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Armenia Tourist Attractions
 Metsamor
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Metsamor
The ancient castle-residence of Metsamor is one of the magnificent monuments of the world culture. It is 35km South-West from Yerevan, not far from Taronik village, on the bank of Metsamor river.

Since 1965 systematic excavations are carried out in Metsamor. Excavated cultural strata date back to the three periods of the Bronze Age (early, middle and late), early and developed periods of the Iron Age (Pre-Uratian, Urartian and Antique), the Middle Age.

Findings of the excavations evidence, that even in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millenium B.C.) Metsamor was a prosperous cultural centre. International value of Metsamor, is that the first well-maintained copper smeltary (4th millennium B.C.) is here. It is in Metsamor that the human being was firstly acquainted with the metal (copper, bronze, iron) working secrets. The whole system of smeltary with its blast furnace and boilers built within the rocks is well maintained.The scientists have found out, that Metsamor was a major residence, which occupied 10,5 hectare area, had a big town-residence surrounded by cyclopean wall, as well as a ziggurat observatory. Round-shaped dwellings with attached utility buildings were constructed in the castle- residence of Metsamor.

In the early Iron Age (11-9th centuries B.C.) Metsamor was a city. The citadel, observatory and the residences occupied nearly100 hectare area. The palace buildings, temple complex with 7 sanctuaries, and production units have been concentrated in the castle. Huge stone-made graves framed with red tuff tales have been excavated during the diggings in the field of graves spread in 0.5km North-East from the Citadel. These are the graves of Leaders, many horses, major and minor horned cattle, dogs and even servants, slaves have been sacrificed in honour of them. The most noteworthy of the buried objects were the enameled ceramic pots, decorated wooden caskets, adornments of gold, silver and semiprecious stones, paste, and etc.

The most notable things among the discovered objects are the agate-made frog-weight (16th century B.C.) of the Babylonian King Ulam Vuarish and the cornelian seal covered with Egyptian hieroglyphs of another Babylonian King Kurigalzu (15th century B.C.). These findings evidence, that since the ancient times Metsamor was a crossroad of trade routes, which have passed across the Araratian plain and have connected Central Asia with the Northern Caucasus.

In the early Iron Age, Metsamor was one of the main "œroyal" cities, one of the most important administrative, political and cultural centres of the Araratian Plain.

Metsamor has been ruined and destroyed on 8th century B.C. during the conquest of Araratian plain by the Kingdom of Van. But short time later it was reestablished on the Metsamor Hill. The kings of Van have built new cyclopean wall and, probably, Metsamor has become a tax-payer of the Kingdom of Van.

The life has also been continued in Metsamor in the Middle Age, up to 17th century. The best proofs of it are the discovered buildings, simple and enameled pottery, adornments. The variety of exhumed metallic coins justifies that Metsamor has continually remained as one of the most important centres where the trade roads have been crossed.

Historical- archeological museum has been opened in 1968. Currently 22000 objects are collected and stored here. The objects digged up from the castle and the field of graves dating back from the Early Bronze Age to the medieval period are exhibited on the first floor. On the second floor in the first hall the samples of crafts, including stone tools, materials related to the jewelery, textile, carpeting, leather processing , ceramic objects are exhibited. The metal processing collection is noteworthy as well. The second hall is devoted to the temple complex and objects of cult. Idols, phallus sculptures, amulet-talismans are shown here. The archaeological funds are in the basement: exposition of the funeral objects of the Kingdom of Van, as well as the golden fund including adornments of gold, silver, semiprecious stones, amber, paste etc are exhibited in two small halls.

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