Scholars date the history of the Armenian people on the Armenian Plateau back to the 6th millenium B.C. From 1275 B.C. to 590 B.C. , a powerful race known as the Urartians, an ancestor to the Armens, played a politically and culturally important role in the region.
The oldest artifact in the gallery dates back to the 9th century B.C. Urartian art reflects the artistic traditions of many different ethnic and cultural groups, and as a whole it is both unique and highly recognizable to the trained eye.
Unlike most ancient artifacts, coins are produced by kings and governments, and because Armenia was often subject to foreign rule, early coinage is limited to just a few eras of her history. The only portraits of the famous Armenian king Tigranes (Dikran) the Great (95-55 B.C.) and the only official artifacts surviving from his reign are his coins.