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To Prevent Cultural Genocide

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  • To Prevent Cultural Genocide



    A number of intellectuals were gathered in the National Academy
    of Science today and tries to appeal to the TA Authorities. Their
    concern was the fact that no steps are taken to condemn the policy
    of cultural Genocide led by Turkey to destroy the Armenian spiritual
    and cultural monuments in Western Armenia and Turkey, and to punish
    Turkey according to international legislation.

    «It is high time for Armenia, as a sovereign country to raise the
    question in international channels, either in UN, or in other European
    structures», said the head of the Turkish administration of the NAS
    Orientology Institute Ruben Safrastyan.

    The Turkish policy is condemned by the «Lozano treaty», «Resolution
    about the protection of the World cultural and national heritage»,
    and the «European Convention about the protection of the Architectural
    Heritage» signed by the country. The Euro Parliament resolution «About
    the solution of the Armenian Case» adopted in 1987 and re-confirmed in
    2004 demands that Turkey respect and protect the historical monuments
    of the Armenian nation.

    According to UNESCO, after the Great Armenian Genocide about 1000
    Armenian monuments have remained in the territory of Turkey. In 1974
    more than half of them were totally destroyed, and about 200 are all
    in ruins.

  • #2
    By removing every trace of this ancient civilization,Turks

    David's Mental Meanderings
    9th July 2003
    In my Daily Diversions, I have mentioned before how much I appreciate certain food indigenous to the people occupying what I prefer to call eastern Greece or that part of Greece outside of Europe - a region sometimes called Asia Minor and geographically known as Anatolia. All after, sometimes there's nothing quite as tasty as a good kebab. I have also noted the appreciation pretty much ends there.

    This peninsula between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea is the home of much of the New Testament. St Paul was born here and later visited and wrote letters to churches in towns like Colosse and Ephesus, and regions like Galatia. Not all of Anatolia is occupied Greece. It is also home to the first nation to officially convert to Christianity in 301 under the missionary endeavours of St Gregory the Illuminator.

    In Germany, holocaust denial is a crime. In Turkey, holocaust suggestion is a crime. Not admission, just suggesting the possibility. In Turkey, we aren't talking about the Jewish holocaust under the Nazis. We are talking about the Armenian genocide.

    It doesn't make the papers much. It isn't the subject of all sorts of movies and used as a backdrop in others. And if the Turks have their way, it never will. That's because the Turks don't just want to deny they killed 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. They want to deny the Armenians ever existed.

    I have to admit that the Turks have done a fairly good job of removing the Armenians from the public consciousness. After all, how often do you hear about the German genocide of Jews? There are Holocaust museums, remembrance days, and octogenarian former concentrations camp guards outed and deported. Just suggest that fewer than 6 million Jews were killed and you can be run out of town, or especially out of academia, on a rail. Suggest it in Germany and you will go to jail. Compare this to the Armenians. I have to admit that was I not reading William Dalrymple's From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium, I wouldn't have been thinking of the Armenians, either.

    I've been aware of the Armenian genocide since I was in college. One of theological pillars whose writings we devoured, R. J. Rushdoony, was born the year after the genocide. His parents had just escaped the city of Van with their lives. His grandfathers were martyred.

    Now for the first time I actually looked into the history of this holocaust. I learned that 55,000 Armenians were massacred in Van and cremated. I felt bad that I did not know names like Ras-ul-Ain, Rakka, and Deir-el-Zor the same way I knew Auschwitz or Dachau.

    The Armenian leaders and intellectuals were rounded up first. After these were killed, the slaughter of the general population began. In seven provinces of Anatolia, 90% of the able-bodied men were killed outright. Most of the rest of the population was deported out into the desert to starve in primitive versions of concentration camps. The Turks even beat the Germans to the idea of gas chambers, even if they lacked the technology. They forced groups of Armenians into caves and then set brush fires at the entrances to deplete all the oxygen and asphyxiate the victims.

    The Turks save a special fate for the children. The lucky ones were just burned alive or taken out in boats which were capsized in the middle of the sea. That was much quicker than the fate that befell the pretty ones. The prettiest girls and boys from the age of about 10 upwards were reprieved long enough to be raped and tortured. The accounts of foreign eye-witnesses to the atrocities are so horrific that I cannot bear to write about them. Should you find this all too incredible, I have provided links to websites containing the relevant information, replete with documentation, on David's Daily Diversions.

    Without attempting to minimise the evils perpetrated in the Jewish holocaust in any way, I have to say that the Turks almost make the Germans seem nice. It is made all the worse by the Turks refusal to even acknowledge what they did.

