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Location: Agarak, Syunik region
Established: III mil. BC
From Yerevan: 383km/5h 20min


Agarak 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 winemaking was 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 the Early 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.


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