ancestors' rock-carving endeavors have spanned the period between the
1st Millennia BC, as attested by historical-cultural
comparisons. In one of fundamental problems of Rock-Art researches
their dating, we attach importance to complex materialogical - traceological, cosmological and mythological studies, and in general,
all types of complex approaches. We believe that the classification of
available material is a prerequisite for the development of this branch
of science. This can be done through nearly 365 parameters and
properties, grouped in six categories: monument, rock,
surface, furrow, image, clusters.
most significant elements of mentality and existence of prehistoric man
have been reflected in artifacts, which in prehistoric/pre-script times
involved Rock-Art as well. As a specific form of expression of emotions
and information, rock-carvings represent a medium of communication. And
if back then Rock-Art possessed recording, storage and conveying
functions, for us now it has aesthetic and cognitive
functions. These are the bases that allow us to designate petroglyphs as
reliable sources, and, therefore, means of revealing the past.
considering Rock-Art we put it in historical-archaeological culture
context, and try to define and determine the Rock-Art tradition
and Rock-Art culture. Attaining this aim is possible only through
a classification which takes into account the influence of almost all
known natural and human factors, beginning from the formation of
rock-fragments through to engraving and up to our days. We believe that
due to such theoretical and practical classification we will be able to
reveal the meaning, role and function of each rock-carving, each group
of rock-images and, finally, of Rock-Art in general.
Rock-Art of Armenia was mentioned for the first time by
Khorenatsi, the founder of Armenian historiography (5th ce.
AD), followed by Anania Shirakatsi,
Armenian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician (7th ce. AD).
Although rock-carvings were discovered as early as in the beginning of
the 20th century (Mesrovb Ter-Movsessyan, 1902,
Levon Lisitsyan, 1972,
1935), real academic
work has only been undertaken since the early 1960s. Thus
far, it has been primarily Armenian archaeologists (Haroutyun
Martirossyan, Sandro Sardaryan,
Grigor Karakhanyan and others) who have published four volumes of their studies (with 1320 images of rock-carvings)
on the subject in association with the Institute of
Archaeology and Ethnography of Academy of Sciences of Armenia. This area of research is currently coordinated by the
Institute of History and by the “Armenian Rock Art Research Academy –