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June 22
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YEREVAN. - All the feats performed by our great Armeniologists due to the political situation eventually turn against the Armenian studies and Armenians.  

Head of the Tigranakert archaeological expedition, Hamlet Petrosyan, stated the aforementioned at a press-conference on Friday, referring to the history of the emergence of Aghvan Kingdom, Aghvan church and speculations of the Azerbaijani side on this topic.

He added that it is due to the connivance of the Armenian scientists that the Azeris currently propagate the idea that the Aghvans (Caucasian Albanians) were the ancestors of the Azeris.

In this context, he pointed out to two examples. In particular, in his early works, Hovsep Orbeli writes that Artsakh is an indigently Armenian land. In 1935, being already the director of Hermitage, he claims—under the pressure of the Soviet propaganda—that Aghvans lived in the territory of Artsakh, the Armenians being foreigners there, who thus assimilated with the Aghvans. “Now the Azeris use that against us,” he noted.  

According to Hamlet Petrosyan, the second classic example is Asatur Mnatsakanyan, who in the 60s claimed that there was no Aghvani writing system and literature.

But we know that Mesrop Mashtots created the Aghvani alphabet. “Armenians were in good neighborly relations with Aghvanis: they taught them, gave them a writing system and disseminated Christianity. But stemming from certain unclear Armeniological ideas, all these data were considered as a hopeless case, until Aghvani manuscripts were accidentally discovered in the Church of St. Catherine in the 90s. Now the entire world knows that the Aghvani writing system did exist. The Georgians have currently become famous specialists of Aghvani studies. In fact, the Georgian scientists are studying the Aghvani sources, which are kept at our Matenadaran [Institute of Ancient Manuscripts], while there is no specialist of Afghani language in Armenia,” the scientist noted.

Responding to the question of journalists as to who Aghvanis in reality were and what cultural heritage they left, Petrosyan noted that there was no such single ethnicity as Aghvanis: There was a kingdom, where different tribes lived. But there was also a writing system, which Mesrop Mashtots created for one of those tribes.

According to the scientist, the historical research shows that part of the Aghvanis have assimilated with Georgians, while the other part—with Armenians. Udins are the direct successors of the Aghvanis. 

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