This paper reports the preliminary results of an investigation of the prehistoric megaliths known as "vishaps" in modern Armenia. The authors of this article started their collaboratiion in 2012 supported by the Insitute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA and the Free University of Berlin. Field work was carried out in three directions: 1. archaeological investigation within the territory of Republic of Armenia; 2. archaeological investigation in Western Armenia (in the Tayk-Vanand region); 3. excavations on the southern slopes of Mt. Aragats. The article focuses on our work in the territory of contemporary Armenia. Our goal was the examination of the data of previous researchers towards the location of vishaps, accurate definition of the primary locations of the moved vishaps, and an attempt to discover new vishaps in their environmental context. As a result, the expedition gathered data on ca. 100 stone stelae, 72 of which were personally studied and recorded. Among them are 16 new vishaps that were discovered for the first time. The work was concentrated on two groups of monuments: in previously known Azhdaha-Yurt on the Geghama Mountains and in newlyfound Karmir Sar/Tirinkatar on the Aragats massif, where special measurements of the stelae were carried out and topographical maps were created. During the investigation it became clear that vishaps are mainly located in flat areas rich in water, on cromlechs - circular stone constructions (burials or cult platforms), and around them, near other burials, petroglyphs or tower-shaped constructions. Problems concerning archaeological context, principles of landscape organization, as well as function and dating of vishap stones are discussed in the article.

Վիշապաքարերի հնագիտթյն (The Archaeology of Vishaps)

Gilibert, Alessandra;
2015

Abstract

This paper reports the preliminary results of an investigation of the prehistoric megaliths known as "vishaps" in modern Armenia. The authors of this article started their collaboratiion in 2012 supported by the Insitute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA and the Free University of Berlin. Field work was carried out in three directions: 1. archaeological investigation within the territory of Republic of Armenia; 2. archaeological investigation in Western Armenia (in the Tayk-Vanand region); 3. excavations on the southern slopes of Mt. Aragats. The article focuses on our work in the territory of contemporary Armenia. Our goal was the examination of the data of previous researchers towards the location of vishaps, accurate definition of the primary locations of the moved vishaps, and an attempt to discover new vishaps in their environmental context. As a result, the expedition gathered data on ca. 100 stone stelae, 72 of which were personally studied and recorded. Among them are 16 new vishaps that were discovered for the first time. The work was concentrated on two groups of monuments: in previously known Azhdaha-Yurt on the Geghama Mountains and in newlyfound Karmir Sar/Tirinkatar on the Aragats massif, where special measurements of the stelae were carried out and topographical maps were created. During the investigation it became clear that vishaps are mainly located in flat areas rich in water, on cromlechs - circular stone constructions (burials or cult platforms), and around them, near other burials, petroglyphs or tower-shaped constructions. Problems concerning archaeological context, principles of landscape organization, as well as function and dating of vishap stones are discussed in the article.
The Armenian Vishap Stelae
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3673174
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