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#61 Arpa



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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:54 AM

All this goes on while we are asleep, and while certain comedians masquerading as linguists tell us that the furkish name of a certain foodstuff is from the Urrtuan language.

See the Armenian version here;

I have nor seen that garbage in the that furkish rag, neither do I want to. The below rebuttal tells us enough.
According to Hurriyet, presently activities are carried out in Turkey to receive 3D designs of Van kings gravestones through laser and the latest technologies; the work was taken up by the Department of History and Archaeology of the University in Istanbul. According to the same source, the Turks consider the gravestones the most important monuments of Urartu period. Naturally, all of this is attributed to the Turks.
Aravot.am asked Dr. Ashot Melkonyan, director of the ANAS Institute of History, Doctor of Historical Sciences, to give assessment to all that: Im not surprised, Turks have started to appropriate the history of Urartu long ago, and we certainly have a share of guilt in this. Unfortunately, there are directions in our historiography, which do not see Urartu as an integral part of Armenian statehood and consider an anti-Armenian state.
In the result of this approach to the history, our neighbors master the history of Urartu. The Turkish Historical Society, which was created in the 1930′s by Mustafa Kemal instruction, faced just a similar problem, to show just from the beginning the presence of Turks in this region, particularly, in Van kingdom. And, now they consider this issue resolved at the state level, they consider Urartu to be the first Turkish state in this region. I think that our historiography needs to finally give up the rotten concept of historiography, and fully presents Urartu as a unified Armenian state with its ethnic composition, like we tried to do it in high school textbooks, the same is now done in 6-9th grades textbook. Generally, in the issue of history of Urartu, not only Turks but Azeris, and partly Georgians have become claimants, in which our previous generation have their share of guilt,-says Mr. Melkonyan.
And what disturbs to counter the Turkish falsification on a state level? I repeat, there is a scientific point of view, according to which Urartu is not Armenian in reality, it is pre-Armenia, whose language was not Armenian, as if there was such a language, Urartian, which had nothing in common with Armenian language, and as if the kings of Urartu were not Armenian descent. Under these conditions, of course, there cannot be a state approach, when, unfortunately, there is no single approach in historical sciences. Anyway, the opinion of the Institute of History is unambiguously: Urartu is our kingdom of Ararat, the first unified Armenian state formation in the Armenian Highland, before which, still in the third millennium there were other state formations, as Araattan, Etiunin, Hayasa Azi and more. In other words, the history of Armenian statehood at least begins from the third millennium before Christ,-assures the scientist.

#62 hagopn



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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:55 PM

Arpa!  Missed you very much.  This thread brought to memory these topics, especially "Urartu", and compels me to write what's on my mind. 


The syllabic cuneiform designation of "RRT" has only been discovered on later Assyian sources, while most later Babylonian sources use the designation of "R-SH-T", (including the one at Behisitun, which is the "Babylonian" R-Sh-T and not later Assyrian "RRT") which some have transliterated it as "Urashtu", which means "Land of Fire."  The three languages on the Behisitun rock are Elamite ("Harminuap"), Babylonian "Urashtu", and Persian "Armina" or "Arminiya".


Both variants, "Uru-Atri" as well as "Ur-Ashtu" are well within indo-european lexicon, unless you have a blatantly anti-Armenian bias.  "Atr, Atar" and "Asht" as in "Ashtanak" (which brings up the topic of Armenian to Pahlavi versus Pahlavi to Armenian influence) are still Armenian terms for "combustion, torch, pyre, fire" and so on.


This makes one tend to re-evaluate Gavoukjian's assertions, that possibly influenced V. Ivanov who picked up on this, that Sumerian and Armenian coexisted for quite a long time and subsequently both languages influenced the subsequent Mesopotamian languages, which is the precise opposite of the current prevailing paradigm.  Another variant is the "Uru-atri" which has the same roots of "locale/land" (uru) and "fire" (atri).  The "Urartu" form seems to be entirely arbitrary and subjective. 


Sorry to sound too "linguistic" on this, but I can't find the other forum you proposed on this--:)

#63 Yervant1


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Posted 13 October 2014 - 10:40 AM

Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
Oct 7 2014

Excavations shed light on Urartian's social life

VAN - Anadolu Agency

This year's works in the north part of the Van Castle have revealed
important data on social and cultural life of Urartian people. A trade
mandate is among the interesting findings in the excavation

The excavations that have been continuing for five years in the
tumulus located in the northern side of the Van Castle have unearthed
objects that shed light on social and cultural life of the Urartians.
Among the most interesting findings is trade tablet detailing
commercial information.

