Location: Sisian, Syunik region
Established: IV mil. BC
From Yerevan: 200km/3h 20minComplex «Zorats Karer» (Karahunj) is located near Sisian city of Syunik region. Name «Zorats Karer», meaning «stones of power», can be explained by the fact that the stones are situated on one the most energetic points of the planet. Some researchers suggest, that word «zorats» has a semantic connection with root «zoh» (it is translated into English as «victim»), and that is why we can interpret the expression as «place for sacrifice» as well. «Karahunj» consists of several groups of constructions and separate stones, which form the whole monument. The monument includes: central part, Northern wing, Southern wing, North-Eastern stone path, central crossing, as well as separate standing stones. The height of these basalt stones is 0.5 to 3 meters, and the weight is 10 t. Most of the stones are preserved, but covered with mold because of erosion. The holes are preserved better; there are also several broken stones. Stones of «Karahunj» were extracted from the stone mine of the Dar River; erected and transferred with the help of braided yarn and cattle. The holes were made and polished with the help of astronomical instruments. In 1931 accidentally a destroyed crypt was found under one of the stones. Part of the found materials was transferred to History Museum of Armenia. Studies of the preserved excavations show, that the crypt is of Middle Bronze Age and dates back to I quarter of II millennium BC. The settlement, noticed near «Karahunj», is of about the same period. The materials, collected on the territory during many years date back to the III millennium BC. It is supposed, that complex «Zorats Karer» was built in VI millennium BC and served as an observatory. Such kind ofarchaeological monuments were found in Europe as well. The most famous one is Stonehenge, which dates back to II millennium BC. "Portakar" is another interesting site of that period.
Location: Armenian Highlands
Established: II mil. BCVishaps (dragons) are zoomorphic monuments, found in Armenian highlands (Geghama Mountains, North-Eastern bank of Sevan Lake, Aragats slopes) and neighboring regions (JavakhkTrekhk, Nakhichevan, ErzrumKars). The name of the monument may be referred to the local legends, which represent the vishap as a giant, living in mountains; the name could also originate as an allegoric interpretation of the illustrations. These obelisks date back to the Bronze Age (more probably, this kind of art was at peak of its development in the middle Bronze Age: 2 millennium BC). Today 150 examples of vishaps are known, and 90 of them were found in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Some part of the vishaps originated in the 3 millennium BC. They were created from a single piece of rock; the biggest is of 5, 06 m height. Vishaps have fish form, with an illustration of a snake, a bull, a stork, a ram or other spices of animals and birds. Usually they were located near water sources canals, reservoirs, artificial lakes. These monuments are supposed to be idols of personalized images (gods) of patrons of agriculture and irrigation. In Armenian mythology vishaps were primal creatures. Negative as well positive images are inherent to them. For example, in one of Armenian legends, bull-mountain Tavros kills with its horns vishap-mountain Zagros, and the water coming from his wound, makes up the River Zag. In this case, it is the carrier of good and evil at the same time. In Armenian legends and traditions, as well as of all the Indo-European languages as a whole, the characteristic feature of estimation of the image is dualistic approach.
Location: Sisian, Syunik region
Established: III mil. BC
From Yerevan: 210km/3hUyts village is located in Syunik region, 2 km South-East of Sisian city. Before 1990 it was called Uz. The village has three-thousand-year-old history. It was popular with its megalithic castle-fortress and the cyclopean fortress. According to Morus Hastratyan, Uyts means «outside, separate». 98 families, 361 people live here. The inhabitants are mostly migrants from Uzumchi village of Persia. There are 2 churches in the territory; one of them is half-destroyed. The population is engaged in cattle breeding, as well as plant growing, food processing and vegetable cultivating. There is a secondary school, a house of culture, a library, permanent cinema, a kindergarten, a medical center, a veterinary here. There is also a mill in the village, a creamery used to be. In the same region you can also visit Goris, another city with an ancient history.
Location: Gegarkuniq region
Established: I mill. BC
From Yerevan: 136km/1h 45mTunnel “Arpa-Sevan” starts 15 km of Martuni. Exactly here, at the beginning of the tunnel, the ancient Urartian inscription (Urartu was an Armenian kingdom) of Argishti the First is located; it is about the city built by him, son of Menua. The inscription was found during the explosions, held while constructing the tunnel. According to the initial calculations, the construction should have ended 20 km further of today’s one, in the territory of Vardenik village. Nevertheless, it turned out to end between Vardenik and Tsovinar villages.
