Jews in Medieval Armenia

In the 13th-15th centuries, at least one Jewish community flourished in Armenia. Evidence indicates that the Armenian Jews came from Persia. Many Jews lived in the city of Eghegis, and their gravestones have been found, translated, and analyzed. They were a religiously-observant community. Based on existing evidence, researchers believe that the Jews and Christians in Armenia had good relations.

Given names used among medieval Armenian Jewish men included Michael, Eli, David, Baba, Sharaf al-Din, and Zaki. Armenian Jewish women had names like Esther and Rachel. The names are Hebrew and Persian in origin.

The first trace of the medieval Armenian Jewish community was discovered in 1910. Other remnants of the Jews of Eghegis were discovered by Bishop Abraham Mkrtchyan in 1996, and a great amount of research was conducted during the years 2000 and 2001 at Eghegis by a multi-national archaeological team.

Print Publications:

Nikolay Yakovlevich Marr. "Yevreyskaya nadgrobnaya nadpis' 15 veka iz Erevanskoy gub." Khristianskii Vostok 1:3 (1912), pp. 353-354. (In Russian)

Daphna Lewy. "The Lost Jews of Armenia." Ha'aretz (February 4, 2001). (In English)

Editors. "Ancient Jewish Cemetery Discovered in Armenia." Jerusalem Post (February 14, 2001), p. 9. (In English)

Frank Stone. "Stones from the River." The Jerusalem Report (September 24, 2001), pp. 44-45. (In English)

Kevin Alan Brook. "The Unexpected Discovery of Vestiges of the Medieval Armenian Jews." Los Muestros: The Sephardic Voice No. 45 (December 2001), pp. 15-16. (In English)

Nacha Cattan. "Prof Discovers Remnants of Buried Armenian City." Forward (January 18, 2002), p. 17. (In English)

Abraham Rabinovich. "Jewish Evidence in 'Jewless' Armenia." Jerusalem Post (April 5, 2002). (In English)

Michael E. Stone. "Recovering a Lost Jewish Community: The Jews of Medieval Armenia." In Eshkolot: Essays in Memory of Rabbi Ronald Lubofsky, ed. Andrew Strum, pp. 104-112. Melbourne: Hybrid Publishers, 2002. (In English)

David Amit and Michael E. Stone. "Report of the Survey of a Medieval Jewish Cemetery in Eghegis, Vayots Dzor Region, Armenia." Journal of Jewish Studies 53:1 (Spring 2002), pp. 66-106. (In English)

David Amit and Michael E. Stone. "The Second and Third Seasons of Research at the Medieval Jewish Cemetery in Eghegis, Vayots Dzor Region, Armenia." Journal of Jewish Studies 57:1 (Spring 2006), pp. 99-135. (In English)

Unknown. Pe'amim. (forthcoming) (In Hebrew)

Unknown. Patmabanasirakan Handes. (forthcoming) (In Armenian)

Gad Nassi. "Le Mythe des Judéo-Arméniens." Los Muestros: The Sephardic Voice No. 56 (September 2004). (In French)

Unknown. A book in the Monumenta Palaeographica Medii Aevi, Series Hebraica. (forthcoming) (In English and Armenian)

Michael E. Stone and Aram Topchyan. Jews in Ancient and Medieval Armenia: First Century BCE to Fourteenth Century CE. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.

Electronic Publications:

Michael Nosonovsky. "Medieval Jewish Community in Eghegiz, Armenia." Published at the Kulanu website. February 2002. (In English)

Michael Nosonovsky. "O yevreyakh v srednevekovoy Armenii." Published in the online journal Zametki po yevreyskoy istorii in No. 7 (March 3, 2002). (In Russian)

Excavation Reports:

"Armenian Trip 2001 - Reports and Pictures." The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

"Dr. Stone Expedition in Armenia - Reports and Pictures." ChurchArmenia.

"Armenia Project." The Foundation for Biblical Archaeology

News Releases:

"Hebrew University Expedition Studies Jewish Cemetery in Armenia." The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Released circa late 2000.

"Lecture on Second Season of Excavation of Jewish Cemetery in Armenia." The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Released June 10, 2001.

Gerald E. Ottenbreit, Jr. "Prof. Michael Stone Lectures in Michigan: Presentation on a Jewish Community in Medieval Armenia a Great Success." Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan. Released February 4, 2002.


Jewish Cemetery in Yeghegis

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