Some find oldest winery in Areni, some turn wine press site in Ashtarak into dump

Some find oldest winery in Areni, some turn wine press site in Ashtarak into dump

The ancient wine press site in the Armenian town of Ashtarak resembles a junkyard.

The Armenian town of Ashtarak is known as the old center of wine-making. There are plenty of monuments evidencing this throughout the place.

PanARMENIAN.Net - A wine press (hndzan in Armenian) was usually built neat the house or in the garden of the households engaged in wine-making. It was a container with a bit sloping bottom and an outlet to a stone vat in the ground. Barefoot men pressed wine in the press and then poured it into special clay pots.

A PanARMENIAN.Net photojournalist, who visited Ashtarak lately, took photos of the territory, which resembles junkyard rather than an ancient wine-making site. Over the past years, garbage from dwelling constructions nearby has been taken directly there.

Head of the department of ethnography of the Armenian Institute of Archeology and Ethnography Suren Gobosyan, said that the remains of the wine presses were found during the excavations in 1980s. “These monuments date back to 6-13th centuries and are valuable heritage of medieval culture,” he said.

It’s regretful to see the medieval monuments in such a deplorable state. From the one hand, international researchers continue finding proofs of Armenia’s being the cradle of civilization; on the other hand, we show uncivilized methods of treating the historical heritage. Some find oldest winery in Areni, some turn wine press site in Ashtarak into dump.

PanARMENIAN.Net brought the problem to the notion of the agency for preservation of historical and cultural monuments and hopes to receive an explanation in the near future.

However, it’s clear that the state institution can’t guarantee preservation of about 25 thousand monuments throughout the country unless the people themselves address the problem.

Yekaterina Poghosyan / PanARMENIAN News
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