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The Armenian Highland ( ; ; also known as the Armenian Upland, Armenian plateau, or simply Armenia) is the central-most and highest of three land-locked plateaus that together form the northern sector of the Middle East. To its west is the Anatolian plateau which rises slowly from the lowland coast of the Aegean Seamarker and rises to an average height of 3,000 feet. In Armenia, the average height rises dramatically to 3,000 to 7,000 feet. To its southeast is the Iranian plateau, where the elevation drops rapidly to an average 2,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level.


After the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, Turkey, in an attempt to shroud the Armenian heritage of its eastern lands, changed Armenian placenames, including that of the Highland from the "Armenian plateau" to "Eastern Anatolia."


Its total area is about 400,000 km². Geologically recent volcanism on the area has resulted in largevolcanic formations and a series of massifs and tectonic movement has formed the three largest lakes in the Highland, Lake Sevanmarker, Lake Vanmarker and Lake Urmiamarker.

Most of the Armenian Highland is in Turkeymarker's Eastern Anatolia Region (Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi), southern Georgiamarker, and also includes northwestern Iranmarker, all of Armeniamarker, and western Azerbaijanmarker. Its eastern parts are also known as the Transcaucasian highland (Zakavkazkoye nagorye).


From 4,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C., tools and trinkets of copper, bronze and iron were commonly produced in this region and traded in neighboring lands where those metals were less abundant.

The Armenian Plateau has been called the "epicenter of the Iron Age", since it appears to be the location of the first appearance of Iron Age metallurgy in the late 2nd millennium BC. In the Early Iron Age, the kingdom of Urartu controlled much of the region.

Throughout Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the Armenian Highland was a heavily contested territory of the Byzantine, the Persian, and Arab spheres of influence. It was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, and during the 19th century, it was the boundary of the Ottoman and the Russianmarker spheres of influence. Since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, it has been the boundary region of Turkeymarker, Syriamarker, Iraqmarker, Iranmarker and the Soviet Unionmarker and, since the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, Armeniamarker, Georgiamarker and Azerbaijanmarker.

Flora and fauna

The apricot was known by the Romans as the prunus armenicus (the Armenian plum).

Notable peaks

Rank Mountain Prominence Location
1 Mount Araratmarker 5,165 m Iğdır Provincemarker
2 Mount Aragatsmarker 4,095 m Aragatsotn Provincemarker
3 Mount Sipanmarker 4,058 m Bitlis Provincemarker
4 Mount Qapichigh,Kaputchugh 3,906 m Ordubad, Syunikmarker
5 Mount Azhdahakmarker 3,597 m Gegharkunik Provincemarker
6 Mount Kezelboghaz 3,594 m Syunik Provincemarker
7 Mount Artos 3,515 m Van Provincemarker

See also


Further reading

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