The story

Outline of a Dwelling at Agarak

Outline of a Dwelling at Agarak



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Welcome

W elcome to the World’s Largest Occupied Bat Houses. The two University of Florida Bat Barns and Bat House, far right, are located on the north side of Museum Road across from Lake Alice on the UF campus.

The most common species living here is the Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis. The Southeastern bat, Myotis austroriparius, and Evening bat, Nycticeius humeralis, also live in the structures.

About the evening emergence

The bats normally emerge during a 15- to 20-minute period after sunset, before total darkness on calm, warm evenings when temperatures are above 65 F. Bats may swoop near those observing the emergence to eat insects attracted to the carbon dioxide in human breath, however they will not attack or harm people when left alone. High winds, heavy rain or cold temperatures will keep the bats in the house for the evening. On warm winter evenings, the bats may come out for a drink of water at the lake and exercise however they can eat only when bugs are flying.

Maximum viewing opportunities

The best seasons for observing the emergence are spring through early summer, when days are increasing in length. During this time, the bats emerge sooner after sunset while there is a longer period of twilight. To gain the best perspective of the bats’ emergence, watch the western sky over the pine trees and around the street lights on Museum Road. The shadows from the trees north of the house obscure the view of the bats’ emergence.

Important things to remember when observing the bats

Bats are designated by Florida Statutes Chapter 372 as “Non-Game Wildlife” and their habitat must not be molested or disturbed by humans.

  • Please do not throw any objects at the bats or the Bat House or Bat Barn.
  • Please avoid making loud or high-pitched noises, as the bats are easily disturbed. Parents, please encourage children to comply.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the structures by remaining behind the wooden fence of the observation area.
  • Beware of falling urine and guano as bats fly overhead.
  • Never pick up a bat on the ground.

Facts about this colony

Estimated population: 450,000-500,000 bats

Capacity of Bat House and Bat Barn: 750,000 bats

Nightly insect consumption: 2.5 billion insects (more than 2,500 pounds)

Types of insects consumed: Moths, beetles, mosquitoes, flies, gnats, leafhoppers, midges, winged ants and many other pests of lawns, shrubs, trees, crops and humans.

History

The Bat House was built in March 1991 with support from the University Athletic Association. Bats permanently occupied the house in January 1995 and have raised nursery colonies in late Spring each year. The Bat Barn was built in March 2010 and became permanently occupied in August 2011.

When fire destroyed UF’s Johnson Hall in 1987, a colony of bats occupying the attic of the historic building was left homeless and soon inhabited the concrete bleachers of James G. Pressly Stadium at the track and Scott Linder Tennis Stadium on the north side of campus. The odor and stains from urine and guano and the bats’ close proximity to spectators were a nuisance, so the UAA decided to exclude the bats from those facilities and build a structure for them to live undisturbed and at a safe distance from humans. In September 1991, several thousand bats were captured from the stadiums, transported and released in the Bat House. The following evening, the bats emerged and found other places to live, while the Bat House sat vacant for more than three years, leaving UF officials and many citizens in doubt about the success of the relocation project.

But in 1995 the bats moved in permanently, and the colony continued to grow. In 2009, the internal structure of the house collapsed from the weight of the bats and additional roosting modules that were added to the original design. The internal structure of the house was rebuilt and the first Bat Barn added in 2010. The second Bat Barn was completed in February 2017 to replace the original Bat House, which has deteriorated beyond repair. UF plans to remove the original Bat House at a future date.

Rabies and Precautions

Bats are wild mammals and do carry rabies, however rabies only occurs in about .5 percent (1 in 200) of the bats in a population. For comparison, rabies in wild raccoons can occur at up to 35 percent (1 in 3.)

Unlike other mammals, rabid bats do not show aggression, but are more likely to be found on the ground, sluggish and easy for children to pick up. Children must be warned to NEVER touch any bat, because bats found on the ground are much more likely to be rabies-positive and may bite in self-defense. Instead, have an adult notify a trained professional with protective gear and pre-exposure rabies vaccinations to handle or remove bats. If a bat must be removed by an untrained adult, use a coffee can with a piece of stiff cardboard. Place the can over the bat and gently slide the cardboard under the can, trapping the bat inside without touching it, or use heavy leather gloves.

For assistance or additional information, contact UF Environmental Health and Safety Pest Management Services, 352-392-1591 or University Police, 352-392-1111.


