Armenians are one of the ancient nations that originated and before VI century BC was formed in Western Asia, in the territory of the Armenian Highlands. They went through all the stages of the nation’s development, from the system of prehistoric society to capitalism and socialism, and created their own statehood.
Armenians' anthropological type
Anthropologically, the Armenians belong to the near Asiatic or Armenoid type of the southern branch of the great Caucasian race , the formation of which chronologically coincides with the Neolithic era. The genetic structure of the Armenians consists of two components. Half of them are Caucasian, which was in the Stone Age, the other half is Neolithic, so it entered this region about 8 thousand years ago.
Based on the analysis of the composition of bone matter found during archaeological excavations in the Armenian Highlands, conducted in different epochs, and comparing them with the relevant data of modern Armenians, it is scientifically proven that the genetic characteristics of modern Armenians and their primitive groups have not changed since ancient times.
In ancient times, tribal migrations did not significantly change the average anthropological index of the Armenian Highlands, therefore, the ancient composition of the local population was preserved here.
Where do they live?
Armenians make up the majority in the national states of Armenia and de facto independent Artsakh. About 3 million Armenians live here.
Based on the peculiarities of its long and complex history, a certain part of the Armenians almost spread all over the world (8-9 million people). The largest centers of the Armenian Diaspora are Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Libya, Brazil and Syria.
More than a million Armenians live in Russia and the United States. In the rest of the world, the number of Armenians varies from a few hundred to several tens or even hundreds of thousands.
With the exception of the colonies in Iran and the former Soviet Union, all other colonies were established mainly in 1894-1922, as a result of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey.
What makes them unique?
The geopolitical position of the Armenian people has put its stamp on its entire history. Being at the crossroads of Asian and European countries, Armenians have been in contact with the cultures of the East and West since ancient times, and the native Armenian culture has appropriated many elements of these civilizations.
At the same time, the territory of the Armenian Highlands, due to its geographical location, has been repeatedly attacked by conquerors coming from West to East, and more often to the invasions of conquerors from the East. This circumstance largely determined the regularities and peculiarities of the path of the Armenians. The geopolitical factor has not lost its significance in the modern era.
During the historical epochs, despite the changes in religions and the influence of external forces , the cultural continuity of the inhabitants of the highlands is also obvious, that is why, the Armenians are the direct descendants of the ancient inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands.
What is their religion?
The majority of Armenian believers are Christians. Most of them are followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is one of the Eastern Christian churches forming a separate theological direction.
In Armenia, Christianity was spread by two apostles, Bartholomew and Thaddeus. In 301, Armenia became the first country to officially adopt Christianity as a state religion.
A significant part of the Armenians are Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. At the end of the 20th century, various sects had spread widely among the Armenians.
A small number are Armenians who profess Islam (mainly Sunni). Most of them are crypto – Armenians who hide their real roots. They mostly live in Turkey. Here their number reaches 5-7 million. Crypto-Armenians mostly live in Western Armenia, also in Cilicia. To escape the genocide, they renounced themselves, became Turks, Kurds or Arabs.
What is their character?
The national character of Armenians are hard work, dedication, energy, enterprise, endurance, and the ability to quickly adapt to new things of life. They have a special passion for learning and crafts, they respect the written culture and are devoted to their language, home and family.
They are by nature very hot-tempered and proud, pampered, but also kind-hearted and peaceful, hospitable, they love music and humor. Armenians are also characterized by a developed personality, a desire to obey no one.
What language do they speak?
The Armenian language belongs to the Indo-European language family as a separate independent branch. The closest connections were found with Greek, Indian and Slavic languages, as well as with Iranian, Phrygian and Hittite-Lebanese languages.
In 405, the greatest scholar Mesrop Mashtots created the Armenian alphabet which is still used almost unchanged. The alphabet played a huge role in the development of native Armenian culture, the preservation of ethnic independence, and in the future, in the process of maintaining close ties between the Armenian communities.
Prepared by Bagrat Movsesyan
Translated by Liana Petrosyan