HayaSSA is special because it
The Hiking Summer School of Armenology (HayaSSA) is an annual two-week set of tours accompanied by an intensive lecture series on the foremost issues in Armenian language and history, organized for around 25-30 students and young researchers. The main course surveys the history of the Armenian language from its Indo-European origins to the rise of the contemporary dialects, situating it within its cultural context. Supplementary courses include Classical/Modern Armenian (in parallel sessions), occasional guest lectures, and cultural activities.
This summer school has been running successfully since 2008 for people from the Republic of Armenia․ HayaSSA 2020 will be its first international offering, targeting at students and researchers from all over the world, employing English as the working language.
The author, leader and main lecturer of HayaSSA is Dr. Hrach Martirosyan (PhD 2008, Leiden University).
HayaSSA is special because it
Combines an educational summer school format with hiking, camping and sightseeing
Offers the best opportunity for exploring the Indo-European foundations of Armenian linguistics in combination with its cultural-historical background
Mainly explores locations that are important for understanding Armenia’s linguistic and cultural history, but are off the normal tourist trail
Creates a warm atmosphere of human interaction almost completely free of cellphones and the internet
Has no ideological orientation and offers a platform for open discussion.
HayaSSA is marked by the alternation of static and dynamic days. In other words: one day we stay in the base village, having lectures, cultural events and discussions mainly in the large open balcony of our guesthouse, sometimes in combination with walks (possibly also swims) in the vicinity of the village, while the next day we go on tours, i.e. a hike and/or trip by truck or (mini)bus.
The itinerary includes places that are in a way related to relevant issues (e.g., archaeological sites, cult centres, etymology of place names) or locations where we find relevant monasteries, inscriptions and the like.
Mr. Martirosyan is an extremely talented young scholar. He is interested in the field of the history of the Armenian language. His interest is large: he has a good and very complete overview over all stages of the Armenian language.
I have known Mr. Martirosyan now for about 10 years. He came to Leiden University with the intent to study at the Department of Indo-European Studies and I took up with his interest in Armenian etymology. Mr. Martirosyan turned out to be an extremely intelligent, bright and motivated student. For that reason our PhD program and I myself gladly accepted him as a PhD student.
Mr. Martirosyan has finished his dissertation on the prehistory of the Armenian lexicon. It has been accepted by Leiden University. This PhD study treats the early history of the Armenian lexicon; in distinction from similar studies it is characterized by an outstanding coverage of Armenian dialect material and its inclusion of traditional Armenian cultural data. It therefore meets the ideal and standard of Meillet's histoire de mots. His study is the first of this type in a Western language. This PhD is a witness to Mr.Martirosyan's scientific capacities, his ability to perform work and planning of a larger scope. It met with extensive praise by the Leiden staff and foreign scholars.
I have every trust in the future scientific development of Mr. Martirosyan. Both his character and his own stated goals warrant this. He has proven that by his personal involvement and tenacity he is capable of innovative and creative work in his chosen field: the history of the Armenian language at large.
His societal activities are remarkable. He and his wife participate in the Dutch Armenian communal life, small as it may be, by keeping alive Armenian standards and lecturing on the subject of their research and various Armenian cultural subjects. In this way they contribute to keeping the awareness of the Armenian identity intact in a typical diaspora situation.
I enthusiastically and whole-heartedly recommend Mr. Martirosyan to your support. Respectfully yours
I have known Dr. H. Martirosyan for many years, since he came to study Indo-European linguistics at our department. Although due to his personal situation he was unable to enroll as a regular student, he followed various courses with great dedication and learned many IndoEuropean languages, showing excellent results.
In 2001 he was admitted to the PhD programme of Leiden University and worked for several years on the dissertation “Studies in Armenian etymology with special emphasis on dialects and culture: Indo-European heritage” (promotor: Prof. J.J.S. Weitenberg), which he defended in 2008. Later, Martirosyan has reworked his thesis in an “Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon” which was published in 2010 by the “Brill Academic Publishers” in the Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series.