    The Turkish government has gone to great lengths to try and insure others do not know about them. For example in 2000, a Syrian Orthodox priest was charged with "inciting religious, racial and sectarian hatred" for mentioning the genocide to the press.

    Like many foreign governments to promote their history and culture, the Turks have endowed chairs in Ottoman studies at major universities. The condition of the funding is that these compromised academics do not write or lecture about certain subjects and that they only use approved sources in their research. The Turks have also used more direct methods in shaping the research. In an 1994 interview at which I was present, Rushdoony indicated that while the scholar editing The Slaughterhouse Province: An American Diplomat's Report on the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917 was researching in the US National Archives "she found that the Turks were allowed access to the National Archives and were destroying material derogatory to them regarding the massacres." [Rushdoony's interviewer, the history chair at a major Christian university, is also responsible for you reading this. He was a reader of the pre-Internet Meanderings, whose encouragement is at least partially to blame for the resumption of these newsletters in the electronic age.]

    They have kept the US and UK from even officially recognising that the genocide ever happened. In 2000, a resolution in the US House of Representatives was withdrawn by the Speaker, under diplomatic pressure from Ankara. The UK Government has been petitioned by it citizens and by Members of Parliament, but it will not budge. Because Turkey is the only Muslim member state of NATO, no one has wanted to offend them. Now that the US controls neighbouring Iraq and has bases in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, perhaps that bargaining chip has dropped in value.

    It as also been suggested that Turkey may have to admit the genocide to be admitted to the European Union. It would probably also help if they didn't have all their guns in the west pointed at what remains of EU member Greece. When we travelled between Turkey and the Greek island of Kos two years ago, the ferries in harbour were flanked in the docks by small gunboats, with warships nearby. Much of Turkey's military, however, is in the east.

    When they aren't fending off the Kurds, they are rewriting history. Not being satisfied with slaughtering the Armenians, they are using the army to demolish all of the evidence that the Armenians were ever there.

    This is the case in Rushdoony's ancestral city. According to Rudy Brueggemann, who visited Van in 2001, "All that remains of old Van are three ruined mud and stone structures and two mosques. Beneath a large rocky outcropping on which sits the ruins of the Van fortress, the flattened remnants of the former city are visible on the mud landscape that's almost lunar in its appearance. The new Van was built 5 kilometers away from there."

    The most important NATO base in Turkey is Incirlik Air Base, located just outside the city of Adana. In the shadow of the American flag today is site of not one, but three episodes of violence against what was the indigenous Armenian population. They were attacked in the mid-1890s over a three year period. They were massacred by the tens of thousands in 1909. According to Brueggemann, "Were the 1909 massacres in Adana not overshadowed in scale by the genocide of 1915, they might be better known today." Every Armenian in the city and surrounding villages that wasn't killed was forced out. There are now no Armenian buildings in the city. Entire villages were demolished and there is no evidence they ever existed other than in the knowledge of the descendants of the handful of survivors.

    In the removal of distinctive Armenian architecture, the Church has been particularly hard hit. Dalrymple notes that the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople (not to be confused with the Ecumenical Patriarchate located in the same city) did not complete a 1914 survey of actively used churches. Nonetheless, it recorded "210 Armenian monasteries, 700 monastic churches, and 1,639 parish churches, a total of 2,549 ecclesiastical buildings." In 1974, a survey indicated that there were 913 buildings with still-known whereabouts. Of those, 464 had disappeared, 252 were in ruins, and 197 were in sound shape.

    This was before the Turks really got aggressive about removing any evidence of the Armenians. In the 1970s and 1980s, they started a campaign which does not appear to have stopped. Every Arminian place name has been renamed. They regularly go into villages, identify any and all Armenian antiquities, smash them to bits and remove the rubble overnight. As Dalrymple and others account, whenever returning foreign visitors ask what happened to monuments, churches, gravestones, or anything Armenian they saw before, locals in fear of the secret police insist that such a thing never existed.

    If you look on the official website of the Republic of Turkey, the only references you find to the Armenians are in a section called "Armenian Allegations and the Facts". It explains how the Armenians "in fact" massacred the Turks. Even the culture and tourism section of the site, which panders to Christians and which you would think was written by Christians, never mentions the Armenians once. I couldn't find a reference to a single Armenian historical site.

    I don't want you to think that this is some sort of Muslim attack on Christians. Constantinople fell in 1453. The Armenians survived over 450 years of Muslim rule. Though Islamic parties are on the rise, Turkey is the most secular of the Muslim states. The father of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal (known universally as "Ataturk" - the Father of the Turks) crushed Islamic fundamentalism soon after he came to power in 1923.

