Land of ups and downs: Armenia

Capital city Yerevan with Mount Arafat in the background

At Eastertide we usually go to unusual places in the pursuit of archaeology. This year it was the turn of Armenia, an unusual place perched in the Caucasus.

It is slightly smaller than Belgium, with a population of around three million. Armenia is mountainous and varies between 400 and 4,000 metres above sea level. It is landlocked between the Black and Caspian Seas and it includes a large alpine lake, Lake Sevan, with its surface at 2,000 metres above sea level.

It is a land of ups and downs, of snow-clad peaks and majestic gorges.

The ups and downs are also reflected in Armenia’s history. In 301 it was the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion. Surrounded by Islam, it has remained staunchly faithful and defiant, independent of the Roman and Orthodox hierarchies. Read more:

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