Mount Aragats is the highest point in both Armenia and the Lesser Caucasus range about 40 km northwest of the capital city of Yerevan. Aragats is located in the province of Aragatsotn, its height is about 4090m. There are four summits, North (the highest, 4090m), West (4080m), South (3879m) and East (3916m) forming the rim of a volcanic crater.
Byurakan Observatory, medieval Amberd Fortress and many “dragon stones” (unique monuments of prehistoric Armenia, vishaps (Arm.)) are located on its slopes.
Mount Aragats is a popular destination for tourists, especially in summer, when the colors and amazing rocks and stones attract everyone.
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.