Regions [ edit ]

Central Armenia
The political center of Armenia contains much of the country's museums and cultural venues in Yerevan, the religious center of Echmiadzin, the 4100 m high volcano Aragats and the Monasteries of Geghard and Khor Virap. Much of this region consists of the flat and dry Ararat valley, though the hidden beauty of Khosrov Preserve is rarely visited.
Lake Sevan Region
This region is centered around beautiful, 2,000 m high Lake Sevan, which itself is surrounded by ancient monuments, churches, and monasteries, as well as popular beaches. Highlights include the largest khachkar cemetery in the world, the beaches near Sevanavank Monastery, and the countless fish and crayfish restaurants along the shores. Recently, windsurfing was reintroduced to the list of recreational activities.
Northern Armenia
Bordering Georgia to the north, this mountainous region includes numerous, wonderfully beautiful, and isolated churches and monasteries. The Debed River Canyon contains many of these, and the remote Shamshadin region is a glimpse of a virtually unvisited and beautiful Armenia.
Southern Armenia
A particularly beautiful section of Armenia stretching south to the Iranian border with interesting caves and more remote, beautiful Christian monuments. Highlights include Tatev Monastery, Noravank Monastery, Mozrov Cave, Selim Caravanserai and the thousands of petroglyphs atop Ughtasar Mountain.

Outline of a Dwelling at Agarak - History

AN OUTLINE OF THE STORY OF JESUS USING MAPS

The Land of Palestine at the time of Jesus of Nazareth, when, in J B Phillips words - Earth became a visited planet

Map 1 - The Travels of Jesus as a Child and Young Man c 6BC-AD27
[1] c 6BC - The Birth of Jesus at Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-7)
[2] Jesus is taken as a baby to Jerusalem for presentation at the Temple (Luke 2:22)
[3] c 4BC - Joseph and Mary take Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt to escape the "massacre of the infants" by Herod the Great (Matthew 2:13-18)
[4] c 3BC - Joseph returns to Palestine from Egypt, but discovers Archelaus (a brutal man, later deposed) is now ruler of Samaria and Judea. The family settles in Nazareth in Galilee (Matthew 2:19-23)

Anno Domini or Christian Era

[5] c AD6 - The 12 year old Jesus travels from Nazareth to Jerusalem with his family, and stays behind i n the Temple (Luke 2:41-46)
[6] c AD6-27 - On his return to Nazareth (Luke 2:51) according to tradition, Jesus stays for the next 20 or so years , and follows in his father's footsteps as a carpenter
[7] c AD27 - Jesus travels from Nazareth to the River Jordan to be baptised by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13)

[1] Jesus, now about 30 years old (Lk 3:23) travels from his home-town of Nazareth in Galilee
[2] At the River Jordan, possibly near Bethany-across-the-Jordan, he is baptised by John the Baptist (Mt 3:13 Mk 1:9)
[3] He goes in to the Judean Desert or wilderness to face the devil's temptation (Mt 4:1 Mk 1:12 Lk 4:1)
[4] At the River Jordan, near Bethany-across-the-Jordan, or Bethabara (Jn 1:28), and according to John's Gospel, Jesus calls his first five disciples (Jn 1:35). These include Philip, Andrew, and Simon Peter all from Bethsaida in Galilee (Jn 1:44)
[5] Jesus returns north to Galilee with his disciples (Jn 1:43), and at a wedding in Cana, changes the water into wine - his first recorded miracle (Jn 2:1)
[6] He continues on to Capernaum, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee with his mother, brothers and disciples, and stays there a short time (Jn 2:12)

EARLY MINISTRY IN JUDEA, SAMARIA and GALILEE

[7] He travels south to Jerusalem for the Passover - the first one mentioned in the Gospels (Jn 2:13). There he drives the money-changers from the Temple for the first time (Jn 2:14). He also meets the Pharisee, Nicodemus (Jn 3:1)
[8] Jesus leaves for the countryside of Judea where his disciples baptise believers (Jn 3:22)
[9] Jesus and his disciples continue northwards from Judea (Jn 4:3), passing through the territory of Samaria (Jn 4:4). Near Sychar, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4:5). Many Samaritans believe in him (Jn 4:39), after which he continues on to Galilee (Jn 4:43)
[10] He reaches Galilee (Mt 4:12 Mk 1:14 Lk 4:14 Jn 4:45), and back in Cana heals the official's son who lays sick in Capernaum (Jn 4:46)
[11] Jesus returns to his home-town of Nazareth, and preaches in the synagogue (Lk 4:16). He is rejected for the first time (Lk 4:28)

Map 3 - The Travels and Acts of Jesus in Year Two of His Ministry c AD28-29
[1] Jesus moves to Capernaum (Mt 4:13 Mk 1:21 Lk 4:31). According to the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus call his first disciples - perhaps only now to full-time service (Mt 4:18 Mk 1:16 Lk 5:1). In Capernaum he heals the madman in the synagogue (Mk 1:23 Lk 4:33) and Peter's mother-in-law of her fever (Mt 8:14 Mk 1:29 Lk 4:38)

FIRST PREACHING TOUR OF GALILEE

[2] Jesus travels throughout Galilee, preaching and healing (Mt 4:23 Mk 1:39), including the leper (Mt 8:2 Mk 1:40 Lk 5:12).
[3] Returning to Capernaum (Mk 2:1) a paralysed man is healed (Mt 9:2 Mk 2:3 Lk 5:18) and Jesus calls Matthew (or Levi) the tax-collector to be a disciple (Mt 9:9 Mk 2:14 Lk 5:27)

