The forgotten city.


The Arabs

The Arabs

The Arabs called the city Dabil and it became the capital of “Armenia” - the North administrative unit of Arab Caliphate, the seat for the Ostikan, or appointed Caliphate governor. Despite a series of Byzantine moves and Arab countermoves to recapture the country and the capital, it remained in Arab hands for the next 300 years.

Ever resourceful as craftsmen and traders, locals made the best of their situation, many learning Arabic, some converting, most taking advantage of the new international trade routes the Arab Caliphate fostered to increase the wealth of the city immeasurably.

The Arab period is marked by long periods of peace and development, pock-mocked by internal political strife and short periods of turmoil, resulting in the city being seized and looted by rival Arab, Kurdish, Turkic and Armenian lords.

Despite these periods of turmoil, the city reached its height under Arab rule, swelling to 150,000 residents, its limits extending over all the surrounding villages. Farmers plowing their lands still uncover pottery, glass objects, glazed ceramics, metal ware and coins that were minted in the city at least until 930.

Arab chroniclers record that Dvin exported a wide range of goods, collectively called “Armenian” goods which were prized throughout the Empire and included fine textiles dyed with cochineal.

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Implementation of the BSSRC project in Armenia and development of the BSSRC web portal and mobile applications were co-funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) project. The contents of the web portal and mobile applications are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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