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Areni

Trip Planner Asia  /  Armenia  /  Vayots Dzor Province  /  Areni
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Areni is a village in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. It is best known for its wine production, although the majority of wine produced locally is from the nearby village of Getap. The church of S. Astvatsatsin is a single-nave two-aisled domed Armenian church completed in the year 1321, and is located atop a plateau overlooking the Arpa River and Areni. It was designed by the architect and sculptor Momik Vardpet who is best known for his high-relief carvings at the monastery of Noravank . Nearby are also the 13th century ruins of lord Tarsaitch Orbelian of Syunik's palace, moved from Yeghegis to Areni during that time. Ruins of a 13th-century bridge built by Bishop Sarkis in 1265-1287 are one kilometer northeast of the church. At the same location are the remains of an older bridge.Copper Age excavationsIn 2007, an Armenian-Irish team decided to do test excavations in the cave site of Areni 1. Two test trenches in the front and rear galleries revealed Chalcolithic Age and Early Bronze Age layers dating back to 5000-4000 BCE. Excavations during 2007-2008 uncovered 3 pot burials in the rear chamber of the cave. Each pot contained a Copper Age human skull with no associated grave goods. All skulls belong to sub-adults of 9–16 years of age. These are currently being analyzed by the team's biological anthropologist. Remarkably, one skull contained a piece of a well-preserved brain tissue. This is the oldest known human brain from the Old World.
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