Armenian Highlands (Armenian: Հայկական
լեռնաշխարհ, translit. Haykakan leṙnašxarh; also
known as the Armenian Upland, Armenian plateau, Armenian tableland,
or simply Armenia) is the central-most and highest of three
land-locked plateaus that together form the northern sector of the
Middle East. To its west is the
Anatolian plateau which rises slowly
from the lowland coast of the
Aegean Sea and converges with the
Armenian Highlands to the east of Cappadocia. To its southeast is the
Iranian plateau, where the elevation drops rapidly by about 600 metres
(2,000 ft) to 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level.
The Caucasus extends to the northeast of the Armenian Highlands. To
the southwest of the
Armenian Highlands is Upper Mesopotamia.
During Antiquity, it was known as
Armenia Major, a central region to
the history of Armenians, and one of the four geo-political regions
associated with Armenians, the other three being
Cilicia and Commagene. During the Middle Ages, Turkmens settled
in large numbers in the Armenian Highlands.
The region was historically mainly inhabited by Armenians, and
Georgians and Assyrians. The Christian population of the
Western half of the region was exterminated during the Armenian
Genocide of 1915 and on a smaller scale the Assyrian Genocide.
Today, the region is mainly inhabited by Armenians, Kurds,
Azerbaijanis, Turks, and Georgians.
3 Flora and fauna
4 Notable peaks
5 See also
7 Further reading
Their total area is about 400,000 km2. Historically, the
Armenian Highlands have been the scene of great volcanic activity.
Geologically recent volcanism on the area has resulted in large
volcanic formations and a series of massifs and tectonic movement has
formed the three largest lakes in the Highland, Lake Sevan, Lake Van
and Lake Urmia. The
Armenian Highlands are rich in water
The Armenian Highlands
Most of the
Armenian Highlands is in eastern Turkey, and also includes
northwestern Iran, all of Armenia, southern Georgia, and western
Azerbaijan. Its northeastern parts are also known as Lesser
Caucasus, which is a center of Armenian culture.
Main articles: Prehistoric Armenia, History of Armenia, and History of
From 4000 to 1000 BC, tools and trinkets of copper, bronze and
iron were commonly produced in this region and traded in neighboring
lands where those metals were less abundant. It is
also traditionally believed to be one of the possible locations of the
Garden of Eden. The Armenian
Plateau has been called the "epicenter
of the Iron Age", since it appears to be the location of the first
Iron Age metallurgy in the late 2nd millennium BC.
In the Early Iron Age, the Kingdom of Van controlled much of the
region, until it was overthrown by the
Medes and Orontid dynasty.
In Gilgamesh, the land of
Aratta is placed in a geographic space that
could be describing the Armenian plateau.
Throughout Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages, during various
Armenian Highlands was a heavily contested territory of
the Iranian Parthian Empire, Sassanid Persian Empire, Byzantine
Empire, and the Arab Caliphate. From the early modern era and on,
the region came directly under Safavid Iranian rule. Heavily contested
for centuries between the Iranian Safavids and its vying archrival the
Ottoman Empire with numerous wars raging over the region, large parts
of the Highlands comprising Western
Armenia were finally conquered by
Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 17th century following the
Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39)
Ottoman–Safavid War (1623–39) and the outcoming Treaty of
Zuhab, while Eastern Armenia, forming another major part of the
Highlands, stayed in Iranian hands up to the course of the 19th
century, when it was ceded to Imperial Russia. During the later first
half of the 19th century, the Ottoman held parts of the Armenian
Highlands comprising Western
Armenia now formed the boundary of the
Ottoman sphere of influence and the Russian sphere of influence, the
latter who had just recently completed its conquest of the Caucasus
Armenia at the expense of its suzerain, Qajar Iran, in
about 4 major wars spanning more than two centuries.
According to Richard Hovannisian, the Armenian
Genocide was the
"physical elimination of the Armenian people and most of the evidence
of their ever having lived on the great highland called the Armenian
Plateau, to which the perpetrator side soon assigned the new name of
Eastern Anatolia". Since the Armenian
Genocide and dissolution of
Ottoman Empire after World War I, it has been the boundary region
Iran and the
Soviet Union and, since the 1991 dissolution
of the Soviet Union, Armenia, and parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Flora and fauna
The apricot was known by the Romans as the prunus armenicus (the
Armenian plum) and was brought to
Europe from the Armenian plateau.
Lake Van from Akhtamar Island
Syunik Province / Ordubad
History of Armenia
Geography of Armenia
^ a b c d Hewsen, Robert H. "The Geography of Armenia" in The Armenian
People From Ancient to Modern Times Volume I: The Dynastic Periods:
From Antiquity to the Fourteenth Century.
Richard G. Hovannisian
Richard G. Hovannisian (ed.)
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997, pp. 1-17
^ Adalian, Rouben Paul (2010). Historical dictionary of
ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. pp. 336–8.
^ Grierson, Otto Mørkholm ; edited by Philip; Westermark, Ulla
(1991). Early Hellenistic coinage : from the accession of
Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (336-188 B.C.) (Repr. ed.).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 175.
^ a b "Armenian Highland." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007.
^ Volcanoes, their structure and significance Thomas George Bonney -
1912 - Page 243
^ Emerald Network Pilot Project in
Armenia Archived May 28, 2009, at
the Wayback Machine., Council of Europe.
^ Der Völkermord an den Armeniern, Nikolaĭ Oganesovich Oganesian -
2005- Page 6
^ Barbara A. West (2009). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and
Oceania. Infobase Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8160-7109-8.
Retrieved 20 September 2011.
^ Mesopotamian Trade. Noah's Flood: The Garden of Eden, W. Willcocks,
H. Rassam pp. 459-460
^ Lang, David M. Armenia: Cradle of Civilization. London: George Allen
& Unwin, 1970, pp. 50-51, 58-59.
^ a b Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania, By Barbara A.
West, 2009, p. 47
^ "Conflict and Security in Central Asia and the Caucasus". Retrieved
26 December 2014.
^ "Armenia: with Nagorno Karabagh". Retrieved 26 December 2014.
^ "Russia at War: From the Mongol Conquest to Afghanistan, Chechnya,
and Beyond ..." Retrieved 26 December 2014.
^ The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies - Page 3, by
Richard G. Hovannisian
Richard G. Hovannisian - 2011
Mountains in Armenia
Hewsen, Robert H. (2001). Armenia: A Historical Atlas. University of
Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-33228-4.
Kingdom of Urartu
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Coordinates: 39°17′1″N 43°22′19″E / 39.28361°N
43.37194°E / 39.28361; 43.37194