[4] Jesus travels from Galilee south to Jerusalem for a Jewish festival - possibly the Second Passover identified in the Gospels (Jn 5:1). At the Pool of Bethesda he heals the crippled man (Jn 5:2)
[5] Returning north to Galilee, Jesus heals the man with the shrivelled hand (Mt 12:9 Mk 3:1 Lk 6:6) and many others (Mt 12:15 Mk 3:7)
[6] On a hillside in Galilee, probably near Capernaum, he selects his twelve apostles (Mt 10:1 Mk 3:13 Lk 6:12) and delivers the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1). In Luke's report Jesus comes down from a hillside to give the Sermon (Lk 6:20)
[7] Back in Capernaum, (Mt 8:5 Lk 7:1) Jesus heals the Roman centurion's servant (Mt 8:5 Lk 7:2)

SECOND PREACHING TOUR OF GALILEE

[8] Jesus continues preaching and healing in Galilee, and in Nain brings the widow's son back to life (Lk 7:11)
[9] Accompanied by the twelve apostles and some of his women helpers, Jesus continues his second Galilee tour (Lk 8:1)
[10] He sails across the Sea of Galilee (Mt 8:18 Mk 4:35 Lk 8:22) and calms a storm (Mt 8:24 Mk 4:37 Lk 8:23). Landing in the region of the Gerasenes (Mk 5:1 Lk 8:26) or Gadarenes (Mt 8:28) in Gentile Decapolis - the Ten Towns or Cities, Jesus heals the madman in the story of the Gadarene Swine (Mt 8:28 Mk 5:2 Lk 8:27)
[11] Sailing back across the Sea of Galilee (Mk 5:21) Jesus lands at "his own town" of Capernaum (Mt 9:1). Here he raises Jairus' daughter from the dead and heals the woman with the haemorrhage (Mt 9:18 Mk 5:22 Lk 8:41)

THIRD PREACHING TOUR OF GALILEE

[1] Jesus travels from Capernaum to "his own native town" of Nazareth ( Mk 6:1)
[2] In Nazareth, he is rejected for a second time (Mt 13:54 Mk 6:1)
[3] He continues through Galilee (Mt 13:58 Mk 6:6) and sends out the twelve apostles to preach the Gospel (Mt 10:5 Mk 6:7 Lk 9:1)
[4] The Twelve return to Capernaum from their mission (Mk 6:30, Luke 9:10)
[5] From Capernaum, they go off by boat with Jesus to a quiet place (Mk 6:32) near Bethsaida (Lk 9:10). Here he feeds the 5,000 (Mt 14:14 Mk 6:33 Lk 9:11 Jn 6:5)
[6] The disciples return across the Sea of Galilee (Mt 14:22 Mk 6:45), Jesus walking on the water to join them (Mt 14:25 Mk 6:48 Jn 6:19). They land near the Plain of Gennesaret and Jesus heals many people there (Mt 14:34 Mk 6:53)
[7] From Gennesaret they make their way back to Capernaum (Jn 6:24) and Jesus teaches about the Bread of Life (Jn 6:26)

JESUS PREACHES AND HEALS IN SYRIAN-PHOENICIA, ITUREA and TRACHONITIS, THE DECAPOLIS

[8] Jesus retires from Galilee to the region of Tyre and Sidon in Syrian-Phoenicia (Mt 15:21 Mk 7:24) where he heals the daughter of the Gentile Syrophoenician woman (Mt 15:22 Mk 7:25).
[9] He leaves Syrian-Phoenicia via Sidon for Galilee (Mt 15:29) but travels through the Decapolis (Mk 7:31).
[10] In the Decapolis he heals the deaf and mute man (Mk 7:32) and feeds the 4,000 (Mt 15:32 Mk 8:1)
[11] Reaching the Sea of Galilee, he crosses by boat to the Magadan/Dalmanutha region (Mt 15:39 Mk 8:10). There the Pharisees and Sadducees ask for a sign from heaven (Mt 16:1 Mk 8:11)
[12] Continuing on to Bethsaida, a blind man is healed (Mk 8:22)
[13] Jesus now travels from Galilee, north to Caesarea Philippi in Iturea and Trachonitis, where Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ (Mt 16:13 Mk 8:27)
[14] Continuing on from Caesarea Philippi possibly further north towards Mount Hermon, three of the disciples see Jesus Transfigured in the presence of Elijah and Moses (Mt 17:1 Mk 9:2 Lk 9:28). On his return, Jesus heals the boy with epilepsy (Mt 17:14 Mk 9:14 Lk 9:37). Other traditions place the Transfiguration to the south, on Mount Tabor . The epileptic boy would then have been healed in the Galilee area.
[15] In Galilee (Mt 17:22 Mk 9:30) in Capernaum (Mk 9:33), Jesus pays the Temple Tax with a fish! (Mt 17:24). Then to avoid the dangers in Judea, he remains in Galilee (Jn 7:1)

