am/am/news/6879?fbclid=IwAR3i14wv3OvVelUEbT7U-hj4kJJ9Qybv8mHPHty54CWX6vcgmtBxmBb–RI

“How and why to nominate a site for the 7 Most Endangered 2021” – 30 July 2020 at 17:00

Many heritage treasures all over Europe are threatened due to a series of natural, human-related or climate change causes, particularly in these trying times.

Do you happen to know an important endangered heritage gem in Armenia – such as a historic monument or an ensemble of historic monuments, an archaeological site, a place of worship, an industrial complex, a historic park, a museum or a movable heritage asset? Then nominate it for the 7 Most Endangered programme 2021!

Launched in 2013, the 7 Most Endangered programme is a civil society campaign to save Europe’s endangered heritage. It raises awarenessprepares independent assessmentsproposes recommendations for action and seeks to rally support to save the selected endangered sites. It does not guarantee direct funding but the listing of an endangered site often serves as a catalyst and incentive for mobilisation of the necessary public or private support, including funding.

The 7 Most Endangered programme is run by Europa Nostra – the European Voice of Civil Society committed to Cultural and Natural Heritage – in partnership with the European Investment Bank Institute (EIB Institute). It also has the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

In the 2021 edition, for the first time since the launch of the programme, the selected 7 Most Endangered heritage sites will be eligible for an EIB Heritage Grant of up to 10,000 euros per site. The EIB Heritage Grant can be allocated to the eligible selected 7 Most Endangered sites as an assistance for an agreed activity aimed to ensure the saving of the threatened site.

You can nominate endangered heritage with the support of ROCHEMP and of the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (CSDCA) or directly by joining the Europa Nostra network, as a member or associate organisation or as a new individual member.

Let’s save Europe’s endangered heritage sites together!

The deadline for submissions is 7 September 2020 (date of sending).

A webinar “How and why to nominate a site for the 7 Most Endangered 2021” will be held on 30th July 2020 at 19:00 Armenian time

The webinar is organised by the Europa Nostra secretariat and it will be in English. It will explain the background of the 7 Most Endangered Programme providing also practical information and tips on how to prepare and submit your nominations. Participants will have some time to ask questions at the end of the event.

The webinar is directed to potential nominators of 7 Most Endangered sites or to people interested in knowing more about the programme.

Interested participants are invited to register at this link by Tuesday 28 July 2020. Instructions on how to join the webinar will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the webinar when registrations close. 

You can read more here about the Call for Nominations.

HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS – A NEW BOOK IS PUBLISHED BY DR. KAREN MATEVOSYAN

The book presents the author’s historical and archaeological observations on a number of places and monuments, proposing some assumptions and suggestions that can serve as a guideline for further studies. The author referred to those places about which he had previously published studies.

The cover of the book
Aruch


ARUCH – In the book, titled Aruch (Yerevan, 1987), Matevosyan K. assumed that the basilica which was excavated in the 1950s and considered to be part of the palace complex, is the ancient basilica church of Aruch (5th century), the western wing of which was later downsized and therefore the altar has not been preserved. This assumption was confirmed during the excavations in 2006.
Another assumption made in the same book has not yet been verified. It refers to the place of the entrance to the palace hall, which could not be determined during the excavations. Since the pedestal of the throne is on the eastern side of the hall, the entrance must have been from the western side, and if making excavations in a small area, the western wall of the palace and the entrance section can be opened.
From an archeological point of view, the 7th-century fortress of Aruch is also of great interest, the walls of which are currently in a state of disrepair.

Havuts Tar


HAVUTS TAR – A few years ago, in a 14th-century manuscript of the Matenadaran (Ms 3681) Matevosyan K. found the text of the spiritual leader of the Havuts Tar Monastery, Nathanael, about the history of the monastery. It is mentioned in this text that in 1002, Prince Gevorg built the Katoghike Church of the monastery, which had nine altars. The church is now in ruins, the area is covered with many church stones and architectural fragments. The gavit (narthex) of the monastery has been built in front of it, which is also currently destroyed. In the book, the author tries to restore the original plan of the monastery, showing the location of the Katoghike Church and suggests to make excavations in that area for discovering it.