Istanbul University Van Region History and Archaeology Center Deputy
Director Assistant Professor Erkan Konyar is the head of the
centuries-old excavation field, where 35 academics are working.

The patterns of chariots that were produced 3,000 years ago in the
Urartian Kingdom, rare pots and pans from the 15th and 16th centuries,
a 5,000-year-old portable oven and 2,700-year-old jewelry have been so
far unearthed in the tumulus. Bronze fibulas, a trade mandate and
civic settlements of the Urartian public are among this season's
discoveries, according to Konyar.

He said that during this season's works, Urartian houses were found in
civic settlements and their architecture structure showed that the
houses belonged to the people who were working to meet the needs of
the royal people living in the citadels.

"Most of the findings have civic characters. Among the most important
findings of this year is a tablet of mandate, which has commercial
content. It is about products that were dispatched from here. It is
very important to understand commercial relations. Maybe this place
was the house of a clerk, and kiln tablets had been written here. It
is now being scientifically examined," he said.

Konyar said most of the excavations on the Urartian era were carried
out in castles and revealed the life style of the king. "Not much is
known about the civic life in the Urartian era. This is why the
excavations in the tumulus are very important."

He added that inside the Urartian people's houses they had found ovens
and foodstuffs. "We see that the traditional house culture in Van also
existed in the Urartian era. We see the reflections of the Urartians
today. Ovens and cellars, which are seen in Van houses today, are also
seen in the Urartian houses. Houses do not have a certain order. They
were arranged to meet the needs of the people living there. Their
architecture is different. This is why further excavations are very
important. It was also a surprise for us that the houses were
preserved well. Walls still survive. The tumulus will provide us very
important data to determine the history of the city," Konyar said.


#64 Yervant1


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Posted 10 December 2014 - 11:50 AM


by Karina Manukyan

Wednesday, December 10, 12:00

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw
discovered evidence of destruction and capture of the ancient city of
Metsamor, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the vicinity
of Yerevan.

"In the entire area of research we found layers of burning and ash.

The city was probably captured by the army of Argishti I, the ruler
of Urartu" - told PAP (PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland)
Krzysztof Jakubiak, head of the project.

Argishti I was the king of Urartu, the biblical Kingdom of Ararat in
the Armenian Highlands. During his reign, the boundaries of the state
expanded to the Caucasus, the area of today's Yerevan. Other findings
of Polish archaeologists are evidence of the fighting and cruelty.

Among them is a skeleton of about 30 years old woman, whose head was
cut off, and of another person with a split skull.

"We believe that both of them were killed during the attack on the
city" - added Dr. Jakubiak. The discovered remains were not buried
in the tombs, only randomly scattered among the buildings of the
so-called lower town. What drew the attention of researchers was a
small amount of finds in the form of historical objects, which may
illustrate the scale of predatory Urartu invasion.

The invaders did not spare the holy shrines. Archaeologists found
a small, oval urban sanctuary, which had been looted during the
invasion. Inside, on stone platforms, they discovered broken pottery
and one vessel preserved in its entirety, made of stone. Metsamor is
a protected archaeological reserve. Excavations within the reserve
have been conducted for almost 50 years. Previous studies have shown
that during the heyday from the fourth to the second millennium BC,
the settlement occupied more than 10 hectares and was surrounded by
monumental walls.

In the early days of iron period, from the eleventh to the ninth
century, Metsamor had grown to nearly 100 acres. The central part of
the fortress was surrounded by temple complexes with seven shrines. At
that time, it was one of the most important political and cultural
centres in the Aras Valley.

>From the eighth century BC, Metsamor became part of the Kingdom of
Urartu. The place was continuously inhabited until the seventeenth
century. Polish archaeologists began excavations in Metsamor in 2013.

The project was possible thanks to an agreement signed between the
Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw - in consultation with
the authorities of the Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology UW - with
the Institute of Archaeology of the Armenian Academy of Sciences of
and the Ministry of Culture of Armenia.


#65 Yervant1


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Posted 21 March 2015 - 07:50 AM


19:12, 20 Mar 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

On April 18, the day for protection of monuments, the Erebuni"
Historical & Archaeological Museum-Reserve in Yerevan will host an
exhibition on "The Urartian Heritage of Western Armenia," Head of
IOMOS Armenia Office and Director of Erebuni Museum Gagik Gyurjyan
told reporters today.

"This is our legacy and we must be the masters of it at least by
organizing such exhibitions," he said.

