August 25, 2014

Ancient Armenian City Reveals New Secrets

Ancient Armenian City Reveals New Secrets -

An engraving from 1842 by Charles Texier depicting the walls of Ani

Turkish archaeologists have recently published discoveries made underneath the ancient Armenian capital city of Ani. Receding water has revealed an opening to a comprehensive network of tunnels dug beneath the ancient city located in present day Turkish province of Kars. Once a powerful city the capital of the Armenian kingdom of the Bagratuni dynasty, Ani today stand abandoned and desolate. At its zenith Ani rivaled the likes of Constantinople, Baghdad and Cairo in size and influence. By the 11th Century Ani had grown to over one-hundred-thousand people. Renowned for its splendor and magnificence, Ani was known as “the city of 40 gates” and “the city of 1001 churches.” It would later become the battleground for various contending Empires, leading to its destruction and abandonment. Today Ani largely remains a forgotten ancient ghost town in modern day Turkey.


During the international symposium titled “Underground Secrets of Ani” organized by the Caucasus University of Kars, the researcher Sezai Yazıcı stated to the press that (among other finds) they have discovered hidden water channels, monks’ chambers, meditation rooms, huge corridors, branching passageways and trapped tunnels. “One can easily lose the sense of direction.” – he remarked. Over 823 underground structures have been found with a length of over 500 meters. Most of these structures were used as residences, other structures included churches, water channels, dovecotes, etc. The researchers have mapped the underground structures and passageways.

According to Yazıcı these discoveries have been inspired by George Gurdjieff‘s writings who in 1886, with his companion Pogossian, has visited the ruins of Ani and discovered some passageways with rotten furniture, pottery and a pile of parchments in monks chambers. Although Gurjieff was fluent in Armenian (being born in Armenia himself), he could not comprehend the words on these scrolls as they were written in the Old Armenian (commonly known as Grabar). Gurdjieff remained intrigued by these parchments which upon deciphering revealed a mentioning of an ancient esoteric brotherhood that sparked his imagination. Read his accounts -> HERE

       Kantsasar Weekly  Diario Armenia