October 20-21 marks the 2800th anniversary of the founding of Armenia’s current capital Yerevan. Yerevan flourished as a city around the fortress Erebuni, founded by the Urartian King Argishti the First, in 782 B.C. The name “Yerevan” itself is an evolutionary transformation of “Erebuni”.
Archaeological excavations and diggings have come to witness that Erebuni fortress is, in reality, the founding pillar of Yerevan, being located in the capital’s south eastern part. One of the astounding evidences discovered during the excavations is a cuneiform script written by Argishti the First, the founder of Erebuni. The wedge writing states the following:
“By the greatness of the God Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, built this mighty stronghold and proclaimed it Erebuni for the glory of Biainili (Urartu) and to instill fear among the king’s enemies. Argishti says: The land was a desert, before the great works I accomplished upon it. By the greatness of Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, is a mighty king, king of Biainili, and ruler of Tushpa.”
What is more astonishing is that Yerevan is, in fact, older than 2800. Archaeologists have sound evidence to claim that the territory of Erebuni-Yerevan was settled much earlier. Fortified settlements dating back to the 4th millennium B.C. include Shengavit, Tsitsernakaberd, Teishebaini (Karmir Blur), Arin Berd, and Berdadzor, which constitute an inseparable part of Yerevan’s entirety.
So, Yerevan is 2800 years old, there is a strong conviction that the number is much bigger than that. Imagining that you can be present at the birthday celebration of Yerevan, the city that is around 30 years older than Rome, is breathtaking.
Throughout 2018, around 20 festivals have already been celebrated in Armenia, as part of Yerevan 2800’s collective calendar. But October 20-21 is going to be the culmination of all the festivities. In every corner of Yerevan’s city center, particularly at the central hubs like North Avenue, Opera House, Cascade and others, there will be plenty of cheerful celebrations. Events in Yerevan will involve songs, dances, handmade crafts exhibitions, various competitions, and other peculiarities, which will be an integral part of Erebuni-Yerevan 2800th anniversary. Thus, when you take part in all the fun activities, you will simultaneously visit places of interests in Yerevan, as well as learn about the Armenian culture.
With #Yerevan2800, Francophonie, and Areni Wine festival which took place throughout the month October, Armenia is going to host an unprecedented number of tourists from all over the world.
Yerevan 2800 is a perfect opportunity to visit Armenia and get a first-hand experience of what it is like to participate in the birthday celebration of one the world’s oldest capitals. This is truly a historical moment.