By Gayane Danielian
An Armenian scholar argues that the historical and cultural monuments of the town of Tigranakert dated to the first century B.C. recently found in Aghdam are additional proof that Armenians and Armenian culture were present in the region still millennia ago.
Director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography Aram Kalantarian told RFE/RL that the expedition working in eastern Karabakh found exact replicas of monuments one could come across in Armenian territory.
“What was found in Aghdam simply repeats what is present in the territory of Armenia. That is, it proves that here we have a common cultural field and that the monuments were created by people living in the same cultural field,” Kalantarian said.
Aghdam is an Azerbaijani district east of Karabakh presently controlled by the Nagorno-Karabakh armed forces.
Kalantarian said that during the past two years the government to a certain degree increased state budget allocations for archeological expeditions. In particular, according to him, 34 million drams (about $85,000) had been allocated for the purpose in 2006, and 22 expeditions have been working in the territory of Armenia this year.
Kalantarian said the expeditions had achieved ‘marvelous results,’ as new historical and cultural monuments were found. However, he said that it is equally important to preserve what has been found.
The monuments of Tigranakert were found recently by an expedition led by Hamlet Petrosian. The team of archeologists has already returned from Karabakh and now is working in Garni.