Archaeologist, culturologist, PhD in History, Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Tübingen, Deputy Director and a leading researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NAS RA. Bobokhyan graduated from the Department of History of Yerevan State University (1997), and then was a post-graduate student at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NAS RA (1999). He studied at the Institute of Near Eastern Archeology of the University of Munich (1999-2000); and at the Institute of Prehistory of the University of Tübingen (2001-2006). A. Bobokhyan teaches at Yerevan State University (since 2007) and at the Gevorgyan Seminary of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin (since 2014). He has carried editorial activities in various magazines -‟Etchmiadzin” (Editor-in-chief, 2015-2017), ‟Herald of the Social Sciences” (Deputy Editor, 2017-2019), ‟Aramazd, Armenian Journal of Near Eastern Studies” (Associate Editor, from 2006 to present). The framework of his research includes Near Eastern and Caucasian archaeology, archaeology of Bronze and Iron Age of the Armenian Highland, cultural ties, exchange and weight systems, ancient religion and worship.
SUBSTRATE SYMBOLISM OF KOMITAS’S WORK
AND THE PROBLEM OF ITS DATING
Komitas’s references to epic works, labor songs, tałs and antunis create a system of symbols that is archaic in its nature. In this sense, Komitas’s works are ‟monuments of the ancient art of monophony” (A. Shahverdyan) since Vardapet ‟relied on some deep roots” dating back to ‟paganism” (H. Asaturyan).
The bull, the plough, the crane and other similar symbols express a historical environment, the origins of which were already visible in early farming societies. The same symbolism existed in the perceptions of the Armenian historical landscape, its key points (for example, Ararat or Aragats).
It is noteworthy that the Armenian symbols revived by Komitas (for example, the crane) later became symbols for Komitas himself.
Is it possible to date these songs? Some experts outlining horovels (plough songs), for example, state that the latter emerged ‟in the ancient period of history, along with farming” and preserved traces of ancient animal worship (A. Shahverdyan). Others think that these songs can not be specifically dated (H. Asaturyan).
The present study will try to refer to Komitas’s system of archaic symbols and date back their origins to some historic period seeking not to specifically date them (which is in fact impossible), but to show the terminus ante / post quems of the origins of these song texts and their possible transformations in the course of time using mainly the historical-archeological toolkit.