Historical artifacts “relocate” to oligarchs' country cottages

Historical artifacts “relocate” to oligarchs' country cottages

Constructions in the modern Yerevan are covering the historical layers of the old Yerevan.

Two ancient millstones used for oil production disappeared immediately after they were found in a construction site in Yerevan.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Two ancient millstones used for oil production were discovered at the depth of 2 meters in Pavstos Byuzand street of Yerevan, behind the Museum of History, in 2009.

Head of the archeology and ethnography department at Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Suren Obosyan, who examined the millstones said that upon discovery, he contacted the Museum of History for their further transportation to the Museum.

“However, the millstones disappeared and by unknown reasons were not transported to the Museum,” Obosyan said.

The archeologist asserts that he requested a company engaged on preservation of ancient monuments but no one arrived at the site, alleging shortage of time.

Obosyan is convinced that the artifacts were taken to a country cottage of one of Armenian oligarchs, however, he can't provide any name.

According to written sources, about 60 mills and several oil production presses operated in Yerevan in the Middle Ages. Archives show that in 1930s similar millstones were found in Koryun street. However, the data was unverified and the findings lost.

Two types of millstones were used in the Armenian Plateau, their appearance remaining unchanged in the period of 10-20th centuries. In mountainous regions, they were used for production of linseed oil. In the lowland, ones for production of sesame oil were used. It's remarkable that the millstones found in Yerevan were meant for production of linseed oil, but it's known that flax-plants neither grew nor was processed in Yerevan.

Ordinary millstones were 20 meters long and 15 meters wide. One of the millstones discovered in Yerevan was 1.76 meter in diameter.

At the first sight, the story seems incredible. However, there are many stories of the kind. Medieval Yerevan was located in the territory of the modern downtown, where the number of artifacts discovered is not large. The public and specialists are often unaware of the findings and the relative institutions are not informed either.

Thus, constructions in the modern Yerevan are covering the historical layers of the old Yerevan. The cultural and historical heritage in the vicinity of Saint Katoghike or Holy Mother of God Church suffered the same fate: excavations were not carried out and the most of the territory was cemented. In 2009, a jug was found in Yeznik Koghbatsi street. Specialists decided that it has no historical value and continued works, leaving the finding where it was.

The case with the millstones is unique, as it was registered thanks to some honest residents of the Armenian capital and a superficial research was carried out. Unfortunately, people often remain indifferent about the findings. So do the governmental institutions which are obliged to preserve the artifacts. The fact is that the center of Yerevan is little examined and its future examination is undecided.

Sona Khachatryan / PanARMENIAN News
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