Location: Syunik region
Established: V-II mil. BC
From Yerevan: 200km/3hUghtasar Mount is located on the central plateau of Syunik region RA, where an ancient settlement, rich in petroglyphs was discovered in 1968. It is located 3000-3300 m above sea level. Petroglyphs are done with the help of stone instruments on black and grey rocks of volcanic origin. Most of them are considered to be memoirs, dedicated to dead and heroic stories. There are plenty of illustrations with flowers and animals, as well as people and geometric figures. Simple illustration, however are, amazingly complete, telling about myths and traditions of the tribes, feelings, thoughts and beliefs, histories of ancestors and victories. Most of the illustrations of animals are «aytskars» or «itsagirs» (semant. transl. «illustrations of mountain goat on rock»). Mountain goats are especially met in hunting scenes. They represent collective symbols of small horned animals. In rock illustrations goat plays the role of God symbol and divine spirit. Consequently, illustrations of goats can be interpreted as conception of divine strength. Today, knowing Armenian and world mythology, scientists and amateurs, are trying to get closer to the roots, that is to say, to read and decode illustrations on stones, interpret the worldview of primitive people. Animal pictures uniquely represent movement, specific features of the certain animal. In most of the thematic petroglyphs the direct participant of the scene is a person: during hunting, in movement, with a bow, while shooting from a bow on an animal, with an arrow, very often with a rope. Illustration art of Ughtasar impresses both artistically and semantically. They were preserved almost completely. Only few of them were damaged because of wind gusts and separated from the rock surface. Some of the illustrations, near the water sources, are covered with soil. Old Khndzoresk as well is located in Syunik region, where you can get acquainted with the way of living and thinking of primitive Armenian.
Location: Geghahovit, Gegarqunik region
Established: V mill. BC
From Yerevan: 130km/1h 40mThe ancient astronomical complex on Sevsar peak of the Vardenis Mount is located 8 km of Geghahovit village, 2650 m above sea level. A round awesome picture is illustrated on the biggest piece of rock with surface of 6 sq.m.: two people, a horse, vishaps (dragons), stars, groups of whales, circles and other signs – cross, crescent, corners. The petroglyphs are interpreted differently. There is an opinion that the large illustration is sun clock and the signs around are day indicators. According to another version, the round picture illustrates the rarest phenomenon: a ball of fire, and the symbols around show constellations. Taking into consideration chronology, the most reliable version is suggested by B. Tumanyan; the three curve rays, starting from the round picture indicate the direction of a meteorite fall, i.e. Azhdahak (3597 m), the third peak of RA. On the North-Western part of the base of Ajhdahak volcanic cone, 2310 m above sea level, there is a 4 m deep pitch, with 28 and 35 m axes; such kind of craters could only originate due to the 80-300 kg meteorite falling at 20-10 km/sec. speed. May be this is the sign of that particular meteorite.
Established: III mil. BCSettlement Shengavit is one of the most prominent archaeological monuments of Armenia of early Bronze Age. It is located in the South-Western part of Yerevan city, on the left bank of the Hrazdan River. The hill has surface of 6 ha and is situated 30 m above the Hrazdan River level. Shengavit has convenient location; first of all it is provided by the River Hrazdan, an inexhaustible source of food and water. Here there was a wide variety of fish, including lake fish. The river was equipped with dams; as a consequence artificial lakes emerged, where the fish inhabited. Shengavit is unique for its food storages. Here depository of whaet, housing 4 tons of crops was found. The storage, opened in the depository, could feed 1000 people during a year. The very settlement consists of 4 cultural and archaeological layers, built one on the other, with the difference of 4 meters. The 1 level was Late Neolith (3500-3000), the 2 level – Early Eolith (3000-2700), the 3 level – Middle Eolith (2600-2300) and the 4 level Late Eolith (2300-2000). As a result of the excavations shelters and household buildings without any concrete plan were found, with irregular location and curve passages; a crypt was opened as well. Huge number of spears and hacks were found in the territory; they are made of bones of goats and sheep, which tells about the well-developed cater breeding. The existence of the findings proves that people of this settlement lead sedentary way of life, developed agriculture andreprocessed crops. In the territory remnant of burned corn were found. Of great importance are basalt items and stone equipment for corn milling. Due to the findings museum Shengavit was opened, a branch of “Erebuni” historical-archaeological museum-reserve. In 2003 the museum was renamed historical-archaeological reserve “Shengavit”. Some part of the materials, found in the territory of the settlement, today is kept in the History Museum of Armenia of Yerevan city.
