Day 1: Welcomed at Zvartnots airport and roomed in a hotel in Yerevan. After a short rest you'll undertake a tour around Yerevan, the magnificent capital of Armenia, representing a sweet mixture of East and West cultures, ancient and modern.
Day 2: You'll spare on visiting the temple of Garni (I c. AD), suspended between earth and sky, on the top of huge granite rocks. You'll also go to ageless monastery of Geghard (IV c. AD), carved in rock of a deep canyon. The lunch will be served at the house of Garni resident Sergei and provide rare opportunity not just taste, but also to witness and to take part in cooking of the most delicious Armenian dishes. Back to Yerevan you'll have leisure hours to lead your private investigation in the local shops, bars, restaurants or any other areas and make your own discoveries.
Day 3: Departure to Hoghmik. The first stop will be at Metsamor - ongoing excavation and museum on the site of an urban complex with a large metallurgical and astronomical center (4,000 to 3,000 BC). Next visit will be to Bronze Age open-air temple-city of Agarak. You will also visit Harichavank monastery built in VI-VII AD and situated on a cape formed by shallow ravines and rivers flowing through them. At the evening you will arrive to Hoghmik for 5-day excavation period. During the dinner you will get acquaintance to the Head of Excavation Group Ph.D. Hayk Hakobyan and his team.
Days 4-8: Though the ancient sources mention the existence of numerous religious centers, but it's for the first time in Armenia, when site, owned by pagan shrine was unearthed. The excavations opened the complex of temples, administrative buildings, food storages, dating to Hellenistic and Roman era /II BC- IV AD/. It was dedicated to the God of the Sun Vahagn - Mithra - Tir - Apollo, while also implementing the rituals dedicated to Anahit, Goddess of beauty and fertility.
Owners of fertile wheat fields and rich herds, local priests were using the benefits of position on the trade route from the Sebastopolice on Black Sea to the city of Ekbatana in ancient Iran, which was sufficiently functioning since Median period through Classic and early Medieval times. The food and local pottery was exchanged with fine ceramics, jewelry and exotic goods from Egypt, Syria, Iran and Asia Minor.
Surrounded by hills, alpine meadows and springs it is in the middle of rye field on the left bank of Akhuryan River (Rah of ancient sources) approximately 20km north to Giumry, the second city of Armenia. The sharpness of the plan is expressed in fine proportions and use of "sacred" numbers. The unearthed area of more than 40 halls and rooms is 70x70m. and expected estimations are for 400x150m. Collected artifacts show active relations with Greece, Rome, Iran, as well as Levant.
The field parties of this complex provide improved data, highlighting connections between of architectural styles, cults, arts of with that of Middle East region and explain the peculiarities of strong cultural contacts with Greek-Roman world. The sanctuary complex was excavated since 1987 by field expedition of Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology of the National Academy of sciences, headed by Ph.D. H. Hakobyan.
After the breakfast field party members have 15-minutes promenade to the excavation site. Five-hour working day is interrupted by yogurt break and a bath at nearby springs for one hour. Siesta and one hour of processing the findings follow the dinner and briefing at the camp concludes the daily duties. The team members are involved in whole working cycle - digging, preparation, processing, conservation and registration.
Day 9: On the way to Yerevan you will visit the medieval fortress of Amberd, a fortress of great defensive significance, which sheltered people of nearby villages during the enemy's attacks. Amberd is situated at a height of 2300 m on the slopes of Aragats Mountain. And the last point of the tour will be Saghmosavank (XIII century), perching on the edge of precipitous gorge, amazing by compact arrangement of the monuments, clever use of the terrain and well thought-out decorations. The ensemble is famous for its depository of manuscripts.
Day 10: is given to visitting the Fortress Town of Erebuni, the ancient forerunner of Yerevan, located at Arin-Berd hilltop. At present Erebuni is partially restored and made into an open-air museum. In the pathway of the entrance to the fortress Erebuni Museum (1968), located in the pathway of the entrance to the fortress. The second place of great importance you'll visit this day is Matenadaran, one of the world's largest depositories of ancient manuscripts (more, than 17,000 documents) and the Institute for manuscript study. Here the tour of this day will end, and you'll have some leisure hours for wandering and shopping.
Day 11: Departure.
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