The Foreign Service Journal, November 2010

Noah with naming it. After the ark landed on nearby Mount Ararat and the waters receded, Noah is said to have exclaimed “Yerevats” (“it ap- peared” in Armenian) when looking in the direction of the future capital. The territory around Yerevan has Bronze Age settlements that date to the fourth millennium before Christ. The world’s oldest leather shoe (3500 B.C.), with delicate laces intact, was re- cently found in a Bronze Age cave along the Iranian border in Armenia. These finds are younger than the 4800 B.C. radiocarbon dating of recently discovered wooden “ship” fragments at a height of 3,000 meters on the flanks of Mount Ararat: “On the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark grounded on a mountain in Ararat” (Genesis 8:4). The ancient name for Armenia is Haik. According to legend, Haik was the great-great-grandson of Noah and is considered the forefather of all Ar- menians. If Noah’s descendants still fill the dynamic region from Elbrus to Ararat, their propensity for conflict is the tale of humanity itself. I spent the evening strolling Yere- van’s tree-lined boulevards, as the om- nipresent bulk of Mount Ararat filled the western horizon. The next morn- ing, my Austrian Airlines sunrise flight to Vienna, with the post’s dispatch safely stowed, soared past Ararat’s flanks at about the height of Noah’s landing. ■ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 0 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 55 The area acted as a buffer between the Greek and Roman world and that of the Arabs and Persians. L ETTERS TO THE E DITOR Printed letters may be edited for space. E-mail to or mail to FSJ, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC 20037. E-C LASSIFIEDS M EMBERSHIP For changes of address and other questions about AFSA membership, e-mail . A DVERTISING For details about placing either a display or classifed ad, e-mail , C OPYRIGHTS & R EPRINTS To obtain permission to reproduce FSJ material, e-mail . O NLINE Q UESTIONS ? Not sure whom to contact? FSJ FasTrax