The history of Armenia is a unique world treasury full of great civilizations' chronicles, biographies of legendary people, dramatic moments connected with formation of Christianity. Armenia repeatedly suffered from conquerors; time and again it seemed that the name of Armenia was erased from the map forever. But Armenian people have survived and defended their existence in fierce battles.
Thirty thousand square kilometers which are occupied today by Republic of Armenia make up only a tiny part, less than one tenth of that huge historical Armenia, whose chronicles are a separate chapter in the world's history and culture.
Armenian uplands were on the way of major trading and military routes of the Ancient world connecting the East and the West. Such a beneficial position of Armenia was always envied by numerous conquerors. Therefore, the borders of Ancient Armenia were exposed to frequent changes, and Armenians had to move to new lands. That is why the history of Armenia is rich and infinite. But the most important events are as follows…
Ancient Tribes on the territory of Armenia
Ignoring the fact that the first people appeared in Armenia during the epoch of early Paleolith, the first pre-Armenian tribes (Urartians, Hourrites, Luvians etc.) which inhabited Armenian uplands, were mentioned in the 4th – 3rd millennia BC. According to one hypothesis they were Thracian-Phrygian tribes; the other one states that those were ancient Indo-European tribes which came from Asia Minor. The country's name, Armina, and Arminians were first mentioned in the cuneiform writings of the Persian tsar Darius I (522-486 BC)
In the beginning of the 1 st millennium BC class distinctions appeared. The tribes of Armenian uplands united to form tribal unions (Uruatri, Nairi, Daiani etc.) on the basis of which in the 11 th century BC the powerful ancient slaveholding state Urartu with the capital in Tushpa (Van) was formed. During the period the intense ethnic unification of tribes of Armenian uplands and Armenian nationality took place.
In the 9th – 6th centuries BC the people of Urartu kingdom created the ancient civilization which defined the cultural future of ancient Armenia. The high level of this civilization was proved by the existence of writing, development of agriculture, cattle breeding and metallurgy as well as the highly developed ways of construction of such fortified cities as Erebuni, Teishebaini, Argishtikhinili etc.).
However, the internal contradictions, the absence of unity, the invasion intrusion of Assyrians caused the collapse of Urartu in the early 4th century BC.