top of page

Meaning of the ancient Sumerian word Ararich

As we see the Land Armenia existed both before and after the Flood. It is the Land of gods and mortals, whom the gods made immortal. It is a very important fact to note that not all mortals were allowed to live in the holy Land of Ararat.

The name Ararat (the Land of Ararat) is also connected with the creation mystery of man. There are words in Armenian that have special meaning: Արարիչ (Ararich = creator), արարել (ararel = to create), արարած (ararats = creature), Արարատ (Ararat = the land of creation).

Thus, the sentence in Armenian Արարիչն արարել է արարածին Արարատում (Ararichn ararel e araratsin Araratum), means: - God created man in the Land of Ararat. So using only a few words the history of the creation of man and the dwelling-place of the people are displayed. It is worth mentioning that the root of the word Ararat (arar) in Armenian means “to create, to form, to make” while the “at” component is a suffix that shows the place.

Therefore the word Ararat with its origin and pronunciation is an Armenian (of an ancient Sumera) word and has the meaning of the Land of Creation. "A" is supposed to be the first sound the earthly human being, the created man, pronounced. It is a fact that almost all the alphabets of the world begin with "A", which is pronounced easily and beautifully.

The man, being a spiritual creature, is supposed to have pronounced the first letter of his Creator’s name. This is attested by the names of many gods of the Armenian Highlands, of Mesopotamia as well as Greek, Indian, Iranian and other gods from different deities.

The names of all these gods begin with Ար-Ar, e. g. Aruru (pre-Sumerian mother-goddess), Ara the Beautiful (resuscitated god in the Armenian deity, as well as Armenian mythological king), Aramazd (the father god in the Armenian deity), Arma (the goddess of the Moon in Hittite-Luwian deity), Ara, Ardi, Arsimela, Aratsa (Ararat-Urartu deity), Armati (goddess in Iranian deity), Artemis or Artemida (Greek goddess of the Moon and hunting), Ares (Greek god of war), Aruna (Vedic goddess of dawn), Aryaman (Vedic deity), Aranyan (Vedic goddess of forest), Ra (Ra=aR) (Egyptian god of the Sun), etc.

These names of gods also allow us to say that the second letter of God’s name was R and the name was pronounced AR (the name of the main god in Sumerian deity sounded An, in Akkadian-Anu). Of great significance in the work by Movses Khorenatsi is the fact that the names of five out of eleven Armenian forefathers begin with Ar: Aramanyak, Aramayis, Harma, Aram, Ara the Beautiful.

Ar also has interchanged sound formike Er, Ir, Ur, Or; Eriu, Eremon19 (Celtic mythological heroes), Er Armenios (resuscitated character in the work “Republic” by Plato), Uranos (Ur=Ar, Greek god of the sky), Rod (the main god in Slavonic mythology) as well as Orey (the forefather of Slavs), Yarilo (Yarovit, the son of Rod, the god of spring, cultivation and fertility), etc.

In the root Ar the sound [r]was sometimes interchanged into [l] and the name was pronounced Al-Hal, or El-Hal. Aldi/Haldi or Khaldi is the main god of Armenian Ararat-Urartu State. Taking the above mentioned into consideration we can say that the root “ar”, which is the fi rst root of the names of many ancient gods and heroes, means not only brave and noble but is also directly related to the name of the God, Ar the Creator (Ararich in Armenian), the toponymic name (Ararat Land), and the idea of creation and immortality (Ara the Beautiful, Er Armenios). It is therefore natural to consider the fact that the man, who was created in the Land of Ararat, was saved from the Flood and found refuge in the same Land.

According to studies a great many words in Armenian as well as in other Indo-European languages, have the root ar, which is the name of the God, in them. Other ancient Armenian words like arev (sun), arpi (dawn), arshaluys (dawning), arusyak (dawn), artsat (silver), aragil (stork), etc., that have the meaning of light, sparkle and white, allow us to say that primarily Ar meant light. Ar is always present (whether overtly or covertly) in the Armenian language and in the consciousness of each Armenian as well as in Arian tribes.

Ar is the Creator, Space, Light, Heaven and Earth, God, bright mind, culture, art, fl ora and fauna, some personal and geographical names, and a mythological hero…21 It should also be mentioned that for Armenians Ar, the god, was identical with the Sun-god. Without the existence of this god there would be no people, no nature, no fl ora and fauna on Earth.

Both personal and geographical names beginning with [ar] were spread in the Armenian Highlands: Personal – Aram, Aramanyak, Aramayis, H/arma, Ara the Beautiful, Armenak, Artavazd, Artashes, Artan, Artavan, Arshavir, Argam, Arbak, Artsrun, Armihr, Arame, Argishti, Ariazate (the name of the daughter of Tigranes the Great), Arshak, Arsham, etc. Geographical – Ararat, Aratta, Armani, Arme, Armina, Ardini, Armavir, Artashat, Araman, Aramus, Aramanyak, Artagers, Aragats, Aratsani, Araks, Areguni, Artaz, Areni, Armash, Artsn, Archesh, Arush, Artsakh, etc.

