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MARIAM SHAKHMURADYAN, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
“Desert kites” are large-scale stone structures of different forms, discovered in the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as in Armenia. They usually consist of two long rows of stones, several kilometers long, of an enclosure that can reach several dozen acres. The enclosure can have various forms: some are geometric while others resemble more complex shapes (including, most notably, a child’s kite).
Although kites have been studied by many scientific research centers around the world for nearly a century, their function and the place and time of their origin remain a mystery to archaeology. The fact that there are more than five thousand of them in the world, that a lot of effort has been put on their construction, indicates their significance, and thus a whole page of the history of the ancient world remains undiscovered. Armenian kites yield great potential to shed light on these mysterious structures due to their high level of preservation and rich archaeological environment.
Mariam Shakhmuradyan graduated from Yerevan State University with a BA in History and Theory of Armenian Art and went on to receive an MA and PhD in Archaeology. She has worked at the Department of Early Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia as a junior researcher. She was the recipient of a grant in 2021 from NAASR and the Knights of Vartan Fund for Armenian Studies in support of her ongoing research on desert kites in Armenia.
Ararat-Eskijian Museum (AEM)
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
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