Location: Sisian, Syunik region
From Yerevan: 220km/3h 20minPortakar (“Navel stone”) is located 12 km South-East of Sisian city. It is a conical protrusion, which formed on the smooth rocky terrain (approximately a few sq. km) of the top part of the cave. In national beliefs, for millenniums people thought it was the center of the world, where people originated. Portakar was considered as the symbol of reproduction, fertility and motherhood. (most likely it was connected with cult of goddess Anahit – goddess of fertility and motherhood in Armenian pantheon). According to the tradition, infertile women held certain ceremonies here, after which touching the stone with navel, they turned round hoping to be cured. Such kind of pilgrimage recovered women psychologically. You can vist Smbataberd on the road.
Location: Kotayk region
Established: VII mil. BC
From Yerevan: 40km/50minGeghama Mountains are situated between Yerevan city and Lake Sevan. The highest point is Mount Gegh (Ajhdahak) - 3597m. The range lies from North-North-West to South-South-East. 2800-3000 m high mounts and volcanic cones (Ajhdahak, Spitakasar, Nazeli Sevkatar, Armaghan ) make up Geghama Mountains. Petroglyphs are the most ancient and integral archaeological materials, popular today in the territory of Historic Armenia. Petroglyphs of Armenian Highlands with their completeness, performance techniques, huge number of symbols and variety of themes do not have analogs in other countries. At the same time, some peculiarities ofArmenian illustrations allow to assume that they were used as writing, and the integral compositions had spiritual and ritual meaning. Idols, spread on the Armenian Highland reached the highest degree of development in the late Bronze and early Iron Ages. Veneration of sun had central meaning in the worldview of those times. Within illustrations of Geghama Mount various species of wild animals, a huge number of large and small groups and their diversity are especially noteworthy. There are illustrations of extinct animals, as well as modern ones. They include: the wild cattle (or cow), white deer, lions, cheetahs, domesticated wild horses, foxes and wolves, many kinds of dogs, leopards, hares, wild boar, lynx, and several species of small animals as well as different types of reptiles, ducks, geese, storks, swans, partridges. Many of these species still live in Geghama Mountains. Illustrations in Geghama Mounts are studied more in detail and the chronology is more definite. There are three-four thousand pictures, done in different times and difficult purposes. They, despite the conventional forms, are interesting with the generalized forms of expression, reproduction of dynamic nature, strict criticism, and applied nuances.
Location: Metsamor, Armavir region
Established: III mill. BC
From Yerevan: 35km/ 30mThe Metsamor Fortress-Settlement (III millennium BC) is near Lake Akna. It is located 8 km North-East of Echmiadzin. The history of the city, fortress and temple of Metsamor discovered on the Big and Little hills dates from ancient times. The large metallurgical and mining complex has no equal in its mining and casting dimensions in the Ancient East, It operated at the junction of international caravan roads. Many foreign scholars have regarded the Armenian Highland as the heart of the Bronze Age, The famous English archaeologist H. Chiide called Armenia 'the cradle of metallurgy.' He thought that the native Armenian tribes took copper and the technique of its processing to Assyria, Babylon and Egypt. The manufacturing and worship buildings, houses and the overall archaeological materials of the fortress-settlement testify to the high level of casting, crafts, construction and culture. Numerous rock structures, the oldest kilns in the world, briquettes made of clay and grinded bones to accelerate the process of lead-melting, moulds of metal and machines for grinding stone, pipes, heavy pieces of bronze and samples of metal slags were found here. The scholars set an experiment: they enriched the mineral layer and obtained condensed minerals. Millennia later, the ancient 'enrichment' factory became operational. According to the archaeologist E. Khanzadyan, Metsamor was populated in the period between VI millennium BC and XVIIT c. In the early ton Age (XI-IX BC), it was a city surrounded with the River Metsamor and artificial dams. Its natural impregnability was supplemented by defence structures. The Kingdom of Van conquered Metsamor, burned and destroyed it. However very soon life was once again restored here. The tomb field is situated 500 m to the