Аrmenians as an ethnic formation come from the dissolution of the Indo – European language. The homeland of lingual family is the Armenian Highland and surrounding areas of Northern Mesopotamia, the eastern part of Asia Minor,and the northern part of the Iranian Plateau.Still in Neolithic era, here was a separation of Indo-European speaking tribes to separate lingual dialects and then to tribal languages. According to detailed studies of antropologs F. Lausanne, E. Shantr, Virkhov, Pantyukhov, Tvaryanovich, D. Anuchin and others, since those times, Armenian Highland was inhabited by Armeniod type tribes.
The skulls which were founded in Armenia (Sevan, Lchashen and Shengavit) dates back to BC III – II, and have the features of Europoid and Armenoid races. However, the II millennium skulls quite differ with wide face.
During BC V-IV millennium, a part of Indo- European tribes moved from Armenian Highland and Asia Minor to Europe, Central Asia and India, the other part including the Hittites, Armenians, Greek and Iranian tribes stayed in this area. All this proves that Armenians are native people here.
The studies of N. I. Vavilov and other scientists proved that early cattle and agricultural cultures,particularly certain types of cereal crops and vineyards, precious stones, obsidian, copper, tin, iron and other inventions and their ancient development centers were in the Armenian Highland, where the Armenian tribes were dominant. According to W. T. Olcott opinion in BC III millennium, in the Armenian Highland and Asia Minor, the idea of 12 constellations came from as well as their names and Solar Calendar.
The historic folk traditions on Armenians origin, name and formation aren’t far from the truth. The Armenian myth of the formation, which brings M. Khorenatsi (5th century), the nation’s eponymous considers Hayk, and his “armenner” foreign name connects with the one of the successors of Hayk, whose name was Aram.
Different tribes and tribal unions participated in the formation of the Armenians.They gradually merged into a one monolithic nation. Each tribe or tribal union, which participated in the formation of Armenians, took the language of Armenian tribes, ethnic name and at the same time passed their anthropological appearance, language, spiritual and material culture. E. Forer, G. Khapantsyan, S. Eremyan and other researchers, the name “hay” connect with the name of Upper Armenia and Lesser Armenia, which in Hittite inscriptions mentioned as Hayasa. In the Bible this region is mentioned as “House of Torgom”(“Tun Torgoma”).
At the end of the BC II Millenium and at the beginning of I millennium, the tribes which were living in the Armenian Highland, in Assyrian-Babylonian inscriptions are mentioned by different names but as a state and political formation. The Armenians formation process became more strengthened during the State of Urartu (IX-VII BC), when the tribes of the Armenian Highlands were under the united and stable statehood. So they reached geopolitical unity.
Since VII century and VI century BC, in a number of books of the Old Testament, in Achaemenid inscriptions, in ancient Greek works and other sources the Armenian Highland is presented as an almost homogeneous country. In trilingual inscriptions of Achaemenid kings, the name of Armenia in Akkadian called “Urashtu”(Urartu), in the ancient Persian “Armina”, in Elamite “Harminuya”, and Armenian people are represented as “urashtaya”, “arminiya” and “harminuya” respectively. In BC VI century, Greek author H. Miletatsi mentioned “Armenia” country in his “World Map”, and the Armenians are mentioned as “Armenner”.
In AD I, during the Arsacid dynasty, the Armenians lived not only in the main territory of the Armenian Highland but also in the northern part of Mesopotamia, the eastern parts of Asia Minor. Greater Armenia, having approximately 312 thousand square kilometer area had 4 million Armenian inhabitants. After the adoption of Christianity (in AD 301) Armeniancy is mainly related to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Since 405 AD, Armenians have their own alphabet.
During the Ervanduni dynasty (VII century – IV century BC) the formation of the Armenians came to the end. After the Greek-Macedonian conquests (IV century BC) Greek authors introduce Armenia as a homogeneous and monolingual country. On the basis of this homogeneity, Artashes the First (189-160 BC) founded the Kingdom of Greater Armenia, which reached to its top during the years of Tigran II the Great (95-55 BC).
Since IX century, under difficult geopolitical circumstances,many Armenians have had to leave their homeland and spread all over different countries.In 1080, in the southeastern part of Asia Minor-Kilikia, Armenians established independent state. The emigration of Armenians reached to its top especially in the XII-XVIII centuries, during the Mongol invasions, Turkish and Persian possession. The union of Russia and Eastern Armenia was a new historical era, with which that part of Armenia became the center of national unity, spiritual and cultural revival.The formation of Armenia as a modern nation started, which was ended at the end of the XIX century. Armenians didn’t have national state, Armenia was separated between Russia,the Ottoman Empire and Persia. The social and national pressure aggravated the national identity of Armenians, there was started national-liberal struggle, which had very bitter trials.Islamist policies of the Ottoman government holocausted more than 300.000 Armenians, in 1984-1896.
The survival and recovery of an Armenian state in the Ottoman Empire, became the bargain of European Great countries’ diplomacy. In 1915, the Young Turks implemented the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians and the whole Western Armenia was deprived of Armenians.Those Armenians who survived the genocide spread to different countries, more than 300.000 Armenians sheltered in other parts of the Caucasus and Russia. Formed the Armenian Diaspora.
Due to heroic battles, the Armenian Statehood was restored in May 28, 1918. The Armenians not only destroyed the intention of Turkish governors concerning genocide of the Armenians, but also they proved the right of having their own independent state. Began a new wave of repatriation after the sovietization of Armenia (1920), the cultural and economic progress continued with a new power. By the collapse of the USSR, in 1991 the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh became independent states. In conditions of independent national statehood, the Armenians gained a new chance for development.
Translated by Liana Nikogosyan