“AYAS” Nautical Research Club



After “AYAS” Nautical Research Club 30th Anniversary

Yerevan, 21 – 24 October, 2015

1. The Purpose

The purpose of this project is the organization of scientific conference. Conference follows history investigations, experimental history, archeology, seafaring, shipbuilding, ethnography, cultural interactions, development of traditions, recognition of myth historic reliability and the issues referring to the history and culture.
2. General Situation

“AYAS” Nautical Research Club was founded in 1985, in Yerevan.

The range of the Club’s activities is quite wide and include historical aspects of World and Armenian navigation and shipbuilding, reconstruction of ancient Armenian vessels, study of sea routes, old maps, navigation devices, banners, collecting data on Armenian navigators, making underwater archaeological surveys and research.

The Club collected around two thousand historically engaging subjects, recovered 26 ship versions of Great Armenia. All this allowed the Club to arrange 15 thematic exhibitions that had great enthusiastic impact.

Initially the club had two main objectives: build the functional replica of Armenian vessel for future navigation, and create a Maritime Museum in Yerevan. In a result, after 6 years of research and 11 years of the shipbuilding process, 13rd century Armenian trading vessel was launched in the lake Sevan. Two years later the ship, named “Cilicia”, was transported to Poti, where it started its triennial historical navigation around Europe, through the medieval Armenian merchants trade routes. During these three years of navigation (2004-2006), the vessel passes more than 15 000 nautical miles and visited 63 ports in 25 countries.

In 2007 the Club, jointly with ANAHIT Association, undertook the expedition to the Caribbean Sea islands to search the sunken “Quedakh Merchant” Armenian ship from 1699. The remains of this ship was investigated and shot.

In 2008, Club members began to build a traditional fishing boat of Lake Sevan. In 2009, two of them were already clipping the waves of Sevan. It was 2009 also, when traditional sailboat competition was held for the first time.

Nowadays, AYAS Club processes new research projects.
3. Rationale

“AYAS” Nautical Research Club has been 30 years in the shipping and shipbuilding history, examining and revealing the unknown pages of Armenian studies. The Club regained 26 ship kinds, used in the river and lake navigation of Great Armenia of which two types – medieval merchant vessel of Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia and the Sevan lake fishing boat were built in real size and were tested. “Cilicia” sailing vessel conducted a historical experiment – sailing through Armenian medieval trade sea routes. The expedition was pursuing several objectives, such as the navigation of ships, ship behavior in different conditions – lake, sea, ocean, testes over the course of the wind angle. For the first time the functioning of the medieval symmetrical triangle (Latin) sail was tested. In the result, Ayas club at this point is the only experienced team of professionals and specialists that are familiar with these kinds of experiences.

All the work of AYAS Club was carried out in close cooperation with the Institute of History, which provides the powerful scientific basis and guarantee of success for all the projects.

Club programs are continuous, and periodic conferences are organized to present the results, also gather scientists in the field to and celebrate new horizons.

4. Description

International scientific conference will take from three to five days. Scientists from Armenia and abroad are invited to present reports and releases in the conference. The materials will be published.

During the conference, a photo exhibition will be organized dedicated to the study of topics and activities of the club.

6. Expected Results

Such cooperative conference organization is an ordinal phase of the study in historical heritage of the past centuries, in the history of world civilization introduction of national coverage, especially in the field of navigation and shipbuilding.

AYAS Nautical Research Club

Scientific Editorial Staff

  1. Dr. Ashot Melkonyan, Academician, Dr. Ph. (history), Director of the Institute of History of NSA of Armenia.
  2. Dr. Eduard Danielyan, Chairman, Dr. Ph. (history), Head of Ancient History Department of the Institute of History of NSA of Armenia.
  3. Karen Balayan, AYAS Nautical Research Club president, Armenia
  4. Gagik Poghosyan (Khakhbakyan ), AYAS Nautical Research Club, head of club’s Guild of scientists, Armenia.