The ancient city of Ani was once the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia. It was a powerful and flourishing city where traders met and passed. “Founded more than 1,600 years ago, it grew to become a walled city of more than 100,000 residents by the 11th century and became the rival of Constantinople, Baghdad, and Damascus.”1
All that is left of Ani today are ruins scattered over a vast area. However, it is still possible for archaeologists to find some ancient treasures among the forgotten stones of the lost capital of Armenia.
Medieval lynx earrings were discovered in the Ani ruins. Credit: AA photo
A pair of beautiful gold lynx earrings were discovered on the historical Silk Road route that passed through the Ani ruins, which was an important trade center during the Middle Ages.
Weighing 22 grams and featuring star, droplet, and crescent motifs engraved on them, the Medieval earrings are now being preserved in the Kars Archaeology and Ethnography Museum. The gold lynx earrings testify to the artistic skills of our ancestors.
” The valuables dazzled archaeologists with their star, droplet, and crescent motifs engraved with fine workmanship and are set to be exhibited at the Kars Archaeology and Ethnography Museum in 2023 for a limited time,” the Daily Sabah reports.
According to Yavuz Çetin, director of Kars Archaeology and Ethnography Museum, “it is possible to see the cultural assets of many civilizations in Kars.” He explained one should keep in mind “that there are many historical immovable pieces of cultural heritage, such as the Köşevenk and Mağazberk archaeological sites in and around the Ani ruins.
The earrings will go on display for the first time in 2023. Credit: AA photo
Credit: AA photo
Çetin noted that people have benefited from animals throughout history and attributed physical or characteristic meanings to them.
“The lynx from the feline family is one of these animals. People were influenced by the ferocity and power of this animal and used it in artistic elements,” he said. “The existence of the lynx is also known in our Kars region. A couple of lynx-shaped earrings in our museum were found in the village of Subatan, about 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) north of Ani, and brought to us in 1994.”
Church of Saint Gregory (King Gagik), Ani, Turkey. Image credit: Ego – Public Domain
The museum director stated that they dated the “lynx-shaped” gold earrings to the Middle Ages. He said that they will exhibit the earrings next year.