Archaeological collection

The archaeological collection of the Yerevan History Museum includes the items representing ancient times. This collection was formed as a result of archaeological excavations as well as includes items found during urban development activities. The collection testifies that in the area of the city, on the banks of the Hrazdan river life existed more than 80 thousand years ago, A skeleton of the Stone Age man as well as tools were found in the Yerevan cave.

Due to the regular and partial diggings developed in the territory of Yerevan in the 1930s a number of archeological sites have been opened: Shengavit settlement, Arin Berd, Karmir Blur, Tsitsernakaberd settlement, burial places, separate tombs. The collection of the archaeological items of the museum was formed and is being formed up to now from the excavated valuable materials: here are the collections of B. Piotrovski, S. Sardaryan, S. Yesayan, A. Kalantaryan, A. Demirkhanyan, A. Piliposyan, N. Yengibaryan, G. Mikaelyan, H Avetisyan, as well as items presented by individuals. The collection also includes the items found in the archaeological sites of other districts of Armenia Dvin, Mhub, Ptghni, Lurtan, Tavush, Maghradzor, Nazrvan).

The archaological collection of the museum has been studied and published in the catalogues of the museum many times.
The most ancient walled settlement in the territory of Yerevan id Shengavit settlement where during the excavations archaeologists found round rooms with stone foundation and cone-shaped cover and rectangle rooms with slope roofs adjunct to them, various earthenware utensils, stone statues and so on. Earthenware utensils with semicircle handles are particularly distinguished among the items of Shengavit collection. Inside these utensils are of brown or red colour, outside they are polished black, decorated with geometric ornaments, figures of birds and animals. This culture of the Armenian Aeneolithic Age Chalcolithic or Copper Age) is called Shengavit culture due to the name of the settlement.

Special attention is drawn by the ritual items typical for the Bronze Age culture; in the course of time these items were improved and gradually got new qualities.

The rich collection of the Iron Age items found in Erebuni, Karmir Blur, Aramus, Kurtan witnesses that the people living in the 1st century BC had a stable system of beliefs, a pantheon of deities. Various ritual utensils, used in funeral ceremonies, urns, idols, statues, jewelry were found. The archaeological materials of Hellenic period found in Avan Arinj settlement are the organic continuation of the previous findings.

The spiritual notions of medieval people are expressed in Christianity: churches, chapels were built, memorials were created in the form of khachkars (gravestones carved with crosses).

Medieval monuments are of particular value in the archaeological collection: in the 1930s churches were demolished in spite of the complaints and opposition of the intelligentsia, especially of Alexander Tamanyan. Some khachkars, records, frescoes, unique photos appeared in the museum.

The frescoes of Poghos-Petros church built in the 5th century are of particular value as they are the most ancient of that kind (7-9th centuries and 11th century). The double- wing door of the southern entrance of Poghos-Petros church brought from Bayazet church is kept in the museum too.

Cooperating with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the RA AS the Yerevan History Museum replenishes its archaeological collection with the items found during the diggings carried out in Yerevan and its surroundings.