Sites & cities that bear the name of Tigranakert of Artsakh

Tigranakert of Artsakh

Today in : Azerbaijan
First trace of activity : ca. 2nd century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 7th century C.E
Recorded names : Tigranakert-Artsakh, Արցախի Տիգրանակերտ, Arts'akhi Tigranakert

Description : Tigranakert (Armenian: Արցախի Տիգրանակերտ, Arts'akhi Tigranakert) is a ruined Armenian city dating back to the Hellenistic period. It is one of several former cities in the Armenian plateau with the same name, named in honor of the Armenian king Tigranes the Great (r. 95–55 B.C.), although some scholars, such as Robert Hewsen and Babken Harutyunyan, have posited that this particular Tigranakert may have been founded by Tigranes the Great's father, Tigranes I (r. ca. 123–95 B.C.). It occupies an area of about 50 hectares and is located in the province of Askeran in the Republic of Artsakh, de jure Agdam in Azerbaijan, approximately four kilometers south of the Khachenaget River. Primary sources first make mention of Tigranakert in the seventh century, stating that there were actually two such cities with the same name in the province of Utik. Archaeologists and historians have managed to date the founding of the first one to the 120s-80s B.C., during the reign of either King Tigranes I, or his son and successor King Tigranes the Great. Robert Hewsen has questioned the attribution to Tigranes II, as no coins or inscriptions bearing his name have been uncovered yet and the identification of the remains rests on the local name for the site. The ruins of the second Tigranakert have yet to be uncovered, although it is believed to have been located in the district of Gardman. Tigranakert was the site of a battle in the spring of 625 AD, between the Byzantine emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641) and a Sasanian force, which resulted in the defeat of the latter. The site has inscriptions in both Armenian and Greek dating back to the 5th and 7th century. After the demise of the first Tigranakert in the early Middle Ages, the name of the city was preserved and used continuously in local geographic lore as Tngrnakert, Tarnakert, Taraniurt, Tarnagiurt, and Tetrakerte. It was de facto under the control of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh as part of its Askeran Province until being handed over to Azerbaijan, along with the rest of the area around Agdam as a part of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. The city reportedly came under shelling by Azerbaijan during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War.

See on map »