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What is Culture?

Notes Ancient Armenian Civilization and the Celtic Connection
Lecture given by Ara Kikorian
At BRLSI on 9th March 2015

What is Culture?

·         Somethings, material and linguistic,  that a group of people have in common

Armenia in the Bible

·         Mount Ararat, the resting place of Noah’s Ark after the flood in the Book of Genesis
·         2 Kings also mentions Armenia
·         Hayk is founder of Armenia according to Armenians
o   Descendant of Japheth, a son of Noah
·         Armenia is Haykestan in Armenian
o   Stan being a Persian derived word for country

Some important dates in Armenian History:

·         405 BC   Armenian Alphabet created
·         782 BC founding of Yerevan
·         1512 AD first book printed in Armenian language, in Venice
·         190 BC – 1 AD     Artaxiad dynasty – height of Armenian power
·         301 AD  King Tiridiles adopted Christianity as state religion from Zoroastrianism

Persecution by the Turks:

·         1894 AD                300,000 killed – possibly to do with gas exploration by Turkish workers in Armenia and the Turkish military protecting Turkish banks in Armenia used by these workers
·         1908 AD                30,000 killed in another massacre
·         1915 AD                1.5 million killed during WW1

Interesting talking points:

·         Swastikas are found in Armenian culture amongst ancient petroglyphs – rock cave paintings
·         5,500 year old leather shoe possibly oldest shoe in Armenia
·         6,000 year old winery found in Armenia
·         St Thomas the apostle passed through Armenia on his way to Goa, India where he was martyred
·         Etchniadzim is the principal church of the Armenian Orthodox religion

Armenia was the cross roads of the Silk Road between Asia  and Europe

·         Caravan route had Roman style roads with Caravan Serais for sanctuary

Celtic Connections:

·         750-12 BC Celts most powerful European people
·         Hazer in Armenian means 1000 similar to Hussar
·         Armenian Language has most loan words from
1.       Greek
2.       Sanskrit
·         Looking at place names related to the seafaring Celtic tribe from Amorica show cultural connections
·         There are many old words in common with Gaelic
·         Bagpipes are an Armenian instrument as well as Gaelic
·         There are remarkable similarities between an Anglo-Saxon engraving and an ancient Armenian petroglyph

Not generally accepted theory – speaker wants to write a book to elaborate though


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