ANI – the famous capital of medieval Armenia, the ruins of which are now in the territory of Turkey. It was especially famous for its numerous churches. Information about one of them, St. Stepanos, has been preserved only in the lithographs of other monasteries. In one of them it is mentioned that St. Stepanos was near the Kars Gate of Ani. In J. Orbeli’s Brief Guideline of the City of Ani it is mentioned under the number 20 – “the ruins of the big temple.” Therefore, it was the Church of St. Stepanos.
The Bekhents Monastery of Ani is famous for the two manuscripts copied and illustrated there which have come down to us (Matenadaran, ms. 5554, ms. 6288). Its exact location is unknown, but in the coastal part of the gorge of the Akhuryan River, where there are two more famous monasteries (St. Gregory built by Tigran Honents and the Kusanats Monastery), ruins and architectural fragments have been preserved, which allow us to assume that there were also a church and a monastery there. (Matevosyan K. made observations there in 2012-2013). It is possible that it was the Bekhents Monastery.

Aghtamar


AGHTAMAR – King Gagik Artsruni made this island on Lake Van his residence, built a city, a palace, and the Church of the Holy Cross (915-921) there, which is famous especially for being completely decorated with reliefs from the outside. In the history ordered by the king it is said that in order to build the church, he invaded and occupied the Kotom fortress, destroyed the pagan temple there, and brought these stones to Aghtamar. First, Lydia Durnovo, then Asatur Mnatsakanyan, made the assumption that the reliefs of the temple presenting the images of animals, which form a separate ornamental belt, are quite protruding from the walls and differ from the other reliefs of the church in some respects. They were brought from Kotom and initially belonged to the temple situated there. The author of this book brings additional arguments in favor of this view.
The palace built by Gagik Artsruni on the Aghtamar Island has not been preserved and even its exact place is not known. When Matevosyan K. was in Aghtamar in 2012, he noticed a platform on the south-eastern side of the Church of the Holy Cross, on a high place, which was devoid of grass and was intentionally leveled. There are traces of walls on the northern and southern sides of the area. Taking into account these and several other circumstances, the author supposes that the Aghtamar Palace could have been in that place.


VAYOTS DZOR – This province of Armenia flourished in the late 13th and the first half of the 14th century. The University of Gladzor, having a pan-Armenian reputation, was founded here. In 1282-1338, it functioned at the Aghberts Monastery, the location of which is currently unknown. In 1338-1356, the university operated at the Hermon Monastery, which is now abandoned and in a state of disrepair.
Since the end of the 13th century, under the auspices of the Orbelian princes another high-class school functioned at the Upper Noravank in the Vayots Dzor province, the location of which was also unknown, but due to the recent studies (Discovery of Tigran Mkrtchyan) it was discovered that it is the nowadays famous Shatik Monastery. Matevosyan K. suggests to carry out corresponding archaeological and restoration works in these two monasteries, Hermon and Upper Noravank, which are far from the roads. Due to them, Armenology will be enriched with new data, the tombstones of some medieval educational figures will be discovered. At the same time, it will be possible to add these two monuments to the tourist map of Armenia as places of activity of the higher educational and scientific centers of medieval Armenia.

The book is published in Armenian with English conclusion.

Author of the book
Dr. Karen Matevosyan
Doctor of Historical Science, Professor
Deputy Director of Matenadaran


Explore more by visiting the web site: http://www.armenianart.org/eng/index.html

HOW SHOULD CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS REOPEN IN TIMES OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS?

In its role of bridging and supporting the institutions of Cultural Heritage in the country ROCHEMP Center is partnering ICOM Armenia and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports in the major project of support to the museums and museum reserves to overcome with the COVID-19 crisis, to reopen to the public in a safe mode. The Guidelines for museums’ reopening in times of COVID-19 crisis in Armenian language has carefully developed and adapted and can be downloaded and used widely. These guidelines are a result of research and analysis of the hitherto published articles, guidelines and programs, while taking into account the peculiarities of the country. As a main source for the guidelines was used ArtNet news. The guidelines were published on Friday, June 20, 2020.


At a time of a global COVID-19 crisis, cultural institutions all over the world have faced the challenge of surviving and functioning in the extraordinary conditions. In this regard, Armenia is not any different. The Armenian cultural institutions also try to understand when and how they can reopen their doors to the visitors. It is obvious that after the reopening they will operate in new realities. Thus, for successfully restarting their activities they need not only to reduce the risks of virus transmission for visitors, staff and volunteers, but also inspire trust of these three parties.
The professional bodies American Alliance of Museums (AAM), Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), International Council of Museums (ICOM), International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM), have published their preliminary guidelines.
The instructions facilitate staff training process and assist to secure the employee well-being under given circumstances. Moreover, the instructions are developed to prepare facilities of cultural institutions for the reopening (in particular for understanding and developing an operational plan; installing protections and partitions; ramping up hygiene and cleaning), as well as to provide means and tools for the effective communication between the public and the cultural institutions in times of COVID-19 pandemic. The orienting and informing of the visitors about the procedures and safety rules by using signage, different visual and audio materials become even more important now. The instructions introduce the safety rules to be followed by visitors and implemented by staff such as ensuring protective coverings, taking body temperature, as well as compiling and tracking visitor information. The use of outdoor areas of the museums and other cultural institutions can be functional and can be used both for mitigating the in-flow and for the outdoor cultural activities, as well as for adapting parking structures and erecting temporary structures during the pandemic period. The practical instructions show how to enforce physical distancing, to establish one-way routing and to organize distancing in public areas and in the galleries.
ROCHEMP hopes that these guidelines will come in handy for Armenian cultural institutions in their efforts to reopen, and quite soon we they will be able to return to their pivotal mission—bringing knowledge, art and culture to their visitors all over the world.

