The UCLA Research Program in Armenian Archaeology & Ethnography at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology announces its inaugural event, an interdisciplinary conference that brings together 14 subfields within Armenian Studies. The conference seeks to assess the field holistically, and participants from eight countries will present position papers on May 31, 2014 and interact with each other and the academic community of Southern California at Lenart Auditorium Fowler Museum from 9am to 5pm.

The Research Program was established through a long-standing partnership between the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and Zaruhy Sara Chitjian of the Hampartzoum and OvsannaChitjian Foundation, whose previous successful projects have included the excavations of the Areni-1 cave complex in the Republic of Armenia. The discoveries of the oldest leather shoe and the earliest wine press have changed the world’s understanding of human civilization.

Future plans of the Research Program include several projects that will expand its activities in the Republic of Armenia, such as environmental research, which will open new venues in addressing the issues of Global Warming, and a project on archaeological human DNA. Future projects outside the Republic of Armenia will include the documentation of the Armenian cultural heritage worldwide, including collaborative projects in Turkey and other countries, as well as the preservation of the ethnographic legacy of the Armenian Genocide in the Armenian Diaspora. All of these projects are aimed at the long-term goal of increasing the visibility of the Armenian cultural heritage worldwide, with its inclusion in textbooks and through mass media.

For further information, please contact Dr. Gegory Areshian at gareshia@ucla.edu

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