Mausoleum of Arshakuni Kings to be Excavated
Mausoleum of Arshakuni Kings to be Excavated –
Prime Minister of Armenia Hovik Abrahamyan visited on July 28 Aghtsk community (former Dzorap) in Aragatsotn province to familiarize himself with the process of archeological excavations in the village.
The government press office said that excavations were carried out in the area in the past, but they were left unfinished, and after the PM made a visit to Aghzk last year and saw the 4th century buildings such as a chapel, a basilica and the Mausoleum of the kings of the Arshakuni dynasty, he promised to allocate funds and gave instructions about the resumption of archeological work.
The archeological team head Hakob Simonyan informed the prime minister about the results of work done in the first stage, the remains found at the site, and the archeological team’s proposals regarding the next stages.
Hovik Abrahamyan said the preservation of historical and cultural heritage is in the focus of the attention of the government that will continue providing funds for the completion of excavations.
Armenian Minister of Culture Hasmik Poghosyan said for her part that on the instructions of PM Abrahamyan, a program on the development of archeology was drafted and submitted to the government. She said the program has important scientific and educational goals as it is aimed at selecting the most significant monument and site in every region in order to implement educational and tourist projects.
Aghtsk: Mausoleum of Arshakuni Kings
As you enter the mausoleum and go to the lower floor, you will see a small structure, which has niches to the north and to the south, while to the east there is a semi-circular apse. The niches are include two sepulchers where the relics of Arshakuni kings are interred. The sepulchers include carvings peculiar to pagan and early Christian eras.
On the right, to the southern part there is the image of biblical hero Daniel carved in the pit with the lions. There are also sculptures of rams that depict the hardships Armenia faced under the pressure of the Sassanids. On the left, to the northern part there are the carvings of miraculous mythical figures or gods – a calf among grape vines, a cross in a circle with two bird-carvings on the upper part and a hunter chasing a boar with two dogs.