Speaking about Turkey's state policy on the protection of
Armenian monuments, Gyurjyan said Ankara pays great attention to
historical-architectural sites on its territory, including Armenian
ones, out of considerations of development of tourism.

Turkey also pretends to be civilized and tolerant towards Armenian
legacy, he added. He noted that the most important Armenian site
of the territory of Turkey is undoubtedly the ancient city of Ani,
where serious research works are being conducted.

According to Gagik Gyurjyan, Turkey consistently destroys the Armenian
cultural trace dated before the 4thcentury. This refers to the Urartian
period, the Kingdom of Van, etc.


#66 Yervant1


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Posted 16 September 2015 - 09:18 AM

Historians Believe They Have Found
Kingdom of Uratu Tombs in Turkey

By Sam Matthew
Daily Telegraph

VAN, Turkey - Using just a small hand trowel archaeologists are
painstakingly working to unlock the secrets of an ancient kingdom.
Historians believe they have unearthed tombs dating back over 2,800
years in Van, eastern Turkey.
The pithos burial chambers, which are like large ceramic jars, are
thought to be from the Kingdom of Uratu, which ruled the country from
the mid-ninth century BC until its defeat by the Medes.
Painstaking: Archaeologists believe these 2,800-year-old pithos tombs
from the Kingdom of Uratu
Historians at work in the Turkish town of Vans, which was the capital
of the Urartian Kingdom
Vans was the capital of the Urartian Kingdom until it fell early in
the sixth century BC.
Every summer a team of around 50 archaeologists take part in an annual
excavation at Van Fortress in a bid to uncover treasures that have
been buried for thousands of years.
With permission from the country's Ministry of Culture and Tourism
university teams have been working together.
They are currently working at the top of the fortress, where a palace
was located, and the northern quarter.
'Our work is aimed at repairing and further protecting Old Van City,'
Dr Erkan Konyar from Istanbul University said, according to Todays
'We are carrying out work to protect the areas that we have worked on
in previous years. '
Just 38km from Van excavation work is also taking place at a Uratu
Castle. This year they discovered part of the walls.
Head of Excavation Doç. Dr. Mehmet IÅ=9Fıklı, told Hurriyet Daily
News: 'This made us very excited, as even though these walls witnessed
great earthquakes, their architecture remained quite robust and

#67 Yervant1


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Posted 29 September 2015 - 09:02 AM


18:35, 28 September, 2015

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 28, ARMENPRESS. Armenian and Italian archaeologists
are engaged in in-depth exploration of one of the biggest Urartu
fortresses of Sevan basin, Odzaberd dating back to 10-6 century BC.

Ashot Piliposyan, Deputy Director in the field of scientific activities
of "Service for the Protection of Historical Environment and Cultural
Museum Reservations" SNCO informed the journalists about this.

"Tsovinar archaeological monument has been discovered long ago and
a number of renowned archaeologists, including Boris Piotrovsky and
Gedeon Mikaelyan, worked and explored it. But the explorations were
on a small-scale and since now no large-scale exploration had been
conducted", "Armenpress" reports that Ashot Piliposyan informed.

The archaeologist added that the first large-scale excavations were
conducted last year by Armenian-Italian group of archaeologists
and the results are encouraging. The archaeologists had discovered
inhabitations dating back to Urartu and post-Urartu era. Pre-Urartian
layers have also been discovered in one of the rooms of the discovered
inhabitation the Odzbaberd citadel.


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#68 Yervant1


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Posted 28 September 2016 - 09:20 AM

2,800-year-old Urartian sewage system unearthed in Van

12:55 • 28.09.16


An ancient Urartian sewage system, which was first discovered during excavations in 2004 in the Çavuştepe Castle in the eastern province of Van, has been unearthed, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

This year’s works in the castle in the Gürpınar district of Van recently came to an end, after unearthing ancient vineyards, walls, cisterns, temples and palace structures.

The 2,800-year-old sewage system, which was discovered in the castle in 2004, was finally unearthed under the structures in the western part of the castle. The sewage is one meter in width and 30 meters in length and covered with fine stones.

The head of the Culture and Tourism Ministry-supported excavations, Rafet Çavuşoğlu, an associate professor in the Archaeology Department of Yüzüncü Yıl University, said the Çavustepe Castle was particularly important in history because it was once located on a major trading route.

“The Urartians thought carefully about what to build and where. They did everything in line with a project. When establishing this city 2,800 years ago, the Urartians made an urban plan and built structures according to infrastructure. This is very important to us. We found an engineering marvel here,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He added that the sewage system was built with stone and inside was a gutter through which water flowed.

