Shirak (Armenian: Շիրակ) is a province (marz) of Armenia. It is located in the north-west of the country, bordering Turkey in the west and Georgia in the north. Its capital is Gyumri. Shirak is known as the homeland of khash. It is as much semi-desert as it is mountain meadow or high alpine. In the south, the high steppes crash into mountain terrain, verdant green in the spring, hues of reddish brown in the summer. Shirak is served by Shirak International Airport near Gyumri.
The ancient history of Shirak is similar to its cousin the Ararat Valley, steeped in legend to some, but found by archaeologists to have been inhabited 25,000 years ago, with settlements popping up along the Akhurian Valley beginning around 9000 BC. Agriculturally based, the region has few of the metallurgical centers found South, but still had sophisticated settlements.