Martirosyan’s dictionary is a remarkable achievement. It combines deep understanding of the Indo-European linguistics with profound knowledge of Armenian philology, dialects and culture. This extremely rare combination enables Martirosyan not only to refine many etymologies and find new sound laws, but also to suggest a plethora of completely new etymologies, which often are of crucial importance for the reconstruction of the IndoEuropean proto-language. This book will no doubt become a standard work for Armenologists and Indo-Europeanists.
H. Martirosyan proved to be a good colleague, always spending a lot of time and effort to answer inquires on Armenian, and a good team member, effectively operating within the "Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Project".
I have known Mr. Hrach Martirosyan since 1990s, when he came to work at our Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Yerevan. Since then he proved to be a complaisant colleague and a diligent researcher thoroughly devoted to Armenian and Indo-European linguistics and culture. His scope of interest is large: history of the Armenian language, etymology, dialectology, comparative linguistics and culturology.
H. Martirosyan is possessed by the idea of creating a team of young scholars and an armenological centre which will be able to accomplish major tasks of the current armenology. He has already carried out much scientific and pedagogical work in this direction. He is planning a few collective studies, the most important of which is the lingo-cultural and etymological thesaurus of the Armenian language (both in Armenian and English) organized by semantic fields: physical world, flora, fauna, body parts, kinship, craft, religion, etc.
Being a skilled specialist in the field of history of the Armenian language, H. Martirosyan also has a remarkable knowledge in various culturological disciplines. His PhD thesis, entitled "Studies in Armenian etymology with special emphasis on dialects and culture: Indo-European heritage" (promotor: Prof. J. Weitenberg), was carried out and successfully defended at Leiden University. It proves the philological capacities of the author and his ability to synthesize the linguistic and extralinguistic materials.
I am convinced that all this will enable Hrach Martirosyan to successfully organize and accomplish his ideas. I whole-heartedly recommend him to your support.
I have known Dr.Hrach Martirosyan since 1991 when he came from Vanadzor to Yerevan to meet and consult with me. He presented his unfinished study on the ancient Armenian day-names. I had been deeply impressed by our initial brief conversation and, reading the study strengthened my impression. Despite his inexperience, this was a highly mature study based on rich material and logical arguments. As it came out, I was dealing with an exceptionally talented and diligent person who was thoroughly devoted to Armenology. Therefore, we immediately accepted him to work in our Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, overcoming the legal difficulty connected with the fact that he was not a resident of Yerevan.
In the strenuous years of the earthquake and war in Armenia, Hrach Martirosyan demonstrated remarkable interest especially in history of the Armenian language, etymology, Indo-European linguistics, comparative mythology, folklore and anthropology. These interests resulted in his manuscripts “The Reflexes of the Proto-Indo-European Laryngeals in Armenian” (Vanajor Pedagogical Institute master thesis, 1991) and “ArmenoIndoarica” (1993), as well as his paper entitled “New Attempt of Interpretation of artaxurxawart” (published in Patmabanasirakanhandes, 1996, Nr 1-2, pp. 311-316).
But Hrach Martirosyan was not yet satisfied with his achievements. Considering his studies unready for publication, and his education unsatisfactory, he eagerly strove for going abroad and immersing in much more professional studies of Indo-European linguistics. He went to the Netherlands where he was admitted to the PhD programme of Leiden University, wrote his dissertation on the Indo-European heritage of the Armenian language and successfully defended it in 2008 (promotor - Prof. J. Weitenberg). This research is a remarkable achievement demonstrating profound knowledge of Armenian philology and ability of working in both linguistic and cultural fields.