Stay safe and positive!

First Phase is Concluded: ROCHEMP2020: training for cultural heritage experts

As part of the ROCHEMP Project, from 17th of February to 26th of June 2020, the theoretical part of pilot course “ROCHEMP2020: training for cultural heritage experts” was organized by ROCHEMP Center. The course is composed of classroom lectures, individual study and practical activities for 21 participants coming from different professional areas and institutions in the field of Cultural Heritage Management, Conservation and Enhancement from Armenia, Belgium and Georgia.
The course is in English and certificate of participation will be delivered to the participants upon the successful completion.


Launched in an auditorium at the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia this February, due to COVID-19 lockdown it was continued remotely via Microsoft Teams. Due to the professional skills of the University of Bologna Alma Mater Studiorum’s staff, the training course was carried out in the first-rate scientific environment and in the form of active discussions.

Professors and prominent scholars Alessia Zampini, Sara Fiorentino, Salvatore Napoli, Federico Fallavolita, Laura Vicci, Gaiane’ Casnati, Alessandro Ianucci, Simone Zambruno, Marco Pretelli, Anna Bonora have shared with the participants of the Course their knowledge and expertise on various topics related to the cultural heritage, such as the Evaluation of conservation projects, The implementation of technical drawings for decorative surfaces, Digital cultural heritage methods for tourism, Management and development plans for cultural heritage issues and case studies etc. The training course has united a very diverse and special team of professionals which made exchange of experience even more productive on a multidisciplinary level. We also hope that it will become a basis for new collaborations and projects.
And last but not least, a great acknowledgment is addressed to the scientific director of the ROCHEMP Project Dr. Prof. Mariangela Vandini and the Project Coordinator Dr. Tania Chinni for all their efforts and contribution to the development and implementation of this training course.

WEBINAR ON ERERUYK. A MAJOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE, HIGH PLACE OF CHRISTIAN ARMENIA

Wednesday May 27th
h. 19:00-21:00

Zoom (preliminary registration is required) https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdiZmN5sbUPJLdH_XPfMZWRto9JMyU0RIR4tqsxJFfrpB4IWw/viewform?usp=sf_link

On 21st of May, 2020 the Government of the Republic of Armenia approved the support for the research and preservation of Ererouyk basilica (6th c.) and for the creation of a little museum in Anipemza, to be provided through the Service for the Protection of Historical Environment and Cultural Museum-Reservations. On this occasion, the Regional Center for Cultural Heritage Enhancement, Management and Protection – ROCHEMP – hosts a webinar on 27th of May at 19:00 Yerevan time, about the history of Ereruyk basilica and archaeological site. The webinar will be led by Dr. Patrick Donabédian, Associate Professor of Armenian Studies at the Université d’Aix-Marseille (Aix-en-Provence, France), who from 2009 to 2016 was the Director of the multidisciplinary archaeological investigation of Ererouyk basilica and archaeological site conducted by the Laboratoire d’Archéologie Médiévale et Moderne en Méditerranée (LA3M – AMU – CNRS) .

The webinar will be held in English in the ambit of the training course “ROCHEMP2020: training for cultural heritage experts” organized by ROCHEMP Center in the ambit of an international cooperation project co-financed by the Italian Agency for Cooperation Development (AICS), the Alma mater Studiorum of Bologna University and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia.

Free access upon registration. The link to Zoom will be sent to the all registered participants.

