Important Archive Discovered During Excavations in Artashat

Karina Manukyan
Archaeologists have discovered ancient archives during excavations in Artashat, the capital city of Greater Armenia.  
Pavel Avetisyan, Director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and head of the excavations, told ArmInfo that two archives dating back to the first and second centuries B.C. were found during previous diggings. The third archive was found this year near a Roman-type ancient bathhouse, on the hill of Khor Virap, with a total of 850 documents. It contains exceptional information about the late period of Artashat.        
Artashat was founded in the valley of Ararat by king Artashes I (190-160 B.C.) around 185 B.C. In his biography of Lucullus, the famous Roman historian Plutarchus ascribed the foundation to Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian general, who had been a fugitive since his defeat in 202 B.C. by the Roman army:
"It is said that Hannibal the Carthaginian, after Antiochus had been conquered by the Romans, left him and went to Artaxias the Armenian, to whom he gave many excellent suggestions and instructions. For instance, observing that a section of the country which had the greatest natural advantages and attractions was lying idle and neglected, he drew up a plan for a city there, and then brought Artaxias [Artashes] to the place and showed him its possibilities, and urged him to undertake the building. The king was delighted, and begged Hannibal to superintend the work himself, whereupon a very great and beautiful city arose there, which was named after the king, and proclaimed the capital of Armenia."

"Arminfo," October 16, 2013

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