Aghdzk is in Aragatsotn Province on the southern slopes of Mt. Aragats. It is best known for the Arshakid or Arshakuni Mausoleum, which was a funerary chapel housing the remains of both Pagan and Christian rulers. The mausoleum abuts a fourth or fifth century Christian basilica and ongoing excavations were exploring the area south of the church and tomb complex when the site was visited in August 2017.
This limestone carving is a funerary effigy for an unknown man.
This limestone sarcophagus is decorated with mythological figures and stylised foliate swags.
This limestone carving is a funerary effigy for an unknown woman.
Kafar Nabo is on Jebel Seman about halfway between Burj Heidar and Brad and in 1997 it was accessible only by walking. The settlement was sacred to the god Nabo in antiquity and in the C4th a large church was built on the site of the pagan temple. Elements of this temple were incorporated in the church, which also possessed a double-size bema. Scattered around the site were the remains of a ciborium, an earlier Latin inscription, two Roman statues (one male, one female) and a Greek inscription on a door lintel.
Tags: Architecture, Bema, C4th, Church, Ciborium, Figure, Greek, Greek Inscription, Jebel Seman, Kafar Nabo, Latin, Latin Inscription, Limestone Massif, Nabo, Pagan, Sculpture, Syria, Temple
Soǧmatar (also referred to as Sumatar Harabesi) was the centre of an ancient shrine to a deity known as Marilaha (Lord God). This is known from a number of C2nd AD Syriac inscriptions cut into the summit of a high rock outcrop. The approach to this ritual high place also had reliefs of the sun and moon gods cut into the rock. Nearby is a cave, referred to as the Pognon cave after the first European to record the site, with carved images of gods and a number of Syriac inscriptions that was obviously used for some kind of funerary or cult practice, A large circular building that shows some affinities with Zoroastrian 'towers of silence' completes the grouping of monuments, but the exact function of the last mentioned element has yet to be fully understood. What is clear is that this was not a permanently occupied town, but rather a holy place of pilgrimage where the faithful would gather for key festivals. These would be officiated at by priests, but whether these religious personages lived at Soǧmatar all the time or not is unclear.
Ateni Sioni is regarded as the most beautiful church of the "Jvari' type. It is C7th and located in a place of outstanding natural beauty on a rock outcrop above a river in a narrow valley. Its beauty is enhanced by the many reliefs carved into the exterior of the church walls.
Mosaic with scenes from the life of Achilles with figures including Thetis, Chiron and Odysseus. Border scenes include animals and buildings. Villa of the Amazons, Halepli Bahçe, C5th-C6th.
Jvari means 'cross' in Georgian but the place known as Jvari is the high point above the city of Mtskheta where St.Nino is believed to have raised a cross in the C4th, signifying the arrival of Christianity in Georgia. The centrally-planned church on the site dates to the turn of the C6th-C7th and is the prototype for a genre of vernacular church architecture in Georgia. The sculptures on the east façade represent the Erismtavari Stepanoz I (during whose reign Jvari was constructed) being blessed by Christ, Erismtavari Adarnarse I with his son Kobul-Stepanoz (later Stepanoz II) and Dimitri, brother of Stepanoz I. On the south façade Kobul-Stepanoz (Stepanoz II) is shown with St. Stephen ando over the main entrance is a sculpture depicting the Ascension of the Cross. The south west (women's) entrance has the Ascension of Christ above it. A later chapel added to the north of the main church has been recently renovated, causing damage to the historical integrity of this part of the complex.
Tags: Adarnarse, Architecture, Ascension, C4th, C6th-C7th, Centrally-Planned, Christ, Church, Cross, Dimitri, Erismtavari, Figure, Jvari, Kobul-Stepanoz, Mtskheta, Sculpture, Shida Kartli, St. Nino, St. Stepanos, Stepanoz
Mosaic depicting four Amazon queens - identified as Melanippe, Penthesilea, Hippolyta and Thermodosa - hunting and killing a variety of wild animals and birds. Villa of the Amazons, Halepli Bahçe, C5th-C6th.