Metsamor Archaelogical Site and Museum
In the midst of the broad and fertile Ararat Valley, north of the slopes of the legendary mountains, lies a site with a history spanning more than 4,000 years. Originally founded as an early Bronze Age city, Metsamor flourished for lengthy periods of time as evidenced by its wide range of historical artefacts from antiquity through the Urartian period, the medieval era and upwards to the recent centuries. Metsamor has thus hidden a treasure trove of artifacts, as over 28,000 objects have been unearthed. They range from large vases, intricate tools, burial objects, and some of the finest gold jewelry found. A small but extremely well presented museum on site displays some of the most precious objects. The underground chamber with its gold adornments are the highlight.
The archaeological site also contains some fascinating in-situ remains, such as the observatory of Metsamor. Found on a small hill on the site, it gives more credence to the idea that the inhabitants of the Armenian Highlands nearly 5,000 years ago were well versed in the stars. The site also contains remnants of a vast system of canals and irrigation networks, providing clues to the level and importance of farming. The most iconic image of the site nowadays is the line of dragon stones arranged in a line. These mysterious carved stones originate from the tallest peaks of the highlands and provide an aura of the unknown. Much is still unknown about life in ancient Armenia.
35 km west of the capital Yerevan in Armavir Province, in a broad and fertile valley known as the Ararat Valley.
A site inhabited from the Bronze age through many ages of history following thereafter.
Metsamor was used as a settlement as well as various other purposes, such as an observatory and burial grounds.
An active archaeological site that has recently underwent major rennovations in a museum and guided paths. An entrance fee of 2000 AMD is charged as of 2023.
From our base of a couple weeks in Etchmiadzin, we hired a driver to take us to the site for a short visit. We were surprised by the facilities with a newly constructed museum and a wooden walkway through parts of the site. Little information was found online prior to visiting. The museum was very informative leading up to the site visit. Walking around the ancient remains was still difficult to distinguish what was there, but the general feeling for the area could be appreciated. Mount Ararat to the south towers over the site. The entrance fee to the museum and site was 2,000 AMD as of 2023.