    The Armenians have also suffered some persecution from the more fundamentalist Kurds. That's more of a religious conflict. The Turks have no such motivation. This is just what they do, whether in the elimination of the Armenian people in 1915 or in the current eradication of their history. As the curator of the Armenian Museum in Jerusalem told William Dalrymple, "Soon there will be no evidence that the Armenians were ever in Turkey. We will have become a historical myth."

    By removing every trace of this ancient civilization, the Turks will assume the Armenian role as the cultural creators of eastern Anatolia.

    The Turks are bit like the father in the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, who tries to convince everyone that the Greeks invented everything. The difference is that the Greeks actually invented an awful lot and the Turks only invented a lot of awful.
    "All truth passes through three stages:
    First, it is ridiculed;
    Second, it is violently opposed; and
    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


    • #3
      Armenian Delegation Discusses Restoration Of Ancient City Of Ani In Turkey

      2007-04-02 18:26:00

      "We should establish contacts with the Turkish side and learn to trust
      each other," Armenian Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth Gagik
      Gyurjyan said at a press-conference in Yerevan, Monday. To remind,
      G.Gyurjyan led the Armenian delegation which participated in the
      opening ceremony of the Sourb Khach (St.Cross) Church in Lake Van,
      West Armenia (modern Turkey).

      He noted that the trip was fruitful. During private conversations
      with representatives of the Turkish authorities, the Armenian side
      raised the issue of restoring the ancient Armenian city of Ani. The
      head of the delegation expressed hope that the next meeting of the
      sides will be held for this purpose.

      "The restoration of the Sourb Khach Church has been carried out at a
      high level and complies with international standards, on the whole,"
      G.Gyurjyan said.

      He expressed regret at the fact that the issue of placing a
      cross on the dome of the church was discussed more than the
      restoration itself. "As for the Turkish flag hung out during the
      opening ceremony, it should be noted that it is stipulated by the
      legislation of this country while holding all the official events,"
      he emphasized. Answering the journalists' question whether the
      restoration of the Sourb Khach Church is a PR action made by the
      Turkish Government, G.Gyurjyan pointed out that he welcomes any action
      aimed at restoring an architectural monument, moreover, an Armenian
      monument. "One shouldn't demand too much of Turkey at the current
      stage," he said in conclusion.
      "All truth passes through three stages:
      First, it is ridiculed;
      Second, it is violently opposed; and
      Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

      Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


      • #4
        According To Deputy Minister Of Culture, Cross To Be Mounted Soon


        Noyan Tapan
        Apr 02 2007

        YEREVAN, APRIL 2, NOYAN TAPAN. If the Armenian Patriarch of
        Constantinople Mesrob Mutafian had not delivered a speech at the
        re-opening ceremony of Surb Khach (Holy Cross) Church on Aghtamar
        Island of Van, the head of the Armenian delegation which attended
        the ceremony, RA deputy minister of culture and youth issues Gagik
        Gyurjian would have made a speech. G. Gyurjian stated this at the
        April 2 press conference. In his words, according to a preliminary
        agreement and the Turkish side's plan, the Armenian delegation
        was not to make a speech, however, a speech was prepared jointly
        the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs io order to use it in case of
        necessity. The deputy minister said that in his speech the Armenian
        Patriarch of Constantinople pointed out a number of issues of concern
        to the Armenians, including the issue of mounting a cross on the
        church's dome, celebrating the holiday of Surb Khach (Holy Cross)
        once a year, and declaring March 29 Day of Aghtamar (on this day,
        a national festivity with songs and dances will be held). As regards
        the fact that there were Turkish flags and a portrait of Ataturk on
        the church during the ceremony, G. Gyurjian noted that according
        to Turkish law, "the Turkish flag and a portrait of Ataturk shall
        be displayed at all state and governmental events." In his words,
        the flag and portrait were immediately removed after the ceremony.

        He expressed an opinion that the cross of the church will be mounted
        soon - the cross has already been made and is now at the Patriarchate
        of Constantinople. Moreover, the deputy minister said that the group
        implementing the repair work during the church's restoration kept a
        constant touch with them. The Turkish side consulted with Armenian
        architects on the issue of making the cross. G. Gyurjian said that
        the church was restored and repaired in line with international
        architectural standards, although there are some insignificant defects.
        "All truth passes through three stages:
        First, it is ridiculed;
        Second, it is violently opposed; and
        Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

        Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


        • #5

          Read the final paragraph
          Armenians Remember Genocide At Hands Of Turks
          VIDEO: Watch The Latest News
          SLIDESHOWS: View The Day's Top Photos
          (CBS) LOS ANGELES Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council and Armenian leaders gathered Friday to commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide committed by the Turks, which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million people in 1915.