[16] Jesus leaves Capernaum and Galilee for the last earthly time (Mt 19:1 Mk 10:1) and heads for Jerusalem (Lk 9:51 Jn 7:10). Travelling by Samaria, he heals the ten lepers (Lk 17:11) but is rejected in a Samaritan village (Lk 9:52)
[17] Arriving in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles in the Autumn of c AD29 (Jn 7:10), Jesus forgives the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:2) and heals the blind man who is taken before the Sanhedrin (Jn 9:1)
[18] During his travels in Judea, Jesus visits Martha and Mary in Bethany (Lk 10:38), returning to Jerusalem for "Hanukkah", the Feast of Dedication in December c AD29 (Jn 10:22)

THE LAST FEW MONTHS - c AD30

[19] Jesus withdraws to Bethany-across-the-Jordan (or Bethabara "where John had first baptised"), and into the province of Perea, and stays for a while (Jn 10:40)
[20] Following the death of Lazarus, Jesus returns to Bethany near Jerusalem, and raises him (Lazarus) from the dead (Jn 11:1).
[21] Because of threats to his life, Jesus withdraws to Ephraim to the north of Jerusalem (Jn 11:54)

HIS MINISTRY IN PEREA (MODERN JORDAN)

[22] He then crosses the River Jordan and works in Perea (Mt 19:1 Mk 10:1). There he blesses the little children (Mt 19:13, Mk 10:13 Lk 18:15) and speaks to the rich young man (Mt 19:16 Mk 10:17 Lk 18:18)

THE FINAL JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM

[23] Jesus now travels towards Jerusalem for the last time (Mt 20:17 Mk 10:32 Lk 18:31). Passing through Jericho he heals one (or two) blind men (Mt 20:29 Mk 10:46 Lk 18:35) and converts Zacchaeus the tax collector (Lk 19:1).
[24] Reaching Bethany (Jn 12:1) the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, Jesus is anointed by Mary either now (Jn 12:2), or later (Mt 26:6 Mk 14:3) after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1 Mk 11:1 Lk 19:29 Jn 12:12)
[25] During the Easter week, Jesus returns to Jerusalem each day after staying overnight in Bethany on the Mount of Olives (Mt 21:17-18 Mk 11:11-1219 Lk 21:37).

Map 5 - The Galilee Area where Jesus Preached and Healed During Much of His Three Year Ministry

Year One - c AD27-28
[1] Cana - Water into wine
Year Two - c AD28-29
[2] Sea of Galilee - The first miraculous catch of fish
[3] Sea of Galilee - Calming the storm
Year Three - c AD29-30
[4] Near Bethsaida - Feeding the five thousand
[5] Sea of Galilee - Walking on water
[6] Region of the Gerasenes - Feeding the four thousand
[7] Capernaum - A fish pays the Temple tax!
The Last Week in Jerusalem - Spring c AD30
[8] Bethany to Jerusalem - The cursed fig-tree that withers way
After the Resurrection
[9] Sea of Galilee - The second miraculous catch of fish

Year One - cAD27-28
[1] Cana - The officials' dying son
Year Two - c AD28-29
[2] Capernaum - The madman in the synagogue
[3] Capernaum - Peter's mother-in-law's fever: Jesus also heals many others that evening
[4] Galilee - Jesus continues preaching and healing
[5] Galilee - The leper
[6] Capernaum - The paralysed man
[7] Jerusalem - The invalid at the Pool of Bethesda
[8] Galilee - The man with the shrivelled hand
[9] Galilee - Jesus continues healing many
[10] Capernaum - The Roman centurion's servant
[11] Nain - Raising the widow of Nain's dead son
[12] Galilee - The dumb (and blind) man
[13] Region of the Gadarenes - The madman (or men) and the Gadarene swine (or pigs)
[14] Capernaum -The woman with the haemorrhage, and the raising of Jairus' daughter
[15] Galilee - Two blind men and the dumb man
Year Three - c AD29-30
[16] Gennesaret - Jesus heals the sick
[17] Tyre-Sidon Region - The sick daughter of the Syrophoenician woman
[18] The Decapolis - The deaf and dumb man
[19] Bethsaida - The blind man
[20] Caesarea Philippi - The epileptic boy
[21] Samaria - The ten lepers
[22] Jerusalem - The man born blind who goes before the Pharisees
The Last Months - c AD29-30
[23] Perea? - The crippled woman
[24] Perea? - The man with dropsy
[25] Bethany - Lazarus raised from the dead
[26] Jericho - The blind men near Jericho
The Last Week in Jerusalem - Spring c AD30
[27] Jerusalem - Healing the severed ear of the High Priest’s servant

[1] From the area of the two villages of Bethphage and Bethany, Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1 Mk 11:1 Lk 19:29 Jn 12:12).

