Blogs from Mount Aragats, West, Armenia, Asia


Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats June 27th 2018

After visiting the Haghpat monastery again we set off for Ahtarak,which is back towards Yerevan. Another day and of course more monasteries and churches, Saghnosovank and then Hovhanovank monasteries were onteh drive. These were in sight of each other but a big gorge away, both in stunning settings. The first pretty inside the second built right on the edge of the gorge. Just outside the town of Ashtarak is Muhinj, or Saint George's church, a lovely stripy church with bands of red and black brickwork, this time in a garden setting. The last church of the day was my favourite, a tiny 9th century church of Saint Mary, known for its lovely frescoes inside. Two elderly ladies sitting there trying to chat with us but no common language! Opposite is a delightful cafecalled Pascal and Diodato, ... read more
Inside St Mary's church, Ashtarak
Walking through the snow Mt Aragats
View from the ridge to Lake Kari

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats August 2nd 2012

Tuesday I attempted to summit Mt. Aragats, the highest mountain in Armenia with an elevation of 4090 meters. I could only make it to the false summit at 4035 meters because of the clouds that rolled in just as I reached the summit block making the challenging route finding even more difficult. However, I subsequently met some Russians on the descent who read that it is not possible to reach the true summit without rock climbing gear so I may have in fact made it to the highest trekking point. My first five days in Armenia were sunny and insanely hot but as soon as I got to Kari Lich last Sunday (the lake at the start of the trek) the clouds began to appear and I had to wait an extra day before attempting Aragats. ... read more
Third Ride to Here, Summits in the Distance
Kari Lich
Watermelon and Armenian Coffee Always Go Well Together

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats November 7th 2011

It had been a tough walk. In fact it had been one of the most difficult one-day walks of my life. It began inauspiciously when our 5am taxi ran out of fuel halfway up the extinct volcano. For some reason he tried to chug the ancient Lada – the only car to be seen in in Armenia – up the rest of the steep winding road using the fumes in the carburettor. Finally we drew to a standstill, although it was hard to tell as we had been progressing at less than walking speed anyway, as a potentially lift giving minibus crawled up the road behind us. We paid our driver anyway; out of sympathy because I had no idea how he would get back to civilization. However, I didn’t have that much sympathy as he ... read more
The Hills around Garni Temple
Mount Aragats
In the Crater of Mount Aragats

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats August 21st 2010

Hi all, I wanted to post this before I left Armenia, but ended up being unable to, so, here are my last thoughts while in country-- written with less than 6 hours left. I never got around to posting it this past year, so I'm posting it now as a review of what went on in T27 last year, and as a primer for my next post about my time in Armenia so far. Apologies for the lack of pictures. More coming soon. I'm up early on my last day in Armenia for two reasons: to take a shower (check) and to write a brief blog entry before we dismantle the internet (which, with a bunch of 21st century archaeologists and scientists, is the last thing to get broken down, a truism I am thankful for). ... read more

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats August 7th 2010

Well into Week 5, I'm finally getting around to writing about Week 4-- life on Project ArAGATS is growing hectic because we have less than a week left in the field, and so much left to do-- not to mention final trench reports to write, artifacts to catalog, C14, and dendrochronology samples and ceramics to pack so they can be shipped back stateside for analysis... but all is good-- for archaeological excavations (and academics in general...) this last minute cramming is nothing unusual. In any case, I'm getting ahead of myself, and details about Week 5 will have to wait until my next entry. After a wild week 4 in T27; with the final count at forty-four complete (though some fragmented) ceramics removed, two bronze arrowheads, two obsidian arrowheads, and over twenty grinding stones and mortars, ... read more
Calm after the Storm
The Modern Erebuni

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats July 28th 2010

Thanks to a thunderstorm, we've returned from the field a bit early today, and, since the power is out in the house, and the local network database that we use to keep track of the excavation won't work without the router, I'm finally finding time to write the entry I promised last week but never got around to doing. The reason for this is simple: the intact jar I discussed in last week's post was only the first of forty four complete (though, in many cases, fragmented) ceramics: everything from small medicine jars, drinking cups and bowls, to large grain or wine storage vessels. Because of this, I've spent most of the last week excavating and removing these ceramics during the day, and entering data about them into the database at night. It really is a ... read more
The Close-Up
Ancient Fruit Bowl

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats July 20th 2010

After a busy , but fantastic week, I'm squeezing in a few minutes to write this blog entry before dinner, data processing, email checking, and last, but certainly not least, bed. I'm also not holding up to my promise to write once a week -- but I hope to post twice this week to make up for it. (One final caveat: I didn't get around to posting this on Sunday (7/18) when I wrote it, and I'm finally posting it on Tuesday (7/20), that's why dates may seem a bit off.) After finishing the week up in the field, last Saturday (we work Monday through Saturday, and have Sunday off, which is reserved for field trips, and general mental well-being), we ventured off to visit three sites north west of Aparan and the Tsaghkahovit plain where ... read more
Defensive Wall A at Horum
Aragats from the Citadel at Horum
Tactical Planning and T22

Asia » Armenia » West » Mount Aragats July 9th 2010

Barev from Armenia! I arrived over a week ago, but I haven't been able to post to this blog due to technical difficulties. We were supposed to have wireless internet available in the dig house, but it turns out the the cheaper option was to get a wireless modem that attaches to the USB port of a computer and share that between all of us. The problem is, we can't get it to work on a number of computers. Anyway, I've figure out a system that should allow me to post once a week-- but it took a while to iron out the glitches. In any case, I'm glad that many of you appreciated last year's blog from Crete, and I'm happy to write again-- this time from Armenia. Please feel free to pass the blog ... read more
The Pickle (and Mt. Aragats)
The Armenian National Museum

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