Erebuni Museum

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Erebuni Museum Lobby 2. Erebuni (Arin Berd)

 EREBUNI (ARIN BERD)

The fortress of Erebuni sits atop Arin Berd, rung by the modern city of Yerevan sprawling from the foot of the hill.

Systematic excavations of Erebuni, led by the architect Konstantin Hovhannisyan, began in 1950, leading to the discovery of the city's founding cuneiform inscription the same year.

The fortress is built on top of a steep rock impregnable on two sides, protected on the third side by ramparts with a triple-row defense system at the entrance.

The foundations of the buildings were made of basalt and tufa, the walls of mud-brick.

Erebuni complex is architecturally complete, with a palace, worship area and service structures. Northwest of the hill and forming the citadel's center are the palace and hall, the royal temple of Susi and an open, peristyle courtyard. The walls of the hall were adorned with murals depicting sacred trees, gods, animals and floral patterns.

One of the most important structures in the complex is the temple devoted to Khaldi, the supreme god of the Urartian pantheon, to the southwest. Like un the large palace hall, temple walls were also adorned with murals. During later reconstruction the hall was turned into a service building as a storeroom for jars, remnants of which survive to this day. Next to the storage room are living quarters and service struc­tures.

Over the past few years, at the initiative of Erebuni Historical and Archeological Museum Reserve, joint Armenian/French/American archeological teams resumed excavations of the citadel.

This ancient site still holds many secrets and their discovery will contribute greatly to the understanding of the history of the Near East.