Ararat, Cradle of Civilization
Mt. Ararat, in the Armenian Highland, the final resting place of Noah’s Ark and the point of rebirth of life on earth. Mt. Ararat is located in the heart of Armenia and the world. Since prehistoric times Ararat has been a Holy Mountain and a Holy land for the people of the ancient world. The Summerians, an ancient peoples and one of the first civilizations in the world called Ararat, Arrata. In their great epic poems of Gilgamesh and Arrata, they call of land of their ancestors, the Arratans in the Highlands of Armenia. The Summerians also in their great poems describe, the Great Flood and the rebirth of life. The Summerians had a very close connection with the Land of Ararat and considered it as their ancestral homeland (some historians and archaeologists believe, that the Summerians initially lived in Northern Mesopotamia and Armenian Highland). The Egyptians, too believed that life began from a mountain, surrounded by water.
The Egyptians, too had since ancient times close connections with the people of Ararat. The great pharaohs many times married into the noble and royal families of ancient Armenian kingdom of Mittani. Their friendship and cooperation with the Kingdom of Mittani and close connections stretched from the Kingdom’s period into the Hyksos and Hurrian dynasties in Egypt from the Armenian Highland. The Holy Bible and the Hebrew scriptures too, tell us of the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark. Forty days of the Great Flood, which symbolizes the long time of the Flood and rains( the number forty in ancient civilizations, meant a lot, in Armenian Folklore it even had a significant and symbolic importance). When the rain stops and the water secedes, Noah descents from upon the Holy Mt. Ararat into the Araratian valley of Armenia.
He advises his three sons too go from Armenia, into all corners of the known world to repopulate the world. Japhet, Noah’s oldest son decides to stay with Noah in Armenia and becomes the forefather of the Armenian people. The Armenians since those times have considered Ararat as the Holiest place in the world. Josephus, a Hebrew Historian of first century A.D. writes that the Armenian people still remembered, and knew the place of Noah’s Ark. Agathangelos, a IV th century A.D. Armenian Historian, records that Armenian king Trdat ( Tiridates) III Arshakuni built the monastery of Hripsime, from the stones brought from Mt. Ararat, which were considered Holy.
Another Armenian Historian, Pavstos Buzand, writes that Archbishop Hakob of Mtsbin in IV th century A.D. made an expedition or Holy pilgrimage to Noah’s Ark, by climbing from the Northeastern part of Mt. Ararat and half way during their journey as the historian writes God, stopped them and told them that no mortal human being can see, or touch the Ark. God instead sends out an Angel with a board from the Ark, which the Angel gives to Archbishop (the board from the Ark to this day is still kept in the St. Echmiatsin’s Museum of the Church as one of the most precious and holiest relics, along with other priceless objects from the Churches 1700 year history).
In the XIII th century A.D. a French traveler named Ruebrouque, wrote in his diary, that the Armenians considered Mt. Ararat as Holy Ground, and they did not climb or get close to the Mountain, not because of its impregnability, but because of its Holiness and Gods direction of not getting close to the Mountain. As one Armenian told Ruebrouque " no one should climb the mountain, it is the cradle of the world". Indeed, Holy Mt. Ararat is the symbol of Armenia and Armenians and will be so forever with Gods Holy Blessing of the Cradle of Civilization, Armenia.