Yervandashat (ancient city)

Coordinates: 40°07′N 43°39′E / 40.117°N 43.650°E / 40.117; 43.650
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The heights on the right bank of Aras River are the site of ancient Yervandashat
Yervandashat (ancient city) is located in Turkey
Yervandashat (ancient city)
Shown within Turkey
Location1 km east of the current village of Yervandashat, Armenia, on the right bank of Aras River in modern-day Turkey
Coordinates40°07′N 43°39′E / 40.117°N 43.650°E / 40.117; 43.650
BuilderKing Orontes IV of Armenia
Founded210 BC

Yervandashat or Eruandashat (Armenian: Երվանդաշատ (reformed); Երուանդաշատ (classical)), was an Armenian city and one of the historical capitals of Armenia,[1] serving as the capital city between 210 and 176 BC under the rule of the Orontid dynasty and at the beginning of the rule of their successors, the Artaxiad dynasty.


"Eruandashat", which translates as "Joy of Ervand (i.e. Orontes)", is the Armenian form of the toponym and derives from Middle Persian *Arwandašād (compare Old Persian *Aruvanta-šiyāti-).[2][3]


Yervandashat was built around 210 BC by the last Orontid king Orontes IV of Armenia. It was at a height on the right bank of Aras River, in the Arsharunik canton of Ayrarat province of Armenia Major. Its site is 1 km east[clarification needed] of the modern Armenian village of Yervandashat, in the current Turkish Province of Iğdır.[citation needed]

According to Movses Khorenatsi, Orontes founded Yervandashat to replace Armavir as his capital after Armavir had been left dry by a shift of the Arax River.

Ancient Yervandashat was destroyed by the army of the Persian King Shapur II in the 360s AD.[4]

The archaeological site has not been the subject of major excavation, but some preliminary examination of the fortifications has been done and some remains of palaces have been uncovered.


  1. ^ Cyrille Toumanoff. Studies in Christian Caucasian history. — Georgetown University Press, 1963. — С. 75.:"The capitals of Armenia were successively: Armavira or Armawir of the Orontids (Manandyan, O torgovle 37) until the transfer by Orones IV of his residence to Eruandasat (*Orontasata)"
  2. ^ Canepa, Matthew P. (2018). The Iranian Expanse: Transforming Royal Identity through Architecture, Landscape, and the Built Environment, 550 BCE–642 CE. University of California Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-0520964365.
  3. ^ Hewsen, Robert H. (1998). "ERUANDAŠAT". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. VIII, Fasc. 6. p. 562.
  4. ^ Yervandashat