Each night he returns to Bethany (Mt 21:17-18 Mk 11:11-1219 Lk 21:37)

[2] Jesus concludes his confrontations with the religious establishment, often in Jerusalem and the Temple area. The plots to arrest and have him killed progress (Part 21). He describes the end-times and his return (Part 22) is possibly anointed at this time at Bethany (Part 23) and Judas Iscariot decides to betray him (Part 24)

THURSDAY EVENING AND NIGHT

[3] In the "Upper Room" (Mt 26:17 Mk 14:12 Lk 22:7) Jesus holds the Last Supper (Mt 26:20 Mk 14:17 Lk 22:14) and the apostles receive the bread and wine as his body and blood (Mt 26:26 Mk 14:22 Lk 22:19)
[4] After the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples cross the Kidron (or Cedron) Valley just outside Jerusalem, to the western edge of the Mount of Olives (Mt 26:30 Mk 14:26 Lk 22:39 Jn 18:1). There in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prays , the disciples fall asleep (Mt 26:36 Mk 14:32 Lk 22:40)

[5] Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:47 Mk 14:43 Lk 22:47 Jn 18:3) and taken to the High Priest's Palace (not the Temple) for questioning (Mt 26:57 Mk 14:53 Lk 22:54 Jn 18:13). He then appears before members of the Council or Sanhedrin (Mt 26:59 Mk 14:55 Lk 22:66)
[6] The members of the Sanhedrin escort Jesus to the Judgement Hall or Praetorium (the Roman governor's residence, probably in the Antonia Fortress) for interrogation and sentence by Pontius Pilate (Mt 27:2,11 Mk 15:1 Lk 23:1 Jn 18:28)
[7] Pontius Pilate sends Jesus to Herod's Palace, the Jerusalem residence of the Jewish tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, Herod Antipas, for further questioning (Lk 23:6)
[8] On being taken back to Pontius Pilate (Luke 22:11) in the Antonia Fortress, Jesus is sentenced to death (Mt 27:26 Mk 15:15 Lk 23:24 Jn 19:16). He is also flogged and tortured
[9] - Jesus is taken from the Judgement Hall to Golgotha or Calvary - the Place of the Skull (Mt 27:31 Mk 15:20 Lk 23:26 Jn 19:16) where he is crucified (Mt 27:35 Mk 15:24 Lk 23:33 Jn 19:18)
Place of the Skull - "Golgotha" in Aramaic and Hebrew. "Calvary" = Calvaria, or "skull" in Latin

There is no complete agreement by the various commentators on precisely how many different appearances Jesus made to his disciples

[1] Golgotha or Calvary - Jesus is taken from the cross and placed in the garden tomb (Mt 27:57 Mk 15:42 Lk 23:50 Jn 19:31)

EASTER SUNDAY IN AND AROUND JERUSALEM

[2] The Garden Tomb - Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene outside the tomb (Mk 16:9 Jn 20:11)
[3] The Garden Tomb - To Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James the Younger and Joses - Mk 16:1) as they hurry from the tomb (Mt 28:8)
[4] The Garden Tomb - To Peter (Lk 24:34 "Cephas" in 1Co 15:5)
[5] The Road to Emmaus - To two disciples on the Emmaus road later in the day (Mk 16:12 Lk 24:13)
[6] The Upper Room - To the apostles in a house in Jerusalem (Luke 24:36 Jn 20:19). Possibly the Upper Room where the Last Supper was held Thomas was absent according to John 20:24.

[7] The Upper Room - To the eleven apostles, including Thomas in a house probably the same house as [6] (Jn 20:26 possibly Mk 16:14)

OVER THE NEXT WEEKS IN GALILEE

[8] The apostles go to Galilee (Mt 28:16a) there Jesus appears to seven of them fishing on the Sea of Galilee (Jn 21:1)
[9] Jesus appears to the apostles on a mountain and gives his great commission to preach the Gospel to the world (Mt 28:16b)
[10] More than 500 disciples in Galilee (1Co 15:6)
[11] To James, his brother (1Co 15:7)

ASCENSION DAY NEAR JERUSALEM
[12] To the apostles on the Mount of Olives (Olivet), near Bethany, as he ascends to Heaven (Lk 24:50, Acts 1:12)

AFTER HIS ASCENSION
[13] To Stephen as he is stoned to death in Jerusalem (Ac 7:55)
[14] To Paul on the road to Damascus (Ac 9:3 26:13 1Co 15:8)
[15] To John in a vision on the island of Patmos (Rev 1:10)


Image Gallery

Tours

HIKING TOUR IN ARMENIA

ARMENIA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

WONDERS OF ARMENIA 10-DAY TOUR

GOURMET TOUR IN ARMENIA

Sevan is listed among the most mountainous regions of Armenia. It greatly stands out with its water resources as well as cultural monuments. It’s where every person is sure to find a harmony and of course, breathe the healthy mountainous air and enjoy the marvelous and natural views staying away from the noise and annoyance.

Sevan is located 66 kilometers north-east of capital Yerevan, on the north-western shore of Lake Sevan.