‘A very good system’

“This work defines civilization to us. It shows how ancient civilization was developed. There is also a toilet in the palace section. The toilet water flows outside through the sewage system, which reveals that the Urartians were a very civilized society,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“During the construction of houses today, an excellent system is planned with schools, hospitals, mosques and infrastructure. Urartians did the same 2,800 years ago,” he added. 

The city established around the castle was nearly one kilometer in diameter and surrounded by protective walls, according to the excavations head.

“Measures were taken against the danger of enemies. Large dikes were opened up on both the eastern and western sides. They made their defense system in this way,” Çavuşoğlu stated.



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#69 Yervant1


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Posted 24 January 2017 - 11:46 AM

Culture 12:25 24/01/2017 Armenia
Archaeological finds of Urartian era discovered in Armenia’s Gegharkunik region

The material values dating back to the Urartian (Van) kingdom period which have recently been discovered in Gegharkunik region of Armenia, are being cleaned and restored in the restoration laboratory of Protection Service SNCO of Armenia. The service informed Panorama.am that certain findings stand out in terms of their form and preparation method, namely the red, polished jug-cup with two lugs, the ancient clay bawl, the two large oval agate beads, engraved inserts made of animal vertebrae bones, the remains of iron daggers and spears and some others are of paramount importance. The anthropological and animal remains make up a large part of the findings.

According to Deputy of the SNCO’s Director on scientific works, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Ashot Piliposyan the archaeological finds which are currently under study are exceptional and date back to the 7th century BC.

“We received a call from the Geological Museum of Gegharkunik noting that the villagers have accidentally come across archaeological findings during the construction works, however they could not manage to acquire the important materials due to the lack of funds. We headed to the scene to study the area to find out that a mausoleum of Urartian period had really been discovered near the cemetery in Hatsarat village of Gavar. Following the talks the inhabitant who had discovered the archaeological findings agreed to completely hand it over to the Protection Service SNCO,” Ashot Piliposyan noted.

The objects will be cleaned and restored to later be displayed as part of Metsamor Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve's permanent exhibition of Urartian era.

In the words of Ashot Piliposyan the remains of the human beings are of paramount importance. Currently the material is being studied by SNCO’s archaeologist Hasmik Simonyan. “Human and animal bones have been found out in the mausoleum. The current study shows that they belonged to five adults four of whom were men. It is already clear that those men have suffered spine diseases. We have launched the activities of joining the bones which will be followed by skull restoration, which is the most difficult part as the skull bones are crushed. The skull studies will reveal the death causes of those people,” he noted.

Due to Hasmik Simonyan’s hard and responsible work it will be possible to acquire important information on the lifestyle of the Urartian people.


IMG_4114.jpg png1qCpimZCue.png


#70 MosJan


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Posted 24 January 2017 - 12:13 PM


#71 Yervant1


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Posted 10 February 2017 - 11:13 AM

Hungary Police find Urartu-era bronze antiquities in a truck
Photos: Hungary Police


Hungarian police say they have finished their investigation of a trove of Persian, Sumerian and Assyrian antiquities found last year in a truck, the Associated Press reports.

Police in Bacs-Kiskun County said Wednesday that bronze objects from as early as 900 B.C. were among the dozens of items recovered.

The artifacts, including a helmet, small bells and horse tack, were likely from the grave of a high-raking military officer from Urartu, also called the Kingdom of Van, corresponding to parts of modern Armenia and Turkey.

Police found the objects during a routine search on Sept. 29 of a truck going to Lithuania. They have recommended that the Turkish driver be charged with receiving stolen goods.

The entire collection is estimated to be worth up to $690,000.



#72 Yervant1


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Posted 06 October 2017 - 08:29 AM

Financial Tribune, Iran
Oct 5 2017
National Museum in Tehran to Show Armenia’s Urartu Relics 

A n estimated 103 ancient artifacts from Armenia will be on display in Tehran from October 17-January 17.

Accompanied by two representatives from the History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan, the artifacts arrived in Iran on Tuesday, and were safely taken to the National Museum in Tehran, ISNA reported.

The relics date back to prehistoric times, from the 4th millennium BC to the first century BC. They will be displayed at the museum under the banner of ‘Iran & Armenia: Memory of a Realm.’

The focus of the event is on those artifacts that hint at the civilization of Urartu, an Iron Age kingdom that flourished around Lake Van in eastern Anatolia. The first joint chapter of history between Iran and Armenia is said to have taken place in Urartu.