east of the citadel towards the southwest. Large stone tombs filled with gold, silver, bronze and tin items cornelian, amber and glass beads, clay pots made of colour glaze and ceramics decorated with hunting scenes have been excavated. They are the eloquent evidence of diverse crafts, mainly jeweler's art and metal-working mirroring the technological innovations of the time. Famous among them is the onyx frog - a Babel weight with a cuneiform inscription (XVI BC) and the cylindrical seal made of cornelian with an Egyptian inscription on it. They have no par in the world. The inscription on the weight is the oldest among the written monuments in the territory of the CIS countries. Noteworthy are the astronomical findings. An ancient observatory with 7 observation grounds and a temple-altar with 7 columns of different dimensions, corresponding to the number of 5 visible planets plus the sun and the moon, have also been discovered. The goniometer engraved in a stone accurately reflects the directions - North-South and East-West. Research has shown that it was here that the birth of Sirius - the brightest star - was observed in 2800-2600 BC. The birth of the star was linked to the start of the New Year and worshipped as such. The bronze belt-calendars of Metsamor are unique maps of the northern vault of heaven and the oldest from among the old maps of the world. The 2 bronze belts depict fantastic deities - winged lions with human heads, war chariots, horsemen, horses, bulls and mate and female lions. In between, one can find the Sun and the Tree of Life succeeding each other in a fixed order. Belts were used as calendars. The observatory, belt calendars and the temple-altar mark the beginning of the Armenian science of the calendar. This is testified by the Armenian floating calendar from 2492 BC (fixed since 1084). The powerful culture of Metsamor, which encompasses the Early, Middle and Later Bronze Ages as well as the Early and Middle Iron Ages developed on the Armenian land as a period of the history of Armenians. ANPP, the only power plant in the region, is situated near the town of Metsamor. Its first power-unit became operational in 1976 and the second -in 1980. After the disastrous Spitak earthquake the ANPP was shut down. In 1995, the second unit restarted operation. At present, only one unit produces electricity (410 000 kW). In 2003, the ANPP was handed over to the Russian Federation for trusted management.
Location: Lchashen, Gegharkuniq region
Established: V mill. BC
From Yerevan: 62km/ 50mLchashen village is situated on the Northern slope of Geghama Mountains; it has high location in comparison with the surroundings. Settlement Lchashen is on the Eastern part of the village; it is one of the most important monuments in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and post-Soviet countries. Lchashen is a complex of archaeological monuments of different periods. The village is a museum under open sky. It is a pre-Urartian settlement, surrounded by enclosures. During the excavations, held in the territory, prehistoric castle-fortresses, cemeteries and separate obelisks were found. Military chariot, carriages as well as lots of archaeological materials are the rare treasures of the History Museum of Armenia. Today constructions of Urartian period (a kingdom in Armenia), ruins of cyclopean fortress and Ishtikuni city, located 2 km South of the village, are preserved, as well as cuneiform of Argishti the First about the capture of Ishtikuni city, found in the center of the settlement. Famous cyclopean fortress and the surrounding settlement are located on the hill rising in the Southern part of Lchashen village. The settlement occupies a territory of 55 ha and stretches on 15 hills, their slopes and canyons. The fortress had 2 acropolises, 22 small and huge stone hills and towers. The fortress is covered by great number of ruins. The fortress doors were built on the highest slopes of the hills, including inaccessible cliffs. 42 families lived in the territory of the settlement. The deserted location was gradually widening and in the end of the 19th century it became one of the biggest villages of Sevan basin. According to historians, it was attacked for many times; approximately every invader, being in Armenia, tried to capture the location. The hardest attack was held by Shah Abas. The village was deserted, so different Muslim tribes inhabited it. After Russian-Turkish and Russian-Persian war the village was inhabited again. Comers were mostly from Baku, Bazrgyan village and Diaden. The settlement got its modern name in 1946.
