Armenian Jewish Tombstones in Yeghegis

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 06 April 2018

Nearly 40 tombstones from the 13th and 14th century CE survive in the Jewish cemetery, and another 30 are located nearby in Yeghegis, Armenia. The oldest tombstone dates to 1266 CE and the latest to 1337 CE. The dates on the tombstones are calculated according to an old calendar from 331 BCE that was used in Middle Eastern Jewish communities. Curiously, some tombstones are undated. Some tombs have inscriptions in Hebrew or Aramaic. The inscriptions contain age-old Jewish funerary language, biblical verses full of traditional meaning, and expressions originating in Talmudic literature. Some of the names of the deceased were current among the Jews of Iran, pointing to a possible origin of the medieval Jewish population of Yeghegis, Armenia.



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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