Dr.Hrach Martirosyan is not only a theoretical researcher. He carried out field-works in many regions of Armenia and Artsakh collecting dialectological, folkloristic and ethnographic materials. Furthermore, he spends a considerable amount of time and efforts in teaching and popularizing Armenological disciplines in various institutions of Armenia and organizing Armenological tours for prospective Armenologists, dedicated students, and young researchers. Dr.Hrach Martirosyan is one of the best Armenian specialists of comparative linguistics and culturology, and the contemporary Armenology has highest expectations from him.
HayaSSA is launching its first international edition in 2020 thanks to the indispensable assistance of its dedicated team members:
Artsakh: Gandzasar, Shushi, Shosh / Hyunot, Skhtorashen (the remarkable plane-tree Tənǰəri), Tigranakert; Syunik: Goris, Opaver, Sisian / Zorats karer, Vayots Dzor; Dvin; Ijevan / Deghdznut, Haghpat, etc.
Byurakan, Mount Aragats; Vayots Dzor: Ulgyur, Herher / Monastery of Sion; Kapan / Shikahogh; Ijevan / Ditavan, etc.
Lori: Arevatsag, Odzun, Ardvi, Marts / Igatak, Dsegh, Haghpat, Sanahin; Shirak: Gyumri, Marmashen, Yereruyk, Gusanagyugh.
Lori: Marts, Igatak, Ahnidzor, Chatindagh; Gegham mountains: “Vishap/Dragon” stelae.
Vayots Dzor, Goris, Kapan, Meghri; Artsakh: Berdzor, Shushi, Skhtorashen (the remarkable plane-tree Tənǰəri); Pshatavan, Armavir, Metsamor; Dsegh.
Artsakh: Shushi, Shosh / Hyunot, Karin Tak, Tigranakert, Dadivank, Zuar, Karvachar; Vardenik, Noratus/Noraduz; Arzakan: monasteries of Neghuts and Ghuk; Kecharis Monastery, Bjni, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Aghjots Monastery, etc.
Koghb, Dsegh, Tavush / Navur; Vayots Dzor: Arates, Ulgyur; Khosrov Forest State Reserve.
The Hiking Summer School of Armenology is the best way to spend the summer. For more than ten years it has brought together dozens of young people interested in Armenology and ready for hiking tours. As a result, a solid and cohesive team has been formed, which has increased with new participants every year. I've been a part of HayaSSA since 2014, and since then there hasn’t been any joint initiative in which I haven’t been involved, at least partially. We've managed to scrutinize a lot of corners of our homeland, from Shirak to Artsakh, to climb mountains several thousands meters high, swim in rivers, study historical materials on the spot, and attentively absorb Hrach Martirosyan's courses. Surely, our Summer School is also a place for active leisure, evening entertainment, various cultural activities, games, national (and not only) singing and dancing. In short, HayaSSA is for people ready to fill their lives with all sorts of interesting things. I'm looking forward to the Summer School 2020.
Davit Sargsyan PhD in philology | Commentator on Armnews TV | Assistant to New Media and Communication Chair of YSU | [email protected] | https://www.facebook.com/davit.sargsyan
I have been familiar with Hrach Martirosyan's Hiking Summer School of Armenology since 2008. I have twice hosted his group at our archaeological site. Language and Vocabulary teaching program is unique in the Armenian education system. At its core is the interactive practice of exploring culture and language. A number of students from our department have been involved in this program for many years and have had significant achievements in the field of Cultural history and cultural heritage research. I am confident that the internationalization of the Project will be the best application for this teaching methodology and practice.
