The Cyclopean fortress of Lchashen is located on the hills rising at the southern edge of Lchashen village. The fortress is a sub-monument of “Lchashen” settlement. The settlement was found in a dried-up lake to the east of the village. Spread over 15 hills and covering an area of ​​over 35 hectares it is a settlement of the Bronze Age, from which the remains of the walls have been preserved.

Not far from the settlement, on a rock, the inscription of the Urartian king Argishti I has been preserved.
The castle was surrounded by several walls, the total length of which reached about 5 km, and the outer wall was 3 km. The eastern and southwestern sides of the citadel had double and triple walls, the height of the standing parts of which reaches 3 to 4 meters, in some places 5-7 meters.
The Cyclopean fortress of Lchashen is the prototype of the other fortresses of the Sevan basin and had strategic importance.

the Archaeological excavations of Lchashen fortress

In 2016, archaeological excavations were carried out in the territory of the Lchashen fortress by the archaeological expedition of the “Historical and Cultural Heritage Research Center” of the RA Ministry of Culture, during which the specialists were able to clean the huge layer of soil exclusively by hand and open the right tower of the entrance to the main citadel of the fortress in its entirety, as well as the inner and outer front and upper parts of the adjoining enclosure.

The fortress and the settlement were surrounded by high and wide walls made of large basalt rock fragments. The width of the wall is 3.5 m, but in vulnerable areas and at the entrances to the citadel, its width reaches 5.5 m. In the south-eastern part, where the inside of the fortress can be seen from the outside, using the natural niches, they were deepened and extended, making it a hiding place.

Adjacent to the inner wall of the citadel was the wall of a room with a width of 7 meters, where a tonir, fragments of domestic pottery and clay parcel-hangers were found, and a completely preserved iron arrow was found from the upper layer of the wall.

The article was compiled based on observations and materials collected by the ArmLand club.

Author of photos: Artyom Martirosyan