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Armavir (Argishtikhinili)





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The Hellenistic city of Armavir, capital of the Orontid dynasty from the 4th-2nd c BC, was centered on the taller, steeper volcanic hill about 2 km further East. The easiest approach is, from modern Armavir, crossing the overpass and then jogging left and (after 100 m) right toward Haikavan (signposted "Margara"). About 300 m after the road bears left, a right turn will take you to the South side of the hill. Though Armavir was replaced as capital first by Yervandashat and then by Dvin, it maintained substantial habitation through the Medieval period, judging from the glazed pottery fragments still to be found. There is a substantial temple platform on the summit, and extensive house walls on the West side. Somewhere on the South slope outside the wall, 7 inscriptions in ancient Greek were carved into two rock faces about 12 meters apart, a reminder of Hellenistic influence on the Orontid kings. These inscriptions, probably carved around 200 BC, include a snatch of poetry regarding the Archaic Greek poet Hesiod, a pastiche of lines from Euripides, a list of Macedonian months, and some fragmentary letter texts. At the base of the hill there is a small, modern cave-shrine marked by an iron cross.

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