Armenia and Noah’s Ark – What do they have to do with each other?

Armenia blog

In 1840, the region around Mount Ararat was shaken by a severe earthquake. The water from the melting snow on the top of the mountain entered the interior of the dormant volcano and caused an explosion that broke one of the slopes of the ancient mountain. Only a few years later, a scientific expedition exploring Ararat discovered something incredible: on the slope most affected by the earthquake, there was a clear trace of a huge structure that had slid down. They also found wooden beams blackened by the passage of time, like the parts of a great ship. These finds were further evidence of the most famous specter in human history, Noah’s Ark, which has been sought for several millennia – a ship found and never found.

Where is Ararat?

Ararat today is a huge mountain range, up to 130 kilometers long. It is located on the border between Iran (Persia) and Armenia, but most of it, with its two snow-capped peaks, is in Turkey. Ararat is located in Iğdır on the right bank of the middle course of the Araks River, 16 km from the border with Iran and 32 km from the border with Armenia.

The origin of the name of the mountain Ararat

Since the nineteenth century, the use of the name Ararat in European geography is documented, but the local population did not know the peak by this name. The name Ararat is derived from the ancient state of Urartu.

In other languages such as Hebrew and Sanskrit, the word is translated as “holy ground” or “sacred land.”

Eastern researchers believe that the mountain was so named because of the legends about Noah’s Ark. Europeans assumed that Noah moored a wooden ship in this area, and since the mountain is an important elevation in the region, it is therefore called Ararat. In central Armenia there is a historical province of Ayrarat, which includes the Ararat plain.

However, some Armenian historians give it a more specific meaning. The first two letters of the word, AR, have great meaning in the Armenian language and stand for “creator.” Most words that have sacred meaning or have to do with creation begin with the letters AR in Armenian. According to Armenian mythology , Mount Ararat was the home of the ancient gods , and even in Christian Armenia there is a saying: in Armenian “Արարիչն արարել է արա- րածին Արարատում” / “Ararichn ararel e araratsin Araratum” (translated: God created man in land of Ararat). Therefore, some Armenian historians and linguists agree that the word “Ararat” means “land of creation“.

What does the Bible say about Mount Ararat?

In the Book of Genesis, the mountain Ararat (biblical Hebrew הָרֵי אֲרָרָט, Tiberian hārê ‘Ǎrārāṭ, Septuagint: τὰ ὄρη τὰ Ἀραράτ) the name for the region where Noah’s ark comes to rest after the Flood.

Ararat – symbol of Armenia

Ararat has long been considered a symbol of Armenia. In the 1920s, when a peace treaty was signed between Armenia and Turkey on behalf of the Soviet Union, according to which the volcano landed on the territory of the Turkish Republic, this became a real tragedy for Armenians. That is why the Armenian emblem is still decorated with the volcano, sacred to all Armenians, on which the biblical Noah’s Ark stands. And they consider the land around the mountain as their historical homeland, even though Mount Ararat is actually thirty-two kilometers away from Armenia.

In search of a lost legend

Mount Ararat is surrounded by a large national park. Interestingly, it includes not only the Ararat Mountains, but also an area where researchers are still trying to find the legendary Noah’s Ark: There is a hypothesis that Noah’s Ark and his family could land here, on the highest mountain in Turkey, after the Flood. However, archaeologists have not yet found confirmation of this version. Theologians assume that Noah’s Ark was in this area at the time of the flood. And if so, it is also possible that Noah’s ark docked at the highest point of the area that the water first exposed. For this reason, local believers have for centuries been convinced that the mountain is sacred and that its ascent is a challenge for ordinary mortals.

Armenia – interesting facts about the country

Armenia is a state in southwest Asia. It is located in the south of Transcaucasia. It borders Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east and southwest, Iran to the south, and Turkey to the west.

Total area: 29,743 km2

Population: 2,976,409 (as of 2022) Armenia has a large diaspora, with about 8 million Armenians living worldwide. This is much more than the current population of Armenia itself of almost 3 million.

Capital: Yerevan/Yerevan (1.092 million inhabitants as of 2022)

Major and largest cities in Armenia: Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Vagharshapat, Hrazdan, Abovyan.

Official language: Armenian

Currency unit: Armenian dram

The Armenian coat of arms shows a lion and an eagle carrying a shield. The shield itself consists of many elements. In the center of the shield is Mount Ararat, symbolizing the Armenian nation, with Noah’s Ark on it. The shield is divided into four sections symbolizing the four independent Armenian kingdoms in Armenian history: the Arshakounians, the Artashesians, the Bagratounians and the Rubinians. The lion and the eagle carrying the shield are the kings of the animal kingdom and symbolize wisdom, pride, patience and nobility. They have been the symbols of royal families for centuries. At the bottom of the sign are five other important elements. The broken chain stands for freedom and independence, the sword for the power and strength of the nation, the wheat ears for the diligence of the Armenians, the branch for the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Armenian people.

Armenian national cuisine is a special attraction and not only in Armenia. Meat dishes are a special cult in Armenian national cuisine: “Khorovats” – Armenian shashlik; “Kufta” – meatballs of minced meat cooked in broth; “Dolma” – stuffed cabbage rolls made of vine leaves; “Baskirtat” – thin strips of cooked beef with coriander and walnuts; “Borani” – whole roasted chicken with eggplant and matsun.

Gold coins from Armenia – our favorites

Armenian Zodiac bullion coins are 12 beautifully designed numismatic pieces with the symbols of the zodiac signs, each minted in an edition of 10,000 pieces. The coins are made of 900 gold and are minted using the UNC minting technique. The actual value is 10 000 Armenian drams.

The pure weight of the coin is almost 1/4 troy ounce (7.74 grams) for a total weight of 8.6 grams.

The gold coin was minted by the Polish Mint, which fulfilled the order of the Central Bank of Armenia. A total of 12 varieties of coins are issued, which correspond to the signs of the zodiac circle in the sky. Each coin bears the symbolism of the respective sign and has its own unique reverse.

Noah’s Ark” is the first bullion coin issued by the Central Bank of Armenia.

Noah’s Ark is one of the most famous symbols of Armenian history.

The issuance and purchase of Noah’s Ark bullion coins by investors, collectors and numismatists from different countries of the world greatly contribute to the recognition of Armenia’s ancient history and the dissemination of the cultural values of the Armenian people.

The right to mint, promote, distribute and sell Noah’s Ark investment coins was awarded by the Central Bank of Armenia to Geiger Edelmetalle AG/ Leipziger Edelmetallverarbeitung from Germany.

Noah’s Ark gold bullion coins are made of 999.9 gold. The coins will be available from 2020 in denominations of 1 gram and ¼, ½ and 1 troy ounce with a specific year of issue.

Gold bullion coin “Noah’s Ark” weight 1 gram

Face value 100 dram –

Gold bullion coin “Noah’s Ark” weighing ¼ of the troy ounce

Face value 10 000 Dram –

Gold bullion coin “Noah’s Ark” weighing ½ troy ounce.

Face value 25 000 Dram –

Gold bullion coin “Noah’s Ark” weighing 1 troy ounce. Nominal value 50 000 dram

Noah’s Ark silver bullion coins are made of 999 sterling silver. The coins were issued from 2011-2012 in denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 5, 10 troy ounces and 1 and 5 kilos with the respective year of issue.