Sevan: People

The population of Sevan has decreased in the last years but the human qualities and traits have not. Sevan is a city of modest people. People of Sevan are so pure-hearted, loyal and friendly that sometimes it causes some doubts since it’s hard to imagine there are still such people the truth is there are.

One thing, which is adorable about them, is that they are always ready to help even if they are in a hurry or are busy. Care, love, support, friendly attitude and warmth are what foreigners get from these people irrespective of the age group.

Things to See

There is hardly any person who has been to Armenia and has skipped this lake. Every visitor appears there sooner or later. Lake Sevan is the treasure of the Armenian Highlands, the immense pride and joy of the Armenian people. One thing to note is that as you go to Sevan the lake doesn’t momentarily appear in its full beauty and magic. You will get a completely different impression if you go there from the north-east as in this case the view gradually opening in front of every visitor will leave them speechless and keep on stunning with its brilliance and greatness.

The lake’s water is amazingly pure and stands out with its unique fish types. The pool of the lake has been studied by hundreds of scientists and travelers. Various notes and works have been written on the lake but none of them provided enough information about the lake’s hidden and historical monuments. This secret was revealed only during the recent years when the water level dropped and monuments dating to 3000-5000 years were brought into the open. Among them were a number of ruins of settlements and fortresses as well as a huge number of tombs. The studies conducted in the pool, especially close to the village of Lchashen, showed that 27 centuries before there used to be a highly developed culture.

Sevanavank Monastery

Sevanavank Monastery was constructed in a period when Armenia was under Arab rule. It includes two churches out of which only one (Surb Arakelots “Holy Apostles”) is open to public today. Especially interesting is the door of this church, which still bears carvings, which allow to make conclusions about the magnificence of medieval Armenian art.

It should be noted that despite the fact the monastery is close to the lake, there is a strict dress-code, which means legs and shoulders have to be covered. Accordingly, no swimsuits or short skirts are allowed either.

Vazgenian Theological Academy

Vazgenian Theological academy was founded in 1990 and operates under the supervision of the Mother See of Holy Echmiatsin. No entrance is allowed to the academy but it’s worth seeing from outside too. The academy has a black building and can be seen as you are going up to Sevanavank Monastery.

Hayravank Monastery

Since there are not so many monasteries in Sevan, people usually choose to make a choice between the monasteries of Sevanavank and Hayravanak and in general the preference is being given to Hayravank Monastery in and around the monastery there is a complete absence of noise, and it seems as if all the troubles are left far behind.

The monastery’s main church comes with a simple yet most interesting interior because when the sunlight falls on the church it gets so brightened that it seems the Holy Spirit dominates in every corner there. On-site excavations have uncovered an entire settlement and dwellings dating to the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Noratus Khachkar Field

Noratus is an old settlement, which includes a myriad of monuments dating to the Bronze and Iron Ages. The settlement is actually not located in Sevan but because of its close location it’s absolutely worth a visit.

The cemetery of Noratus shelters a number of khatchkars (cross-stones) and tombstones. The khatchkars date to the 9th-17th centuries and vary a great deal and especially interesting is to walk through the development stage of khatchkar art.

Things to Do

There are lots of things to do in Sevan, particularly around the lake. Other than visiting the monasteries and swimming in the lake, the following options can be considered:


Unseen Armenia: Surb Sargis Monastery in Ushi

Ushi Surb Sargis monastery: Surb Sargis church (left), Surb Astvatsatsin church (right). (Source: Hovsep Daghdigian)

BY HOVSEP DAGHDIGIAN

We were driving north from Yerevan, towards Aparan. Passing the village of Ushi, my friend Vova asked, “Have you been to Ushi?”

“Of course, I’ve passed here many times,” I replied.

“So you’ve seen Surb Sargis monastery?”

I had not I was not even aware of its existence. Following a very brief conversation, we reversed direction and entered Ushi. I’ve been back two additional times … so far.

Ushi, roughly 17 miles northwest of Yerevan, is on the west side of the Kasakh river valley. The road to Ushi is good — travel time from Yerevan is about 40 minutes. Cab fare is affordable, but it’s best to first negotiate an approximate fare with the taxi driver. The Surb Sargis Monastery complex, dating from the 5th–18th centuries is on the west edge of the village. On a small rise next to the monastery are the remnants of a late Bronze Age to early Iron Age settlement, dated to the 2nd to 1st millennium B.C. The monastery is spectacular. A car can get to within 50 yards of the monastery, then it’s a short walk up a few stone stairs.

Officer Surb Sargis

Sargis was a military officer, appointed by Byzantine emperor Constantine the Great (1) — the first Roman emperor to accept Christianity — to be the general in charge of Cappadocia near the border of Western Armenia. Sargis was a Christian and, probably, though not for certain, Armenian.

Forty-two years after Constantine’s death, his nephew, Julian the Apostate, became emperor and began persecuting Christians. Sargis resigned his military commission and sought refuge in Armenia with his son Martiros where he was offered protection by Armenian king Arshak II (2).

