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Village Shikahogh


       According to 13th century historian Stepanos Orbelyan's "History of Syunik" this is one of the few villages that retains its ancient name, Shikahoghk. The names of the localities near the village are also original Armenian.
Due to the rich forests, vegetation, mild climate, people settled here in ancient times, as evidenced by items found during archaeological excavations and construction work. Tombs from the 2nd century and after are spread out all around the village. The most famous are the tombs of White Lands, Red Lands, Sloridzor, Khravand, Old School, Ager, Kghtsahand, Cup Field, and Kerktor. Bronze needles, pricks, bony buttons, axes, blades, swords, spear tips, belts, bronze and stone beads, ornamented belts, earrings, bronze statues, and more were discovered in these sites. Rich pottery was also discovered including clay pots, jars, zodiac vessels, statues, ritual vessels, and idols. One of the most notable discoveries is a bronze axe from 8th-10th centuries BC, found in the ancient hollow of Kerktor copper mine. This proves that bronze was cast from local raw materials in ancient times in Shikahogh. Stone axes were also found, dated to 7th century BC. In the second half of the 19th century, the French exploited the Kerktor mineral deposits.
These deposits and ore routes lie 1.5 km from the village, on the bank of the Shikahogh River, and are accessible to pedestrians. During the Middle Ages, one of the international trade routes crossed Shikahogh village, linking the Kura River basin with the well-known town of Julfa on the Arax coast. There is evidence of this, such as the coins from the 15th and 16th centuries found on the same trade route linking the European and Eastern countries.
Throughout its existence, Shikahogh has never been abandoned, which has allowed traditions, customs, prayers, and elements of everyday life from the pagan period to have been passed down through generations. In no settlement is there a greater connection between man and nature as in Shikahogh. Gardening has been developed in the village since ancient times and even today there is a cult of mountains here. Mount Khustup, Berd Rock and Janjaptuk mountain peaks rising on the north and south of the village are worshiped by locals.


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