Archaeological collection

Archaeological collection

Paleolithic Collections (dating from 1.000.000-12.000 BC)

The paleolithic objects were discovered from various settlements in Armenia – Satani Dar, Areguni Blur, the midstream of the Hrazdan river (Arzni, Djraber, Nurnus), Gugark (Dashtadem, Metsavan, Paghaghbyur). Of great significance in the paleolithic collections of the Museum are tools, such as Acheulean handaxes and nucleuses, made of local materials – obsidian, dazit and basalt. These classic handaxes and other tools are considered among the best samples of contemporary tools in Eurasia in terms of their perfect forms and elaboration.

Neolithic-Chalcolithic Collections
(8th millennium – second half of the 4th millennium BC)

The specimens of Neolitic-Chalcolithic culture were discovered in the Ararat valley settlements – Masis, Teghut, Adablur, Aratashen, etc. The tools of this period are mainly represented by knife-like blades, which were used to cut, saw, drill and engrave various objects. At the beginning of the 6th millennium, the final stage of the Neolithic Age, the first clay pottery objects appeared in Armenia. Such a collection was found during excavations in Masis, Adablur and Artashat.

Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Collections
(second half of the 4th millennium – 15th-12th cc. BC)

Archeological findings of the Broze Age and Early Iron Age periods from Shengavit, Mokhrablur, Harich, Karnut, Lchashen, Vanadzor, Karashamb, Verin Naver, Mayisian, Berkaber, Aruch, Artik and Lori-Berd comprise the largest and the most diverse collection of archeological funds of the Museum. Among them are ritual hearths and altars, terracotta and bronze statuettes and sculptural groups, ritual utensils, weapons, ornaments, clay vessels, wooden carts and chariots.

Urartu (Kingdom of Van) Collections
(9th c. BC– beginning of the 6th c. BC)

Archeological findings from Karmir Blur, Arin Berd, Argishtikhinili, Oshakan, Van and other places, as well as numerous Urartian and Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions with texts of ritual, building, economic, expansionist and other nature, give a certain idea on the state structure, pantheon, military-political history, economy, arts and crafts of Urartu.

Samples of metallurgic production – everyday objects, bronze weapons with sculptural reliefs, highly artistic jewellery of gold and silver, bronze statuettes and furniture pieces – comprise an important part of the Urartian collections. The collections of pottery (coloured ritual vessels, rhytons, red-polished vessels, large vessels called karas with their cubic capacity marks from 800 to 1,200 litres) occupy a significant place in the Museum’s collection of the Urartian applied arts.

Collections of the 6th – 4th cc. BC

The Achaemenid period in Armenia is exemplified by findings excavated in Armavir, Oshakan, Ayrum, Karchaghbyur, Hrazdan and other areas. These collections show highly artistic samples of metalwork: bronze statuettes, ornaments and vessels of precious metals; another group is represented by pottery – red-polished and coloured pitchers, dishes, goblets and other vessels.

Hellenistic collections (4th c. BC – 3rd c. AD)

Objects excavated in Artashat, Garni, Armavir, Sissian, Tigranakert and other places comprise the basis of these collections.

The Hellenistic metalwork is represented by small sculptures, various gold and silver ornaments. Clay vessels and glass flasks of diverse forms and decoration are noteworthy in the applied arts collections. Of essential significance in the collection are the Aramean border-stones made by the order of the Armenian king Artashes I (189-160 BC), as well as monuments and burial stones with Greek and Latin inscriptions.

Medieval collections (4th – 15th cc.)

The medieval funds at the Museum are compiled of findings from Ani, Dvin, Amberd and other areas. The collections representing the early Christian and medieval periods (4th-15th cc.) include winged crosses and cross stones, sculptura.