Yeghegis settlement

Yeghegis (Yeghegik) is one of the oldest settlements in Vayots Dzor region, once part of Armenia's Syunik province. It was the seat of the crown princes of Syunik in the 9th-11th cc.



The Hebrew and sometimes Aramaic inscriptions carved into the basalt gravestones make it possible to sketch an outline of a Jewish community from the mid-13th to mid 14th century at Yeghegis, which was then a prosperous Armenian city.

The inscriptions are interesting insights into the lives of the interred. They include quotations from the Bible, and Hebrew names.

“Baba, son of David, died in the month of Tammuz, year 1600” reads one inscription, which marks the death of one of the members of the community in the year reckoned by the calendar used by the Jews of the East (and still used by the Jews of Yemen) equivalent to the year 1289. In Aramaic, the inscription wishes the deceased "good memory and rest for the soul."

In another epitaph, a father mourns his young son and expresses his belief in the eternity of the soul, citing passages from Isaiah's prophecy on the resurrection of the dead.

On a third tombstone is cited a blessing of Aaron the priest from the Temple, in beautiful Hebrew.

One of the most beautiful inscriptions is dated  the 18th of Tishrei of the common era year 1266, dedicated to the memory of "the virgin maiden, the affianced  Esther, dau­ghter of Michael. May her portion be with our matriarch Sar[ah]...".

The opposite side quotes "Grace is deceitful and beauty is vanity" from Proverbs 31:30, Hebrew scriptures.

Some of the stones from the cemetery were reused as foundation stones for a nearby foot bridge and as a floor for a water mill. 

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    How to reach From the M10 highway that connects Martuni at Sevan Lake to the north and Yeghegnadzor in Vayots Dzor region to the south, when you arrive at village Shatin, turn east for approximately 7.5km.

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