During the reign of Tigran the Great (95-55 BC), the cities with the names of the representatives of the ruling dynasties were established in Armenian land due to the analogy of Hellenistic tradition. Tigranakert city built in the 1st century BC in Artsakh province of Greater Armenia was first mentioned by the 7th century Armenian historians Sebeos and Moses Kaghankatvatsi It is one of 4 cities, which was stretched on the valley of the 2nd biggest river Khacheni, where the great trade route was stretching from Syunik to Georgia.
In 2005 Hamlet Petrosyan, a PhD in History, who headed Artsakh expedition carried out by the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of the RA began excavations of the city and its surrounding. In the result of endless work and strenuous efforts districts and suburbs of Tigranakert city built in accordance with fortified medieval classical tradition were discovered. Artifacts of medieval pottery and glass fragments prove the fact that the central district was spread over the lowlands of the hill. Water lines were placed at the foot of the slope. The existence of springs greatly prompted the selection of the place for a future city, thus the main problem of water supply was easily solved. Fertile and properly saturated plots of land were formed in different districts of the city with the irrigation ditch coming from Khachenaget. The existence of the central district was verified by artifacts of various constructions, medieval pottery and fragments of various types of glasses. The city was located on the south from the springs of the lowlands of the hill.
A magnificent and glorious Tigranakert built with local white limestone by using progressive architectural skills was completely covered by emerald color gardens, surrounded by a strong fortress and gateways, carved in the cliffs. A splendid church of Christian basilica with adjacent open portico excavated in the central district in the 5-6th centuries was a very common style in Armenia of that ancient period. During the church excavations a cross disk with Armenian inscriptions was found. The excavated rows of the Christian cemeteries, exquisite crosses and tomb stones are of much significance and value. A 600 liter jug with a snake painted on it catches a special attention among the excavated relics as well as impeccable samples of colorful pottery, seals, mascots made of stones, glazed jars and pots and pans being made within the period of the 1st century BC to 1st century AD. A white and splendid city stretched from the slopes up to the foot of the mountain existed until the 14th century. The late medieval fortress with high towers in the corner was also revealed near the excavation site.
The discovery of white carved Tigranakert was compared to the discovery of Troy in western media. Taking into account the “faked” facts expressed by the so-called intellectuals of the historical neighbours, after a large-scale archaeological excavations the first state museum was opened here to publicly disclose its extreme importance to the whole world. By all means, Armenian spirited Tigranakert of Artsakh still has a great number of hidden and unrevealed secrets.