The event is the product of a memorandum signed between Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization and Armenia’s Ministry of Culture. It is organized on the occasion of National Museum of Iran’s 80th anniversary, according to director general of the museum, Jibrael Nokandeh.

“The museum will showcase a collection of South Korean artifacts next month, and in late winter over 60 relics from the Louvre Museum in Paris, the largest museum in the world,” Nokandeh said.

Relics discovered during archaeological excavations in provinces of Semnan and Gilan will also be on display at the exhibition.



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#73 Yervant1


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Posted 24 November 2017 - 10:57 AM

Conveniently no mention of Armenians, Turks fooling no one but themselves! 

Title: 3,000-year-old underwater castle discovered in Turkey's largest lake | Inhabitat - Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

3,000-year-old underwater castle discovered in Turkey’s largest lake News

Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey – but that isn’t its only claim to fame. Van Yüzüncü Yil University archaeologists and a team of divers recently discovered an underwater fortress there. The ancient nation of Urartu could have built the castle roughly around 3,000 years ago during the Iron Age.


The team explored the lake based on local rumors of ancient ruins, despite other archaeologists familiar with the area telling them they probably wouldn’t find much. But the rumors turned out to be correct: diving team head Tahsin Ceylan told Turkey’s newswire service Andalou Agency the archaeological site is around one kilometer, or a little over half a mile, large. The fortress walls that they can see are between 10 to 13 feet in size.

Related: Haunting drowned figures send a chilling message in Europe’s first undersea sculpture museum



Some of the remains are loose piles of stones, others are smooth walls, according to National Geographic. Visual assessments led the team to estimate the underwater castle is around 3,000 years old. It would have been built when the lake’s water level was hundreds of meters lower. According to ScienceAlert, Lake Van’s water levels have fluctuated dramatically throughout the years.


Urartu, a kingdom that flourished between the ninth and sixth centuries BCE, was centered around Lake Van, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Other archaeological remains in the area, some higher than the current shoreline, are also the subject of study. And archaeologists and divers plan to return to the lake the learn more about the recently found sunken fortress. They’re not yet sure how deep the walls might be buried in lake floor sediment, and they hope to learn more about the people who inhabited the castle.

Via National Geographic and ScienceAlert

Images via National Geographic on YouTube



#74 Yervant1


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Posted 24 November 2017 - 11:15 AM

The Mirror, UK
November 22, 2017 Wednesday 9:20 PM GMT

Forgotten fortress discovered beneath lake not seen for 3,000 years
since it was flooded

The castle has 13ft walls and the site spans more than a kilometre -
but no-one ever believed it existed despite local rumours of secrets
hidden beneath the surface

By Joshua Taylor

A forgotten underwater fortress has been discovered by a team
ofarchaeologists3,000 years after it was flooded in a lake.

The site of the ancient building measures nearly 1km across and the
walls are up to 13ft hight.

It was found by expert divers in Turkey's Lake Van, in the east of the
country near the Iranian border.

The lake did not exist during the time of the Iron Age Urartu
civilisation, which spanned parts of modern day Turkey, Armenia and
Iran and whose people built the castle.

Large Urartu ruins that predate the lake also stand around its shores,
but the fortress is completely submerged.

Ancient Mayan secrets could be unlocked with discovery of mysterious
blocked passageway inside 1,000-year-old temple

National Geographicreported the fortress was found by explorers from
Van Yüzüncü Yil University, working alongside expert divers.

Tahsin Ceylan, head of the diving team, said the explorers were told
there was little left to find beneath the waters of Lake Van.

But they pressed ahead based on local rumours about buries treasures
below the surface.

Life behind the Iron Curtain: Inside abandoned Soviet military bases,
ghost towns and a hidden city once home to thousands

Videos show the divers swimming in the clear blue waters and
inspecting the brick walls of the fortress.

"Studies were done on the underwater portion of the historic Urartian
castle in our city, revealing it to be nearly 3,000 years old,"
Adilcevaz district governor Arif Karaman toldHurriyet Daily News.

Ceylan added: "It is a miracle to find this castle underwater.
Archaeologists will come here to examine the castle's history and
provide information on it."

The ancient inhabitants of Lake Van moved as the water levels began to rise.

Lake Van is now 74 miles across and has a maximum depth of 1,480ft.


#75 Arshak1946



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Posted 24 November 2017 - 04:53 PM

Let them (Turks) what they want to say , world knows history better them (Turks) , it is very good that doing (Turks) this kind of history changing , more and more you are going to a*******e.