But as Julian’s army advanced eastward, the Persian king, Shapur II, hearing of Sargis’ military skill, offered Sargis a command position in his army. Later, realizing that Sargis and many of his soldiers were Christian, King Shapur tried to force them to abandon their faith and convert to Zoroastrianism. Defying Shapur’s orders, Sargis’ son Martiros, as well as many of his Christian soldiers, were killed. Sargis chose martyrdom rather than renouncing his faith he was beheaded in the 4th century. His body was buried in Namyan, Mazandaran province, Persia (3) by some of his soldiers. His remains were brought back to Armenia by Mesrob Mashtots and buried in the village of Ushi.

Surb Sargis is the patron of young people and young lovers. Legends and traditions abound:

In one legend, a father tries to forcibly marry his daughter but the daughter fights to resist. At the limit of her ability to oppose her father, she calls for help from Surb Sargis. When he arrives, she runs to him, jumps on the back of his horse and is rescued. Fleeing from the father, Surb Sargis conjures up a storm to thwart his pursuers. Quite often Surb Sargis is assisted in his noble deeds by storms and the wind.

In the village of Dasht, in Armavir province, there is a hill called Ardar Davit (David the just). Hovhannes, a villager, told me that, according to local folklore, the sword of Sasuntsi Davit is buried under the hill. From the top of the hill, circular depressions in a field were visible. These, according to local folklore, were created by the hoofs of Surb Sargis’ horse. There was always water in them until a Muslim drank water from them. In other places as well are marks attributed to hoofprints of Surb Sargis’ horse.

Surb Sargis holiday falls between Jan. 18 and Feb. 23, during which a special Surb Sargis halvah is served (recipes are on the web). On the evening before St. Sargis Day, young men and women eat salty pastries and refrain from drinking water. Whoever, in their dreams, brings them water to quench their thirst is prophesied to be their future mate.

Surb Sargis Monastery

A church was built over Surb Sargis’ grave in the 5th century, and is the oldest of 220 churches dedicated to Surb Sargis in Armenia. Other structures continued to be built until the 18th century. From the 12–13th centuries. the Zarkarian brothers, officers and confidants of Queen Tamar of Georgia, succeeded in driving out Muslim invaders from large parts of Armenia and Georgia.

Surb Sargis church, 5th century (left), Surb Astvatsatsin church, 11th century (right). (Source: Hovsep Daghdigian)

Prince Vachutan was appointed hereditary prince of this region and, with his wife Mama-Khatun, built or renovated many churches and cultural edifices. They built Surb Astvatsatsin church (Holy Mother of God) at the monastery in the early 13th century. Next to the church is its narthex (gavit).

Later, in 1654, the complex was surrounded by fortified walls. The monastery includes housing for monks, storage areas, a wine press and other structures to support the monastic community and guests. Ownership of a number of villages provided financial support for the monastery. Earthquakes in 1769 and again in 1827 reduced the complex to ruins. Surb Sargis was an important cultural and spiritual site, playing an important role in Armenian history.

The first Armenian language book printed on a printing press was the 124-page “Urbatagirk” or “Friday Prayer Book” published in Venice by Hakob Meghapart in 1512.

Printing an Armenian Bible, however, would require many more pages and would be far more costly. In the early 1600s, wealthy Armenian merchants from Nor Julfa in Persia offered to fund the printing of an Armenian Bible. In 1630, both Catholicos Movses III Tatevatsi and the clergy of Nor Julfa in Persia sent letters to the Pope asking for permission to do so in Rome, but the Pope refused this and subsequent requests.

Hovhannes Ankiuratsi, a translator for the Venetian ambassador in Smyrna, suggested that it would be easier to print the Bible in Holland. Avedis Ghlijents, a wealthy Armenian merchant in Amsterdam, paid the expenses that had accumulated so far, and invited his brother, Vartabed Voskan Yerevantsi, a prior (official) of Surb Sargis in Armenia, to take charge of the printing.

Voskan Yerevantsi arrived in Amsterdam 1664 and, with the help of some others, completed the job in 1668. Voskan Yerevantsi was also responsible for renovations to Surb Sargis monastery. Thus, Surb Sargis played an important role in the publication of the first Bible in the Armenian language — five thousand copies were published (4).

Excavations

In the 1830s, visitors to Surb Sargis could view only ruins of the monastery poking through the surface of the soil that had accumulated over the site. Most intact was the small church containing the relic of Surb Sargis. Thanks to the patronage of Archbishop Shahen Ajemian, Dean of Yerevan State University’s Department of Theology, a project led by archaeologist Dr. Frina Babayan to excavate and study the site began in 1999 under the auspices of Armenia’s Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Hall, Surb Sargis monastery (Source: Hovsep Daghdigian)

Repairs to Surb Sargis church and other structures were made and finds documented. Some villagers in Ushi told me that some government officials stipulated that Archbishop Ajemian should fund this project through them or their departments rather than directly. The archbishop refused, apparently lacking confidence that all the funds would be used for their intended purpose. Thus, after three years, the project prematurely came to a halt.

