Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Armenia - About

Armenia is a small country located between Turkey and Georgia in the mountainous area around Mount Ararat. It's technically in Asia, but historically it's felt more of a connection to Europe.  As is the case with all the countries in this region, people have lived here forever.  The oldest shoe dating back to 3,500 BC was discovered, which is impressive, but not as impressive as the 48,000 year old hearth discovered.

There's a long history and I think that this link does a really good job of running through everyone that has run through the region.  So, I won't go through everything, just some highlights... The Armenians consider themselves descendants of Noah since the ark is rumored to have landed on Ararat.  Their ancient hero, Haik is the country's name sake.  I know you don't see Hayk in Armenia, but that's because the Armeinas call themselves Hay and their country Hayastan.  There also was an Aram later on who did a lot to expand the country so the Greeks and Persians named the country after him.

Historically, they are some of the world's oldest producers of wine.  They still make wine but also cognac.   Really, really good cognac.

They were the first official christian nation (301AD), which they are very proud of.   As such, they have tons of beautiful ancient churches.

Sumac is a popular spice, which I love.  I don't remember when I first tried it, but I had no idea it was from Armenia.  It's a little sour and I like to add it to yogurt and vegetables.

My favorite Armenian fact is that chess is a required subject in school and they have more grand masters per-capita in comparison to any other country.

On a sad note, in 1915, 1.5 million people were killed in the first modern genocide.


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