Earthquake also destroyed the 1st century Temple of Garni in 1679. It has since been partially restored to stand as “the only pagan temple in the Caucasus,” as our guide put it. Garni is indeed one of the oldest inhabited places in Armenia. The official sign at the site of the Temple told us that: “Excavations have uncovered artifacts dating to the Paleolithic era, while the original walls date to the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Photo essay: Roots that sustain Armenia's identity