The root [ar] may occur in the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a word. There are numerous examples in Armenian: Arev-Aregak (the Sun), aryun (blood), art (fi eld), aror (wooden plough), aros (ashberry), arka (king), artsiv (eagle), aryuts (lion), aragil (stork), arahet (path) as well as erkink (sky: yer=ar+kyank), erkir (earth: yer=ar+kertel, a created place), garun (spring), gari (barley), varel (plough, lead, drive), zartnel (wake up), bartsranal (rise), etc. We can also add the words meaning leaders (arajnordner): arka-king (Armenia), pharaoh (Egypt) Caesar (Rome), tsar (Rusia), karol (Europe), etc. The name armen has a deep, symbolic meaning. Let us discuss the names Ari, Armen, (the son of Ar) and Arman (the son of Ar).

In the Bible it is spoken about the sons of God, who are bright and saintly22 people and whose role on earth is very important. But who are these sons of God? There is only one answer: They were the people who were used to be called “Honest and Brave Arians”. They followed all the commandments of God (to struggle against evil, to tell the truth, to help the poor and to be responsible for their relatives).

According to some researchers the denomination Arian means having spiritual power. Thus the spirit is in the word-stem Ar of Arian, which is God. But the name of one of the ancient nations in the world, the hay armens23 (ar-men = son of Ar) prompts that those created in the Land of Ararat were Arians (armens). In the Sumerian epic poem ‘‘Gilgamesh and the Land of Immortals’’ Gilgamesh travels to Aratta, the land of immortals, which is ‘‘a land of high mountains’’, in order to gain immortality.

In that epic poem the Light and the Sun rise from the Masu (Masis) twin mountains, on the other side of which lies the magic garden of Eden or Paradise, where the gods live. It is assumed that this garden is located in the Ararat Valley.

It has already been mentioned that the epic poem testifi es to the fact that Aratta is not only a land of ‘‘high mountains’’, ‘‘immortals’’ and ‘‘gods’’, but also a land of ‘‘holy laws’’ and ‘‘sacred ceremonies’’.

In ancient written sources there is no other land which is described to have those characteristic features. This means that the inhabitants of Aratta (Ar-Atta, the land of forefather Ar, the land of Ar) lived following the commandments and laws of the Creator (God). There was a fi rm relation between the Creator and the created men.

These inhabitants were people from the Arian tribe (ar-men), the sons of the Creator, who lived according to the commandments of the Creator. For hay-armens all people created by the Creator were equal. In Armenia there were no slaves, no serfs or other subordinated layers. It was typical for Armenians to think that man, being created by God, the Creator, was perfect and that all people were equal.

13 Kramer S. N., The Sumerians, Chicago, 1963; Kaneva I., Journal of Ancient History, 1964, 4, p. 208

14 M. Kavoukjian, The Origin of the Armenian people, Montreal, 1982; M. Kavoukjian, Armenia, Subartu and Sumer, Montreal, 1987, p. 65–72; A. Movsisyan, The Armenian Ancient State. Aratta, Y., 1990

15 Eusebius of Pamphilus Caesarea, Chronicon, Chapter I, Venice, 1818 (in Armenian)

16 Movses Khorenatsi, 1981, p. 29

17 Movses Khorenatsi, 1981, p. 23

18 Some researchers are against the existance of Ar as god because it isn’t mentioned in ancient written sources. But we should bear in mind that the name of god Ar/Ara is mentioned in prehistoric sources, which date back to the end of the 4th millennium – beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C., while it is estimated that modern civilization has a history of 14–15 thousand years.

Thus, being too old it is possible that the name of the Creator, god Ar may not have been mentioned in written sources. But the names of the ancient gods of South-Western Asia, especially the ones of the Indo-European people begin with the root Ar (Aruru, Ara the Beautiful, Aramazd, Arma, Ares, Aras). The fact that the Creator’s name begins with the word stem Ar is not accidental.

An excerpt from Angela Teryan’s book “Ancient written sources of European peoples about their ancestral homeland – Armenia and Armenians”.

19 Mythology of the World Nations, M., 1988, v. I, p. 52; 1991, т. II, p. 636

20 ‘‘Republic’’ by Plato, XL (X. 614

21 Some researchers interpret the name of god Ar in a negative way or they just don’t accept his existence, but there are so many obvious facts that it is senseless to debate with those researchers who are against the existence of Ar as “ararich”, God the Creator. The negative attitude towards Ar is obsevved at the time of Christianity

22 Psalm-book, 28,1: In the Bible, the expression “Sons of God” is explained as “Angels of God”. (Book of Job, in Hebrew, original, 2, 1). In another case the “Sons of God” expression describes mankind. (Luke 15: 11–32, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”).

23 Häy (pronounced Hi), the name given to Armenians is related to the name of the ruler of Mother Earth Haya (Enki, as well as Ea). According to Mesopotamian mythology Enki/ Haya had an important role in the creation of man on Earth (”Enki and Ninmah”, “Atrahasis”).

In the Sumerian poem “Enki and Sumer” or “Enki and World Creation” Enki/Haya after creating men, teaches them how to live in the World. Travelling all over the world, he teaches people the right way of living. He decides the fate of both cities and people.

Navigating in the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, Enki-Haya gives people the opportunity of living in a civilized world. He creates plough, pickaxe, mould of brick making, etc. It is assumed that the spoken language was also bestowed upon people by the gods.

bottom of page