Prof. Hamlet L. Petrosyan Doctor in Historical Sciences (Archaeology) | Head of the Department of Cultural Studies Yerevan State University | [email protected]
In 2008 I had the opportunity to attend linguist Dr. Hrach Martirosyan's first hiking and study program of Armenology (Jermuk, Gndevank, Artashat, Amberd). One of the many benefits of the course is the masterfully designed format: lectures and debates on different areas of Armenology, held in selected archaeological sites or monuments of exceptional historical and cultural value. Academic lectures are followed by practical work as well as games (quizzes). Such a format makes the process of acquiring knowledge and developing research skills attractive, engaging, dynamic and therefore effective. The course is extremely important for young researchers in formulating a scientific task, leading a high-level scientific debate, developing clear and consistent analytical work, and developing critical (free, independent) thinking skills. One of the benefits of the training is the trustworthy, warm and direct emotional atmosphere created between the leader and the participants from the very first minutes, as well as the opportunity to interact and collaborate with scientists in different fields, which greatly contributes to the expansion of the scientific horizon.
Gayane Amiraghyan PhD | musicologist-medievalist | Senior researcher at the Department of Music of the Institute of Arts at the National Academy of Sciences of RA | Researcher at the Komitas Museum-Institute, Yerevan | [email protected]
Fulfilling, valuable, dynamic, one interesting day after another, such that one might say a day is worth a year. That is what our days with HayaSSA were like, when every evening we would say that that day was better than the last. It is difficult to exaggerate the benefits of the main course. A few days from the start of the course I was trying to remember how we penetrated the deepest recesses of Classical Armenian, which had become so familiar and understandable, and I couldn’t. This can only be the result of amazing methodology! In a few days, we were practically given the keys to various academic disciplines, as well as the principles and methods for doing academic research. I can say without exaggeration that it is possible to study for years, to receive a college education, and not be able to command these principles. Here, all of that was summarized in a mere 15 days, and there was still time for so many other miraculous things - to be one with nature, to feel the centuries, the feeling of friendship, etc. Thank you, Hrach, for providing me with such an opportunity. (August, 2014)
I joined the very first HayaSSA 2008 and even though this was many years ago, the memory still puts a smile on my face. Back then I was studying Arabic in Amsterdam and I had a bachelor's degree in linguistics. I joined this programme because of a couple of reasons: I was (both academically and personally) interested in the Armenian language, I had a thing for dialectology and historical linguistics, I wanted to know more about Armenian culture other than the standard stuff you're supposed to know as an Armenian person, I wanted to see new places, and (maybe above all) I felt like an adventure. Yes, my expectations were pretty high when I stepped in the bus the very first day. But they were not met - they were surpassed. Not only were the lectures of excellent quality, but the entire programme was a perfect combination of fun and professionalism, and the places we went to turned out to be real hidden gems. There was also room - under a tree, on top of a hill, in an old church or in a village house - for student presentations. Because of the diversity within the group, these presentations varied greatly in topic (from musicology to history and from old manuscripts to proverbs). I prepared a presentation on Armenian carpets, which allowed me to share my knowledge of Arabic texts but also challenged me to explore new interesting territories. Warning: if you're thinking of joining this programme, be ready to return home carrying much more than your backpack - you'll have tons of new knowledge, lots of pictures of gorgeous sceneries, new songs in your head, new ideas for papers, projects or presentations, and many new friendships.
Tatevik Martirossian MA Arabic and Linguistics | Instructor of Dutch as a foreign language | [email protected]
I started to participate at the Hiking Summer School of Armenology since 2008 when I was doing my last year of bachelor in the Faculty of the Armenian Philology of Yerevan State University. Both then and today the program of the Summer School is very interesting and rich, and the participants usually are unique and different from each other. All of this makes the Summer School fun, enjoyable, and most importantly, the classes take place in an atmosphere of pluralism.
The program of the School, as a rule, consists of lectures on different areas of Armenology, participant reports (the topics are agreed in advance with the author and the main lecturer of the course Dr. Hrach Martirosyan) and, of course, expeditions. There are also regular meetings with famous scientists from different armenological disciplines. Imagine, though, that the components I mentioned most often occur simultaneously, that is, a lecture, report at the time of campaign or in an archaeological site. I find it particularly fascinating that often a pre-selected topic is discussed at a topic-related site. The researcher’s work is based on confirmation of knowledge with facts and examples, which, among other important academic principles (scientific ethics, conscientiousness, methodology), is taught to the course participants.