#76 Yervant1


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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:09 AM

MediaMax, Armenia
March 15 2018
Turkey demands of Putin to return artifacts of Urartu era
Yerevan/Mediamax/. Former Turkish minister Faruk Ozak is trying to return to Turkey some valuable artifacts weighing 30 tons and 500 manuscripts, which were moved to Russia during the World War I.




Milliet newspaper reports that the former Minister of Public Works and Housing, ex-president of Trabzonspor FC Faruk Ozak “has been fighting for nine years to return the artifacts to Turkey”.

“Between 2013 and 2015, Ozak kept Prime Minister Recep Erdogan informed about the stolen artifacts, and after the negotiations of the two leaders during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Turkey, the parties reached an agreement on the return of the artifacts to Trabzon. The process was interrupted by the crisis in relations with Russia, which was caused by the downing of the Russian plane,” writes Milliet.

“Our artifacts are most likely to be in the Saint Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts. Among other valuable pieces, they also contain plenty of artifacts of the Urartu era and more than 200 manuscripts of the Ottoman period. We want Putin to return what they have been keeping all this time,” said Faruk Ozak.

Urartu was an ancient Armenian kingdom in the Southwest Asia, located in the Armenian Highlands. Urartu held a dominant position in Western Asia in the first quarter of the first millennium BC.


#77 MosJan


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Posted 16 March 2018 - 01:47 PM


#78 Yervant1


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Posted 04 March 2020 - 09:17 AM


The 3,000-year-old remains of an ancient fortification have been discovered at the bottom of Turkey’s largest lake. The underwater excavations were led by Van Yüzüncü Yıl University and the governorship of Turkey’s eastern Bitlis Province.

The castle is said to belong to the Iron Age Armenian civilization also known as the Kingdom of Van, Urartu, Ararat and Armenia. The lake itself is believed to have been formed by a crater caused by a volcanic eruption of Mount Nemrut near the province of Van. The current water level of the reservoir is about 150 meters higher than it was during the Iron Age.

Divers exploring Lake Van discovered the incredibly well-preserved wall of a castle, thought to have been built by the Urartu civilization. Experts had been studying the body of water for a decade before it revealed the fortress lost deep below its surface.

armenia-ji-2.jpgThe 3,000-year-old remains of an ancient fortification have been discovered at the bottom of Turkey’s largest lake. Divers exploring Lake Van discovered the incredibly well-preserved wall of a castle, thought to have been built by the Urartu civilization
armenia-ji-1.jpgUnderwater Fairy Chimneys in Van lake.

The discovery was made by a team of researchers, including Tahsin Ceylan, an underwater photographer and videographer, diver Cumali Birol, and Mustafa Akkuş, an academic from Van Yüzüncü Yıl University. 


Legends among the area’s population spoke of ancient ruins hidden in the water, and the Van team decided to investigate. Over the course of ten years, they captured images of pearl mullets, microbialites, corals and even a sunken Russian ship, but their prize remained elusive.Their search has now paid off, uncovering castle stonework that has been protected from the ravages of time by the lake’s highly alkaline waters. It is thought the stone structure was built by the Urartians, as the rocks used were favoured by civilization. 

The castle, as well as a number of villages and settlements in the area, were built at a time when water levels were much lower than they are today.

Speaking to Hurriyet Daily News, Mr. Ceylan said: ‘Many civilizations and people had settled around Lake Van.

‘They named the lake the “upper sea” and believed it hid many mysterious things.

‘With this belief in mind, we are working to reveal the lake’s secrets.

‘It is a miracle to find this castle underwater.’

The Kingdom of Urartu was an ancient country in the mountainous region southeast of the Black Sea and southwest of the Caspian Sea.  Today the region is divided among Armenia, eastern Turkey, and northwestern Iran.

Mentioned in Assyrian sources from the early 13th century BC, Urartu enjoyed considerable political power in the Middle East in the 9th and 8th centuries BC.

The Urartians were succeeded in the area in the 6th century BC by the Armenians. Urartu is an Assyrian name and the people called Urartians called their country Biainili. Their capital Tushpa was located at what is now known as Lake Van.

Most remains of Urartian settlements are found between four lakes: Çildir and Van in Turkey, Urmia in Iran, and Sevan in Armenia, with a sparser extension westward to the Euphrates River.

armenia-ji-3-1024x459.jpgMap of historic Armenian with Lake Van at its center.


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