Proto-Armenian Kingdom of Urartu
The Biblical reference to Noah’s Ark on the “Mountains of Ararat” designates the mountains of Urartu, an iron age kingdom that grew into a major power from the 13th to the 9th century BC. The 1947 discovery of the dead sea scrolls verified that ‘Ararat’ was derived from “Urartu” by the Greek substitution of the letter “a” for vowels within the Hebrew form written only with consonants (rrt).
The Urartians centered around Lake Van and expanded their territory to include the Caucasus and Mount Ararat. They developed a culture noted for their skilled use of aqueducts, dams, cuneiform inscriptions, and especially for bronze metal works.
The Armenian nation would replace the Urartian empire after its collapse around 650 BC. The Urartu fortress of Erebuni is now, 3000 years later, the site of Erevan, Armenia’s capital.
ALMA is fortunate to have a representative sampling of Urartian artifacts in the collections, including silver bracelets, clay pots and potshards, bronze military belts, and iron clothing pins and implements.