I should sincerely emphasize, that the Summer School, besides important knowledge, gives all participants many adventures, wonderful friendship, bright and unforgettable impressions from the Armenian nature and historical monuments that have always accompanied us throughout our life.
Dr. Khachik Harutyunyan Senior researcher and codicologist at Mashtots Institute of Ancients Manuscripts (Matenadaran) | Visiting lecturer at Faculty of Culturology of YSU, Faculty of Linguistics at ISEC of NAS RA
I started participating in HayaSSA in 2008, therefore I allow myself to be proud of being a “pioneer” in the school. Afterwards, I joined the school each time I could. By my first application I was mostly interested in various fields of Armenian studies, which I expected to learn in depth. From nowadays point of view, I ask the following questions to myself:
Tatevik Shakhkulyan PhD in Art | Head of Research Department, Komitas Museum-Institute | Lecturer at Yerevan State Conservatory | Senior Researcher at the institute of Arts of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences | [email protected]
Ever imagined how awesome it would be to hike in the gorgeous Armenian nature while diving deep into discovering the compelling spheres of comparative linguistics, from the Proto-Indo-European language to its modern reflexes in different Armenian dialects? If this sounds good to you, then you should consider participating in HayaSSA. Every year, lots of hiking spots are carefully selected by Hrach Martirosyan who spares no effort to match the linguistic material to the places being visited. Apart from the linguistic material and visits to monuments, the spare time that we have at the end of the day is spent discussing some interesting topics that are chosen either in advance or impromptu. Not a minute is spent in vain during those days as you constantly find yourself learning some fine facts from Sir Martirosyan and others, even when you are dining around the table. HayaSSA is not only about Armenology, but also about networking, so it is a great opportunity to make friends with some awesome people from all over Armenia and from abroad.
Sarkis Andreyan BA in Linguistics, Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences | [email protected]
HayaSSA is a home. A concept that goes with science, cultural perception, real recognition of diachronic development of languages. HayaSSA is a place where I feel fully connected, ready to give birth to ideas, to set my mind free and start to think again and open new doors of perception about languages and not only. Most importantly this whole process is seasoned with learning of old languages, reconstruction of its forms, through which beautifully penetrating into the past, human nature, cultural aspects, mythology of the particular nation (mostly Armenia) and its connection with sister languages and their melodic mother at the same time being aware of the exceptions in the process. Here we have Armenian as a river and we are in a raft sailing left and right to understand its entity, origin (the mountain from which it starts to flow). I joined HayaSSA in 2018 which was the most wonderful thing I ever did and since then I learn, I think, I research, I love my profession and love what we do, not really being tired even if we started from morning till evening. Whatever we learn we do it in a creative way․ Hrach Martirosyan is constantly creating new ways to make learning a beautiful process։ singing, playing, studying in nature, observing etymology of words right where it rooted (like the name of the village Koghb), movies, performances. We have a big dream and we go for it.
Mane Ghukasyan MA in Linguistics (Typology) student at Yerevan State Linguistic University of Languages and Social Sciences | [email protected]
I participated in the first edition of the HGAD(/HayaSSA) program and I can honestly say that this experience has been one of the most memorable of my life.
I have learned an incredible amount about the Armenian language and history. It was such an added value to be able to do that from the places that are relevant to the topics. The courses were of excellent quality and, not unimportantly, also very fun and original. The participants were given the possibility to prepare a lecture and I took this opportunity to share my findings on the topic of "the tree of life", the subject of my prior graduation project at the Art Academy in the Netherlands. The other participants formed a pleasant audience and it was fun to dive into the subject together and to gain additional, various insights in this way. Apart from the educational aspects of this program, it was amazing to be a part of such a bonding experience. It's incredible how close the entire group became as the days progressed. I remember our joint meals, the long hikes together, singing in the woods and the overnight stays with local residents. The hospitality of the hosts has made a deep impression on me.
