24 May 2014, 17:09
150959 |

UCLA Armenian Archaeology program to host conference

The UCLA Research Program in Armenian Archaeology & Ethnography at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology announces its inaugural event, an interdisciplinary conference that brings together 14 subfields within Armenian Studies. The conference seeks to assess the field holistically, and participants from eight countries will present position papers on May 31 and interact with each other and the academic community of Southern California at Lenart Auditorium Fowler Museum from 9am to 5pm.

The Research Program was established through a long-standing partnership between the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and Zaruhy Sara Chitjian of the Hampartzoum and Ovsanna Chitjian Foundation, whose previous successful projects have included the excavations of the Areni-1 cave complex in the Republic of Armenia. The discoveries of the oldest leather shoe and the earliest wine press have changed the world’s understanding of human civilization.

Future plans of the Research Program include several projects that will expand its activities in the Republic of Armenia, such as environmental research, which will open new venues in addressing the issues of global warming, and a project on archaeological human DNA. Future projects outside the Republic of Armenia will include the documentation of the Armenian cultural heritage worldwide, including collaborative projects in Turkey and other countries, as well as the preservation of the ethnographic legacy of the Armenian Genocide in the Armenian Diaspora. All of these projects are aimed at the long-term goal of increasing the visibility of the Armenian cultural heritage worldwide, with its inclusion in textbooks and through mass media.

Gregory Areshian, Director, Chitjian Collection and Archive, received his Ph.D. from the Saint-Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and has excavated at several archaeological sites in Armenia and Syria, while participating in other archaeological field projects in Georgia, Egypt, and Turkmenistan. Dr. Areshian's previous appointments include the position of professor of Archaeology and History at Yerevan State University, First Vice-President of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Armenia, and Associate Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences. He served as Deputy Prime Minister in the first government of the independent Republic of Armenia (1991-92). For further information, please contact Dr. Gregory Areshian at gareshia@ucla.edu.

PHOTO: Gregory Areshian, Director, Chitjian Collection and Archive

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