good paved road leads south from Ejmiatsin to the Turkish border
crossing point at Margara, now closed.
The road passes Mokhrablur (see above) and a series of
farming villages. Vache
(till 1978 Aralikh
Kyolanlu, then Griboyedov,
named after the
(till 1978 Khatunarkh Verin, with S.
Bardughimeos church; SW of village is ruin of 8th c.
Sergeyich Griboyedov, who first visited Armenia in 1819, then
returned as General Paskevich’s chief diplomat to take part in
the Russian conquest of Armenia and Treaty of Turkmanchay.
Appointed Plenipotentiary Minister to Tehran, he was
murdered along with the rest of the Russian Embassy staff by a
Persian mob in 1829). SW
of the village is a Chalcolithic tell. About
four km S of Ejmiatsin, about 150 m W of the main S road to
Margara just before a railroad embankment, is a low hill behind
a little hamlet, surrounded by an iron fence (gaps in NE side).
This is the Chalcolithic (late 4th Mill. BC) through
Hellenistic (4th-1st c. BC) site of Mokhrablur
(“Ash Hill”). There
are 8 meters of deposits representing 12 distinct habitation
layers. Very little is
visible, beyond one huge stone block and a wide range of pottery
Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia makes the daring claim that
Mokhrablur’s central temple, which they say dates to the 10th
c. but actually seems to be of the 1st half of the 3rd
millennium BC, was the earliest known example of monumental
stone architecture in the Soviet Union.