The pure and basic way of life of these weeks was refreshing. I also liked that we were physically challenged during our travels across the beautiful landscapes of Armenia and Artsakh (Garabagh).
In summary, I am grateful that I could be part of this program and would recommend it to anyone who is eager to learn and loves a challenge.
Anush Martirossian CEO of the interior product design brand Mr Maria | [email protected]
In 2008 Hrach Martirosyan began his unique Summer school in Armenia and he continues now annually. Armenian studies given are almost always held in the wild nature where historical-architectural monuments or memorials are. It is a very important and useful method for the participants and a good opportunity to learn Classical Armenian, medieval history, epigraphy, ethnography, folklore, etc. In 2018, I attended a workshop in Shushi (Artsakh) which was organized by Hrach Martirosyan and incorporated in his Summer school program. There I presented a report on Epigraphic heritage of Artsakh and methods of studying it. We spent an unforgettable time. I consider this project to be the most efficient way of studying and hopefully it will continue its way and will develop over the years.
Arsen Harutyunyan Ph.D. in History, Epigraphist | Senior Researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS RA and Matenadaran – M. Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts | [email protected]
Hiking Summer School of Armenology is an incredible journey across scientific theory and practice. This journey takes you, as a participant, through different branches of Armenology not only through book pages but most
importantly in a real life. How this could happen? The classes are carried out in the nature, next to the river, under the starry night sky or in the cultural heritage sites, as there are topics to be covered and discussed in a
lesson. Looking back, I associate each place with one word or expression which we discovered or discussed in those places. For instance, since I have participated in Hiking Summer School of Armenology the monastery of Marmashen
stopped being only a church for me. Now, first of all, it is a place where the word "karmunj" (a Middle Armenian word-form for bridge) is kept. In this way all sites in Armenia become important spots connected with linguistic,
archaeological, historical, culturological and epigraphical bridges. I am proud to be a part of this amazing school. This is a life changing program for each participant.
College? University? You are still struggling and Googling? Can’t you find any institution which can cover all those categories? Just try to join HayaSSA!
Aleta Hakobyan Education officer, Komitas Museum-Institute in Yerevan | [email protected]
I was so excited when I learned that I was going to participate in HayaSSA! My expectations were fulfilled, and much more. Before that, I had attended a couple of summer schools, but HayaSSA was quite special. And in many ways. Particularly important to me was Hrach and Satik's knowledgeable and caring approach: that's why the team proved such a good one. And not to mention the humor!
In addition to receiving interconnected etymological, grammatical, and mythological knowledge, we learned to question what we heard, both in terms of Hrach's questions about Classical Armenian and the views expressed by various authors. The training was also a nice reminder that the mother tongue can be used more flexibly.
Zaruhi Grigoryan PhD, Linguist, Lexicographer and Translator | I work with "Ankyunacar" Publishing and do interpreting and translations | [email protected]
HayaSSa was the brightest discovery of my 2016 summer. I didn’t know all that much about it when I decided to participate. But it all came clear after meeting everyone for the first time. With the guidance of our mentor, teacher and friend Hrach Martirosyan and of course his beautiful and intelligent wife Satenik you feel as if you have found a new family from the first moment of meeting them. Ever since 2016 Hayassa was the most anticipating event of the year for me. HayaSSa combines three great things: meeting new, extraordinary people, hiking in Armenia’s most beautiful places and studying Armenology. We have our classes in Armenia’s unique and beautiful nature in a friendly, relaxed but not chaotic environment. These few weeks that we get to have nearly every summer provide us with lifelong knowledge and friends that I will forever be grateful for.
Arpi Ohanjanyan Bachelor of Armenian Philology | Assistant to General Director at “Zangak” publishing house
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