Location: Haykavan, Armavir region
Established: I mil. BC
From Yerevan: 50km/50minHistoric Armavir is close to the village of Haykavan on a huge hill. The citadel of historic Armavir was on top of this hill with the town neighbourhoods around it, 17 cuneiform inscriptions of Argishti I, Sardour II, Rusas I and Rusas III tell us about the founding of the city as well as its defence and court structures. In 776 BC, King Argishti 1 built the city of Argishtikhinili - the economic, cultural and worship centre of the Urartan Kingdom. It had 2 citadels with royal palaces, temples, workshops, grana-ries and wine cellars. The people called Argishtikhinili - Aramayr (mother). Khorenatsi attributed the founding of the town to Aramayis, Forefather Hayk's grandson (III millennium BC). The description of the historian is concise, 'Aramayis builds a house on a hillside on the bank of the river for dwelling purposes and calls it Armavir after himself. The river he calls Yeraskh after his grandson Yerast. The Greek historian Ptolemy mentions Armavir as a town. In III-II BC, it was a large centre of worship. The town housed the Temple of Sun, the chief god, the temples of pagan Armenians and the gilded statues of Artemis and Apollo. Pieces of the citadel ramparts and walls of buildings, metal items, weapons, clay statuettes and jewels were discovered. Of interest is the gold pectoral (VI-IV BC), which is a perfect piece of art. It symbolizes the skill and taste ofArmenian jewelers. The town had roads linking it with the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Iran and the countries on the shores of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Armavir survived till V c. and was no longer mentioned afterwards. The famous Plane-Tree Forest is in the neighbourhood of Old Armavir. The plane-tree is a religious and sacred tree. It is the forefather of Armenian trees and the symbol of pagan Armenia, equal to Massis. Armenians used to go to the battlefield with standards depicting the plane-tree forest. The pointed leaf of the plane-tree was the symbol of God Hayk. Armenians sowed wheat under plane-trees. The hero of the forest was Anoushavan, the son of Ara the Handsome. His nickname was Sosanver (a gift to plane-trees). The main temple devoted to the plane-tree was in Armavir and was surrounded with the Plane-Tree Forest. Pagan Arevordi (son of the sun) priests made charms and forecasts listening to the whispers of trees. According to Khorenatsi, 'People used to tell the future depending on the calm or severe noise of the leaves.' In the opinion of the German archaeologist P. Kalmeyer, the trees and the spear-shaped leaves and branches in the pictures and haut-relief sculptures dating from the Kingdom of Ararat refer to the fortune-telling practice described by Khorenatsi. Darius called the leaves of this tree Armenian miraculous leaves. The plane-tree is also known among Armenians as chinar. Both have become human names: Sos (male) and Chinar (female). The Plane-Tree Forest survived for 2300 years (XXV-III BC). It has left no traces but a name. However, Armenia could not have lived without the sacred forest. The Plane-Tree Forest in Armavir was immediately succeeded by the Christmas Forest in Bagaran. Zvartnots Temple is in the same region.
Location: Dvin, Ararat region
Established: IV mil.
From Yerevan: 38km/40minDvin is located 9 km North-West of Artashat. With its nearly a thousand-year-old history the city is one of the most prominent and comparatively well researched settlements in Armenia, one of the 12 capitals of our country. People started to inhabit this settlement from times immemorial. Capital Dvin was built during the reign of Armenian king Khosrov Kotak (330-338) in 335. The city became the new capital under the rule of Arshakuni dynasty (a royal dynasty). In a short period of time the population grew up to 100 thousand. The capital has two-layered defensive walls, temples, and towers. Today people are engaged in gardening; they grow grape, apricot, peach and apple. Vegetables are cultivated as well: tomato, pepper, eggplant, and corns. Cattle breeding and poultry farming are also developed.
