The Lost City of Ani

The capital of the mediaeval Armenian Kingdom, Ani, has symbolised Armenian statehood over the centuries. A quintessentially »lost« city in the Armenian imagination and beyond, Ani has evolved from a real into an imagined place. The research project addresses the complexity of configurations generated by the »lost city« of Ani by exploring them from multiple perspectives and in an interdisciplinary manner:

Lost-but-found: Armenian Capital Ani at Contested Crossroads
The capital of the mediaeval Armenian Kingdom, Ani, was a politically, economically and culturally advanced centre that over the centuries has symbolised Armenian statehood. A deserted town of ruins today, Ani has evolved from a real into an imagined place, turning into an enduring cultural icon evoked by generations of Armenian writers from the 10th century into the present. In Claude Mutafian’s words, the capital resembles a kind of phoenix, having been seen again and again as the all-important hub of Armenian culture, tradition, and history.
Located in Eastern Turkey close to the closed border with Armenia, Ani has served as a source of varied identities in Armenia, and in the Armenian diaspora. Carrying ambiguous valences within the internally varied Ottoman and contemporary Turkish societies, it has been a challenging object of study across an array of academic disciplines. While there is a large body of research on Ani in the context of the middle ages, there is no overarching study about the perceptions of the city across centuries. The interdisciplinary research project analyses the complex configurations of Ani as a »lost city« from multiple perspectives.


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