Today, the bust of a distinguished scientist, archaeologist, historian, scientist-orientalist Ashkharhbek Loris-Melik Kalantar was placed in the foyer of YSU Main Building. Representatives of YSU administration, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NAS RA, scientist's family members and others were present at this ceremony.
“Only two of seven busts of the founders of the university are here in this lobby. And I think that this step has an educational significance for our students, too,” – said YSU Rector Aram Simonyan.
Ashkharbek Kalantar was born on 11 February 1884 in Ardvin, Armenia. Born in Armenian noble family of Loris-Meliks, he graduated from St. Petersburg University in 1911 under Nicholas Marr. He was a member of the Archaeological Institute, Russian Imperial Archaeological Society and the keeper of the Asiatic Museum in St. Petersburg. Already being a student, since 1907, Kalantar participated in the archeological excavations of Nicholas Marr in Armenian medieval capital Ani, in 1914 was appointed the head of the 13th Ani Archaeological excavation campaign. In 1918 he organized the evacuation of about 6000 items from the Ani Museum, which are currently in the State Museum of Armenian History in Yerevan. He was the last archaeologist to describe monuments, mostly in Ani region, which did not survive.
“In addition to his multifaceted activities, a very important factor in the publication of three volumes of his works in Paris at the initiative of the European most influential scholars. Today these three volumes are published in English and are available in the libraries worldwide and even in Turkish libraries. This is the only work by an Armenian author in Turkish libraries, because it has been shaped by the European experts, thus it should be acceptable,” - said the grandson of Kalantar, famous astronomer, Head of YSU Cosmology Research Group Vahagn Gurzadyan.
Kalantar was invited to YSU in 1919. In 1922 he founded the Chair of Eastern History and Archaeology. He also opened an archaeological workshop and formed the first student archaeological group. In 1923, he published the first textbook on Archaeology in Armenian.
The sculptor of the bust is Tigran Muradyan, who has created 5 of the 16 busts, which are placed in YSU foyer. He noted that the relatives of Kalantar have shown him great support in this process.
The ceremony was attended by many historians who spoke about various episodes from the famous scientist’s life, focusing on his great contribution in the world of archeology and military-political side of his activities.
“Being a brilliant scientist, he was also an outstanding patriot. He was a soldier of Andranik, and even during the trial when the claim of this fact was already death, he did not change his words, becoming a victim of violence and in 1955 was posthumously acquitted,” - said Dean of the Faculty of History Edik Minasyan.