Did you know that the discovery of the ancient kingdom of Urartu/Ararat was made due to records from a medieval Armenian history book?
Well, the existence of the Kingdom of Ararat, or Urartu, was unknown to science until the year 1823 when a French scholar, J. Saint-Martin, chanced upon a passage in the ‘History of Armenia’ by Movses Khorenatsi, the Armenian historian of the fifth century A.D. who had recorded the kingdom in great detail. Inspired by these writings Jean Saint-Martin sent a team to the described location and discovered a kingdom completely unknown to western academia.
Armenian medieval historians were well aware of the old Armenian Kingdom of Van. Khorenatsi had described Urartian settlements in Van and attributed them to the legendary Armenian hero Ara the Beautiful also known as Aram. His description exactly matched, the later discovered, Assyrian clay tablet attributing the foundation of the kingdom to the first king of Urartu; king Aramu (c. 860 – 843 BC)
According to M. Chahin:
“Urartian history is part of Armenian history, in the same sense that the history of the ancient Britons is part of English history, and that of the Gauls is part of French history. Armenians can legitimately claim, through Urartu, an historical continuity of some 4000 years; their history is among those of the most ancient peoples in the world.”
– Mack Chahin, The Kingdom of Armenia, A History, 1987, revised in 2001