ERERUYK, A MAJOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE, HIGH PLACE OF CHRISTIAN ARMENIA

Patrick Donabédian

LA3M, UMR 7298, AMU/CNRS, Aix-en-Provence


The early Christian and medieval site of Ereruyk is located at the northwestern extremity of the current Republic of Armenia, on its border with present-day Turkey, a few kilometers from the remains of the medieval capital Ani. From 2009 to 2016 a French-Armenian archaeological team led by the LA3M laboratory of Aix-Marseille University (France) has submitted this site to detailed, multidisciplinary investigations.
The site contains the vestiges of several constructions among which the most impressive are the ruins of an undated, but obviously early Christian basilica, with unusual features. Its study led to revisit Armenian-Syriac relations in the early Christian period and to deepen our knowledge of “memorial” sanctuaries. The survey also concerned the dating of the basilica, its architecture, carved decor, its place in early Christian Armenia, as well as the hypothesis of a pre-Christian stratum. Most of the other components of the Ereruyk ensemble raise difficult questions relating both to their function and their dating. The site poses also more general questions concerning the nature of the complex and the reasons for its location, in a place nowadays particularly deprived, as well as several enigmas that appeared during the investigations. The multidisciplinary team set up by the LA3M of Aix-en-Provence and the Regional Museum of Shirak (the province where the site is located) strived to provide answers at least to some of these questions.
After the discovery, near the church, of a cemetery and a memorial area, the mission began to clear a field that until then was very marginal and even taboo in medieval Armenian archeology, that of funerary archeology. The detailed archaeological and anthropological study of more than seventy graves, and 29 dates obtained thanks to radiocarbon analysis of human bones, gave a first picture of the long evolution of a Christian cemetery in Armenia, from late Antiquity to almost today. A geomorphological analysis of a seasonal stream bordering the site was also conducted to try to better understand the place of this “wadi” in the past life of the complex. This was done in parallel with the study of ruined architectural structures located within its bed. All this allowed to reconsider the relations that Ereruyk necessarily had, around the year 1000, with the neighboring town of Ani.
The lecture will review the results achieved by the mission, the questions raised by its investigations, some answers that have been found, as well as the enigmas that still remain to be elucidated.

Patrick Donabédian
Born in Tunis (Tunisia) in 1953, Patrick Donabédian received his first training in Slavic languages, especially Russian, and in art history at the University of Provence (1970-74). Then he studied Armenian language, art history and architecture at the University of Yerevan, Armenia (1975-80). He obtained two doctorates in art history, one at the Academy of Fine Arts in Saint Petersburg (1981), the other at Paris-X-Nanterre University (1986). In 2004, he had an accreditation to direct research (HDR) in Armenology / art history at the University of Montpellier III. For more than forty years he studied with passion and professionalism the medieval art of Armenia and Georgia with a particular focus on architecture and decoration. In parallel to his scientific work, from 1992 to 2006, he served French diplomacy as a cultural advisor in Eastern Europe, notably in Armenia (1992-1996), before returning to the university sphere in 2006. Since that date, he has been in charge of the Armenian Studies Section at the University of Aix-Marseille (AMU), and a researcher at the Laboratory of Medieval and Modern Archeology in the Mediterranean (LA3M, AMU / CNRS). From 2009 to 2016, he led the Franco-Armenian archaeological mission of LA3M in Ererouyk (Armenia). P. Donabédian is the author or co-author of ten books, including Les arts arméniens (with J.-M. Thierry), Paris, 1987 (Prix 1988 de l’Académie française) and L’Age d’or de l’architecture Arménienne. 7th century, Marseille, 2008 (2008 Prize from the Institut de France – Academy of Fine Arts). He has published over two hundred scientific articles in specialized journals and collections. He is author of the book EREROUYK – UN SITE ARCHÉOLOGIQUE MAJEUR, HAUT LIEU DE L’ARMÉNIE CHRÉTIENNE (in French and Armenian language) that will be soon available in Yerevan (ed. Sarguis Khatchents, PRINTINFO).

Some additional information
In 2016, the archaeological site of ERERUYK and the near village of ANIPEMZA have been inserted in the prestigious list of the 7 MOST ENDANGERED sites of Europe thanks to the nomination submitted by the Centro Studi e Documentazione della Cultura Armena (CSDCA), an association that since 1970 is supporting local experts and stakeholders in the implementation of different actions aimed to the safeguard and enhancement of Armenian cultural heritage. In May 21st 2020 the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia deliberated to support the preservation of the basilica and the of little mausoleum of Ererouyk and the creation of a little museum in the House of Culture of the village of Anipemza.

The 7 Most Endangered programme identifies the most significant and threatened monuments, sites and landscapes in Europe and mobilises public and private partners at all levels to find a viable future for these heritage gems. It was launched in 2013 by Europa Nostra with the European Investment Bank Institute as founding partner and the Council of Europe Development Bank as associated partner. It has received the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union since 2014, as part of Europa Nostra’s network project ‘Mainstreaming Heritage’. See: http://www.europanostra.org/europe-7-most-endangered-heritage-sites-2016-announced/

©The photos of Ereruyk are by the photographer Tigran Hayrapetyan