Location: Areni, Vayots Dzor region
Established: IV mil. BC
From Yerevan: 110km/1h 30minBird Cave is located near the tributary of the Arpa River Gnishik: at 30 m height. It is situated just behind the riverside restaurant, in the rock (on the right, when turning to the gorge). It is possible to get there by the path leading to the triangular exit of the cave. The cave comprises a range of spaces, hewn in the rock, linked with narrow aisles. In the upper parts of the cliff it has several holes of fewer diameters. The exit is partially covered with large stones. This cave belongs to clastocarstic caves, because it originated in limestone conglomerates. Since 2007 archaeological researches have been held here. As a result, materials dating back to 4200-3500 BC were found: plant residues, crockery, grape and apricot kernels, pieces of cloth, knitted of reed, women jewelry, part of the mummified goat body and so on. The oldest shoe in the world was found exactly during the archaeological excavations, held in Areni village of Vayots Dzor region. The shoe, filled with grass is for the right leg; it is rather small: 37 size according to the European standards. This material was found by the leader of the archaeological expedition, specialist at Irish University of Cork Ron Pinhasi. According to him, the grass was necessary to keep the form of the shoe. The laboratory studies showed that it has history of 5637-5387 years. Several years ago a place, equipped for wine production was found in Bird Cave. This most ancient winery in the world has 5000-5500 year history. The village has huge potential of historic-cultural, ecological, extreme and wine tourism development. Every year harvest/wine festival is held in Areni village, where productions of Areni community and nearest villages are represented. There are lots of ancient settlements, khachkars (cross-stones), sights, St. Astvatsatsin (St. Holy Virgin) and Noravank, built by Momik and more were found in the territory.
Location: Artashat, Ararat region
Established: 197 BC
From Yerevan: 33km/ 45mThe capital Artashat was founded during the reign of Artashes A, the representative of Artashesyan dynasty. The military leader Hannibal ran from Carthagen and got asylum in Armenia. King Artashes entrusted him the construction of the new capital. The works started in 197 BC and lasted 30 years. The city is located in the confluence of the Metsamor and Araks rivers. As Hannibal was the planner of the city, Artashat was called Armenian Carthagen as well. Popular Khor Virap is also situated here. The name of the city is interpreted as «Artashes's Joy». During the whole history of Armenia, though with some interruptions, it is the only city which had the status of the capital for 4 centuries. Even nowaday's Yerevan and Erebuni haven't been a capital for so long. In 2007, 14th of September, archaeological group, lead by Jhores Kahchatryan, an ancient temple, dedicated to the god of Sun Mithra was found in the territory of Artashat. During the research it turned out that the temple was larger and more exquisite than even Garni temple. The studies started in 1970-ies, though Soviet power restricted doing researches in the territory of Turkey. In 2007 it turned out, that the territory of ancient Artashat was 4 sq.km., which is 2,5 times larger than today's territory; it had population of 155 000 people, which is 6 times more than today's population. The fortress walls stretched on 10 km distance. Here an ancient toilet with sewerage of 2000 years old was found as well. In 2008, 10th of June, a group of archaeologists, lead by Pavel Avetisyan, investigated the territory of Artashat and found a whole system of ancient baths. During the studies, administrative buildings of the temple were found.
Location: Agarak, Syunik region
Established: III mil. BC
From Yerevan: 383km/5h 20minAgarak is located in the South of Aragats Mount. In 2001, an extraordinary multi-layer monument was uncovered on a 200 ha area adjacent to Agarak. It had 7 stages of settling ranging from III millennium BC to the Late Middle Ages. Noteworthy among the findings are the stone tools, clay pots, bronze weapons, rings, ceramic statues, metal coins of Emperor August and Alexander of Macedonia. The cave wine presses of the ancient period tell us that winemakingwas among the most important occupations of this settlement. Of special importance are the cave and stone complexes, parts of which are associated with the settlement of theEarly Bronze Age in Agarak. The observations allow us to maintain that in the first quarter of III millennium BC the area was a complex of worship comprising stone structures. The uninterrupted rocks, stone hills and tufa plateaus, as well as the stand-alone rocks are fully treated on the surface and edges. There are ' recessions hewn from rocks, staircases leading to these recessions and other structures. Thanks to them, as well as to circular, hoof-shaped and meander openings, the rivulets connecting them with one another and the three-peak, trapeze 'altars,' the natural landscape has turned into a 'holy landscape.! The scholars have christened the discovered place a city-temple. No other such monument had been registered in the Armenian Highland before the excavations in Agarak. The immediate parallels of the cultural phenomenon are known among the Hittite-Phrygian monuments in Asia Minor. The archaeological excavations in Agarak have been made by a group under RA NAS Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography (headed by Pavel Avetisyan, sponsored by the American Fund Gfoelhr). P. Avetisyan says about the ancient settlement, 'What has been uncovered is a noble and wonderful structure, which may offer new findings to science,' The road thrusts from the village of Agarak into the heart of the four-peak Mount Aragats, the cradle of the starry achievements of the summer village of Byurakan.