          "Today's remembrance ... will not only keep us all united in our remembrance of the 1.5 million lost souls, it will also help us teach the new generation to prevent injustice and intolerance and will renew our respect for all of humanity," said Archbishop Honvan Derderian, primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church.

          Turkey rejects the genocide label and argues that about 300,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks, died during civil strife in 1915.

          The deaths occurred when Armenians in eastern Anatolia fought for independence and sided with Russian troops invading the crumbing Ottoman Empire during World War I.

          "It is important that the next generation of truth tellers is here with us today," Villaraigosa said. "Denial of the genocide is an attempt to instill fear in the hearts of all those who treasure truth. The first condition of justice is recognition of the gravity of the evil done."

          Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, introduced a resolution in January that asked President Bush to recognize the killings.

          In February, the City Council designated the Armenian capital of Yerevan as a sister city to Los Angeles, under a plan spearheaded by Councilman Eric Garcetti.

          "Today it may feel long ago, but to think of the 3,000 years of culture and history ... that (the Armenian genocide) tried to wipe from the earth makes us realize that it is part of our present," Garcetti said.

          (© 2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report. )
          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gavur View Post
            "The restoration of the Sourb Khach Church has been carried out at a
            high level and complies with international standards, on the whole,"
            G.Gyurjyan said.

            Entirely wrong. The restoration breaks or ignores just about every current standard of best-practice.
            The fact that the restoration was up to Armenian standards is nothing to be proud of. His very use of the word "restoration" (as if it were a good thing) graphically shows how backward the concepts of preserving historical monuments and artefacts currently are in both Turkey and Armenia. That is not to say I am particularly critical of Mr Gyurgyan, he is a decent person, but he should have better advisors on the subject. For him to wish a similar fate be inflicted on Ani is most disturbing.

            He expressed regret at the fact that the issue of placing a
            cross on the dome of the church was discussed more than the
            restoration itself.
            I have yet to read a single useful comment anywhere on the restoration itself.
            Plenipotentiary meow!


            • #7
              Site in Armenia provides information about ancient capital across the border

              Project Discovery funds archaeological research at
              an Ani suburb, on the Armenian side of the border

              BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. –7
              Project Discovery has awarded a
              grant of $7,175 to Dr. Hamazasp
              Khachatrian, director of the Shirak
              Regional Museum in Gyumri, to
              conduct archaeological research at
              Haikadzor was occupied during
              the Middle Ages, when it was a
              suburb of Ani, the famed medieval
              capital of Armenia. The remains of
              Ani are on the Turkish side of the
              Armenian-Turkish border. Haikadzor
              is located in front of the monastery
              of Horomos, situated about 15
              km (9 mi) northeast of Ani, beside
              the Akhurian River on the Armenian-
              Turkish border.
              Horomos, founded during the
              reign of the Bagratid King Abas I
              (928-953), brother of King Ashot
              Yergat, was one of the most important
              religious and cultural centers
              within the kingdom of Ani. Haikadzor
              is the only suburb of Ani located
              within the territory of the Republic
              of Armenia, making it the only
              part of Ani open to archaeological
              investigation by Armenians. Thus,
              this grant affords a unique and important
              opportunity to study the
              material culture of Ani.
              Ani, built on a spectacular site
              – a plateau enclosed by deep ravines
              – was once the capital of a medieval
              Armenian kingdom that covered
              much of present-day Armenia and
              eastern Turkey. Renowned for its
              splendor and magnificence, Ani rivaled
              the great cities of Constantinople,
              Baghdad, and Cairo. At the
              height of its glory, Ani’s population
              reached between 100,000 and
              Ani is first mentioned in Armenian
              chronicles in the 5th century
              as a possession of the Armenian
              Kamsarakan dynasty. By the
              early 9th century, Ani had gone
              to Bagratunis. By the end of the
              10th century, the Armenian catholicate
              had moved its seat to Ani.
              The city reached its apogee at the
              start of the 11th century, when it
              was known as the “City of Forty
              Gates” and the “City of a Thousand
              and One Churches.” Located at the
              crossroads of various trade routes,
              Ani developed strong commercial
              ties with the cities of Byzantium,
              Persia, Southern Russia and Central
              The city comprised dozens of religious
              structures (churches, chapels,
              monasteries, and mausoleums)
              and secular buildings (royal
              palaces, mansions, baths, markets,
              caravanserais) and defensive
              structures (the citadel and double
              line of ramparts) as well as bridges,
              aqueducts, and sewer systems.
              While the urban center of Ani was
              being developed, so too was an underground
              Ani being built, whose
              remains testify to the existence
              of hundreds of houses, dozens of
              chapels and tombs, monastery
              complexes, and city service facilities
              such as stables, mills, cellars,
              reservoirs, stores and food shops,
              all essential in the event of a siege
              of the city.
              The city’s economic, social, and
              cultural boom was accompanied by
              the expansion of its building and architecture.
              Its numerous religious
              structures, palaces, and fortifications
              were among the most technically
              and artistically advanced in
              the world at that time. Ani’s architects
              were of such renown that the
              influence of the Ani school of architecture
              extended over the whole of
              But Ani’s glory would soon fade.
              The city fell victim to waves of conquerors
              over several centuries, and
              later was devastated by an earthquake.
              Ani was finally abandoned
              and largely forgotten – until the
              late 1890s, when Toros Toromanyan
              and Nikolai Marr undertook
              to excavate at Ani. Their research
              was interrupted by the First World
              Lost magnificence
              The site Dr. Khachatrian will study
              was discovered in 1998. It was used
              as a stone quarry, which destroyed
              part of the site. Thanks to the efforts
              of Dr. Khachatrian, the mining
              activities were terminated and
              the site was saved from destruction.
              In 2003–06 the Terzian family of
              Paris funded archaeological excavations
              at Haikadzor. During this
              time, excavations were carried out
              both within and outside of the
              caves there. As a result of these
              investigations, the archaeological
              team was able to glean insight
              into the lifestyle of the people
              who populated Ani. One of the
              caves had been occupied by six
              to eight horned cattle, indicating
              that the people were engaged in
              cattle breeding. The archaeologists
              uncovered a bakery with 20 ovens
              for baking bread, indicating that
              the local residents not only made
              bread for their own consumption
              but also for sale to the larger population
              of Ani. Copper and silver
              coins discovered in the caves and
              nearby territory indicate robust
              commercial activities.
              Further research at the site
              is of critical importance to the
              study of Ani. The last excavation
              of Ani, carried out by Toros Toromanyan
              and Nikolai Marr, ended
              in 1917. All the finds from that
              excavation were transported to
              Russia in 1918 to preserve them
              from Turkish intervention. Unfortunately,
              much of the material
              never reached Russia and was lost
              The National History Museum
              of Armenia has only one collection
              of Ani finds that includes artifacts
              from the Bronze to the Middle
              Ages. However, that that collection,
              for the most part, comprises only
              fragments of ceramics and metal,
              and none of them was properly
              documented at the time of their
              discovery so they have little value
              as scientific evidence.
              Dr. Khachatrian is optimistic
              that his team’s further excavations
              at Haikadzor will reveal a wealth
              of important information about
              the material culture and lifestyle of
              the people of Ani, thereby preserving
              in the annals of world history
              this magnificent time and place in
              Armenia’s past.

              "All truth passes through three stages:
              First, it is ridiculed;
              Second, it is violently opposed; and
              Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

              Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gavur View Post
                is the only suburb of Ani located
                within the territory of the Republic
                of Armenia, making it the only
                part of Ani open to archaeological
                investigation by Armenians.
                Completely wrong. But it is easy to see why it is made out to be true. There are the remains of suburbs of Ani directly opposite Ani, but they are being destroyed by the quarry that is also directly opposite Ani (and which, rumour has it, is under the control of the same mafiosi that run Gyumri). A lot, including cave churches, has already been destroyed - and a medieval cemetery is now threatened. I don't think Dr. Khachatrian would last long in Gyumri if he were to make too much publicity about that.

                Thanks to the efforts
                of Dr. Khachatrian, the mining
                activities were terminated and
                the site was saved from destruction.
                Quarrying is actually still going on all around the site (as well as at the massive quarry opposite Ani of course). The settlement probably existed because it was located at a spot on the river that could be easily forded.
                Plenipotentiary meow!


                • #9
                  Here is a picture of the location. I think the site lies at the cliffs between the two quarries. Horomos monastery is at the top right.
                  Attached Files
                  Plenipotentiary meow!


                  • #10
                    Thanks as always for the clarification and insight that article was unable to convey (wow amazing pic!)
                    "All truth passes through three stages:
                    First, it is ridiculed;
                    Second, it is violently opposed; and
                    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

                    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)