165-Years-Old Armenian Tombstone Inscription Found in Kharapert


ISTANBUL (Agos) — In an excavation work in Harput (Kharpert) province of Elazig, Turkey, a 165-years-old Armenian inscription is found. It is thought to be a tombstone and deciphering works continue. After the work is completed, the inscription will be protected by Elazig Museum.

Elazig Municapality has been carrying out restoration work in Church of Virgin Mary (also known as the Red Church). Before the restoration starts, an excavation work was started in the church.

During the excavation, a tablet dated 1851 was found. Art historian Elmon Hançer stated that it looks like a tombstone and reminds of classical ones. Saying that the writing on the tablet is in old style and can be read with a study, Hançer stated that there could be other tombstones.

Hançer also emphasized the importance of Harput: “For ages, Harput had been a very important settlement. In fact, it is still important; many people migrate to Harput. It means a lot both for Armenians and missionaries. Level of education was always high in Harput. In famous Euphrates College founded by American missionaries, Armenian teacher were working and the students were also Armenian. Though it didn’t survive, it left a great heritage.”