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The road to the fortress city Metsamor passes by picturesque Ararat valley. The fortress is at a distance of 35 km from Yerevan, on the bank of Metsamor river. It occupies the entire surface of the volcanic hill.

The excavations, which began on this territory back in 1965, are continuing up to now, although with interruptions. The cultural layers found during the archaeological work date to earlier periods of the Middle and Late Bronze Age, Early and Developed Iron Age and medieval era.

The found artifacts are preserved in the historical and archaeological museum opened in the territory of the fortress in 1968. Currently, the museum is a home to more than 22,000 exhibits.

According to conservation architect Tigran Zakyan, agate drop ornament in the form of the Babylonian king Ulam-Buriaš’s (16th century BC) frog occupies a special place among the artifacts. Another unique exhibit is the stamps from red cornelian with Egyptian hieroglyphics belonging to another Babylonian king, Kurigalzu (15th century BC).

Besides, the museums preserves the most ancient golden jewelry (3rd millennium BC) found in the territory of Armenia. It is supposed to be a child’s hairpin, Zakyan noted.

Artifacts are indicative of the fact that Metsamor has from the most ancient times been a a junction of primary caravan routes, passing via Ararat valley and linking Western Asia with South Caucasus.

In 2013, the Armenian archaeologist together with his Polish colleagues from Warsaw National Museum of Archaeology launched the excavations outside the fortress walls.

The head of the archaeological expedition Ashot Piliposyan, who is also the Deputy Director of the Service for the Protection of Historical Environment and Cultural Museum Reservations, showed a golden and carnelian chain found about ten days ago. The excavations ended this year, he noted.

In Piliposyan’s words, the excavation revealed several rooms, in which traces of fire were found. Several big vessels were found in them too. Apart from this, the archaeologists excavated several skeletons, including that of a 6-year-old child.

One of the dug out skeletons is remarkable for its being beheaded; it held a jar in its hands.  Apparently, this was case of sudden violent death, Zakyan said. The fortress territory is full of unexamined sides, but this is a matter of time and financial support, he concluded.

Jar found in the hands of beheaded skeleton 

Photo: Arsen Sargsyan\NEWS.am

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