Friday, December 10, 2010
World’s largest body of scientists confirms destruction of Armenian khachkars in Nakhijevan
The world’s largest body of scientists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, just released satellite image comparison and analysis confirming the complete destruction of the ancient Djulfa cemetery, located in an historic Armenian exclave currently occupied by Azerbaijan, Asbarez reported.
”A high-resolution satellite image of a medieval Armenian cemetery in Azerbaijan taken in September 2003 shows hundreds of khachkars, intricate 15th and 16th century burial monuments. In a satellite image from May 2009, however, the khachkars are missing, suggesting that they were either destroyed or removed. A comparison of the images by analysts from the AAAS Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project found evidence of significant destruction and changes in the grade of the cemetery’s terrain. The image from September 2003 shows rocky and uneven terrain, as well as shadows cast by the khachkars, while the May 2009 image shows a much flatter landscape and the khachkars’ absence,” the AAAS conclusion reads.
Five years ago this month, more than 100 uniformed Azerbaijanis were caught on tape destroying the burial monuments of the medieval Djulfa cemetery, founded in the Armenian province of Nakhichevan during the 9th century and thriving as late as the early 1600s. The soldiers were smashing Armenian monuments with sledgehammers, using a crane to remove some of the largest monuments from the ground, breaking the stones into small pieces, and dumping them into the River Araxes by a large truck.
Overall, an estimated 3,000 khachkars, or intricately carved burial monuments, the craftsmanship of which is a UNESCO Intangible Heritage Tradition, were erased from the face of the earth.
Azerbaijan’s President called the destruction report an “absolute lie,” and has maintained that official denial ever since.