Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24th, Yerevan, Armenia


On the last day in the Central Caucasus region,  we began by visiting Mesrop Mashtot's Institute of Ancient Manuscripts.  It holds one of the world's richest depositories of medievil manuscripts and books which span a broad range of subjects, including history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history, and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.

Shortly after Armenia had a language (4th century AD), scholars started translating key Assyrian (a dialect of Akkadian, an extinct East Semitic language) texts into Armenian. The Bible, writings of great earlier scholars from around the world, gospels, songs and poems, and the decrees of the Armenian Apostolic Church were all translated and produced in illustrated calfskin parchment paper.  The depository for these text for 1500 years was the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (where we were on Sunday).  Through many invasions, the manuscripts were protected by the monks and locals.  The Museum here in Yerevan was constructed to house that collection, and many thousands of additional manuscripts contributed to it.

Later, the group drove to Lake Sevan (largest high altitude fresh water lake in Eurasia).  Pat and I bailed on it, and walked through the town to see some local sites.  Tops on our list was the inside galleries of the Gerhard J. Cafesjian Museum in the Cascades, which we had found closed yesterday.  While photos were prohibited, the exhibits were well worth the diversion on a rainy day.

I'm closing with a link to a collection of photos taken by one of our tour guides in Georgia (Giorgi Dartsimelia),  Most of the photos you've seen so far feature the members of our bus, and here is a chance to see the complete group.  To see his collection, and a few photos taken of the Depository this morning, click on:  Tuesday, May 24th  

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