This was reminiscent of a project I was involved in to help renovate and preserve the Shengavit Archaeological Site in Yerevan, a settlement dating to about 4,000 B.C. with a small museum sorely in need of refurbishing. When we refused to hand over funds collected from the diaspora under the auspices of the Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA), work on this project had to be halted (5).

Villagers in Ushi hoped that renovation and preservation of the site would have provided tourism revenue for the village. Plans were in place to widen the road to the monastery thus allowing access by small minibusses. Perhaps amenities could be made available for visitors as well.

Intricately carved stones, which were previously excavated, now lie on the ground exposed to the elements. A tall wall near Surb Astvatsatsin is standing, braced up by wooden supports, which undoubtedly will decay and result in the collapse of the wall. This is an immensely impressive and easily accessible site it allows visitors to visualize life in a medieval Armenian monastery and to look in amazement at wonderful stone carvings. The scenery towards Mt. Ararat is great, even when summer haze obscures the view a bit.

It is hoped that means can be found to resume the excavation, renovation, preservation, and study of Ushi’s Surb Sargis Monastery.

Dr. Frina Babayan has published a very informative tri-lingual (Armenian, Russian, English) booklet about the site which is available at Abril Books in Glendale (6).

(1): Ruled Western Roman/Byzantine Empire from 306–337 A.D.

(2): Ruled from 350–368 A.D. Some sources indicate King Tigran VII but his reign does not correspond to this time period. See reference 3 below.

(3): “A Brief Report on the Activities of Research on Armenian Architecture Organization for the Year 2003,” http://www.raa.am, http://raa-usa.org . Other sources indicate Surb Sargis was buried at Daghman, Persia or in Assyria.

(4): For more details, see: “The Heritage of Armenian Literature, Volume III, From the Eighteenth Century to Modern Times” Hachikyan, Basmajian, Franchuk, Ouzounian Wayane State University Press, 2005.

(5): See this link, or search for “Shengavit Dagdigian.”

(6): “Ushii Surb Sargis Vank” (title is in Armenian), Frina Babayan, published by the Armenian Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Yerevan, 2005, ISBN 5-8080-0608-2.


The Holodomor&aposs Death Toll

The Ukrainian famine—known as the Holodomor, a combination of the Ukrainian words for “starvation” and “to inflict death”𠅋y one estimate claimed the lives of 3.9 million people, about 13 percent of the population. And, unlike other famines in history caused by blight or drought, this was caused when a dictator wanted both to replace Ukraine’s small farms with state-run collectives and punish independence-minded Ukrainians who posed a threat to his totalitarian authority.

“The Ukrainian famine was a clear case of a man-made famine,” explains Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University and author of the 2018 book, Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine. He describes it as 𠇊 hybrid…of a famine caused by calamitous social-economic policies and one aimed at a particular population for repression or punishment.”

In those days, Ukraine𠅊 Texas-sized nation along the Black Sea to the west of Russia—was a part of the Soviet Union, then ruled by Stalin. In 1929, as part of his plan to rapidly create a totally communist economy, Stalin had imposed collectivization, which replaced individually owned and operated farms with big state-run collectives. Ukraine’s small, mostly subsistence farmers resisted giving up their land and livelihoods.

Grain confiscated from a family derided as "kulaks" in the village of Udachoye in Ukraine. 


A thesis or purpose statement should come at the end of your introduction and state clearly and concisely what the purpose or central argument of your paper is. The introduction prepares your reader for this statement, and the rest of the paper follows in support of it.

After the initial introduction, background on your topic often follows. This paragraph or section might include a literature review surveying the current state of knowledge on your topic or simply a historical overview of relevant information. The purpose of this section is to justify your own project or paper by pointing out a gap in the current research which your work will address.


Outline of a Dwelling at Agarak - History


Map of Israel in the Time of Jesus Christ.

Biblical Maps for Print

Bible Maps - Biblical Maps and Historical Maps for Bible Study

(Printing Instructions: Open the map, right click and print)

Maps are great for studying and illustrating the geographical terrain of the ancient world. From the Life of Jesus to the Journeys of Paul and the Apostles these maps are a blessing for the serious student of the Scriptures. Without a terrain map it is hard to discover some of the fabulous topography of Biblical places. For example in Israel the Dead Sea region is the deepest land trench in the entire world. To travel from Jerusalem to Jericho was quite a descent into that region. Jerusalem was 2500 ft above sea level and Jericho was 850 feet below sea level and the distance was about 23 miles. This made it almost a vertical descent.

Luke 10:30 "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead."

God is the author of geography and because He knows the end from the beginning He used geography to help form the great kingdoms of the ancient world. He set mountains in strategic locations to halt prideful man from conquering certain places too easily.


Watch the video: Lori Region, Armenia (August 2022).