Arsen E. Harutyunyan
Key words – Sisian, museum, cross-stone (khachkar), inscription, gravestone, exhibit, copper utensils, tile, cask (karas).
The History Museum in Sisian of the RA Syunik Province, founded in 1989, has a rich collection presenting the cultural heritage of the region that includes the working tools of the primitive men and the 19th-century samples of applied art. The yard in the front side of the museum decorated with stone obelisks is called Stone Museum (Karadaran). Here petroglyphs, architectural details of the buildings, cross-stones (khachkars), gravestones (mainly ram-shaped) and other objects brought from surrounding villages and archaeological excavations over the years are exhibited. Many of the exhibits of the Museum as well as the outdoor Stone Museum are inscribed. Among them the most prominent are the sarcophagus bearing the name of King Grigor II of Syunik (12th c.), the beautifully sculpted cross-stones (15th-16th cc.) transported from the villages of Angeghakot and Vorotan : they were erected for the salvation of the souls of Tados, Dondish, friar Mkrtich, untimely deceased Shahriar, Khumar, Oghulbek, priest Shmavon and others are especially notable. The inscribed samples of the copper utensils, as well as, the fragments of the inscribed tiles originating from Aghitu (11th-12th centuries) and the cask (karas) with two stamps (1854) are also worth mentioning. The unskillfully made fine printed inscriptions of the tiles testify that still in Medieval Ages the special italic script called “notrgir” was used (cursive). Such samples are also known from Dvin (7th c. AD).