Professor Gregory Areshian Invites AUA Pillars on Archeological Excursion

OAKLAND, CA – This fall 2017, Professor Gregory Areshian, co-director of the two National Geographic Society funded projects that discovered the world’s oldest shoe and the world’s oldest winery, is inviting the 100 Pillars of AUA to join him on a multi-day guided archaeological experience. The two to three-day tours will take place throughout June, September, and October of 2018.

Professor Areshian, who is a full-time faculty member at the American University of Armenia (AUA), is currently planning an excavation of Zorats Karer, a prehistoric archaeological site near the town of Sisian in the Syunik Province of Armenia. The goal of the project is to establish the dates of existence of Zorats Karer using isotopic analyses and to clarify the functions of the site and its historical importance. The fieldwork will be conducted by highly qualified archaeologists and other specialists and include students from AUA and other universities in Armenia.

Before joining AUA, Areshian taught at 14 universities and colleges across the United States including the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Irvine; the University of Chicago; the University of Wisconsin, Platteville; and Amherst College. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly works published in five languages in 12 countries, most of which are devoted to interdisciplinary studies in social sciences and the humanities with a particular focus on the historical context of the Middle East and Armenia.

The decision to invite pillars on a guided archaeological tour stemmed from an experience AUA Trustees and Pillars Zaven Akian and Adam Kablanian had with Professor Areshian last summer. On a hiking trip through Armenia, the Akian and Kablanian families were treated by Professor Areshian to a guided tour of some of Armenia’s magnificent archaeological and historical treasures, some of which are little known even among Armenian scholars. The trip was a once in a lifetime experience that AUA would now like to offer on a much grander scale. As a thank you to the 100 Pillars of AUA for their unwavering support of the University, AUA is facilitating the multi-day archeological tours with Professor Areshian and will cover ground transportation costs in Armenia throughout the trip.

The 100 Pillars of AUA is a group of 100 benefactors who contribute $50,000 to support the mission of the University. Currently, 64 loyal donors have become Pillars. Funding received through the 100 Pillars of AUA has allowed the University to hire additional internationally-sourced full-time faculty, such as Professor Areshian, increase funding for Professional Development Grants, and establish new degree programs. From the Center for Student Success to the AGBU Papazian Library, these contributors have allowed AUA to provide students with optimal resources and an unsurpassed level of education in Armenia.

For more information about becoming a Pillars of AUA, please visit us at or contact us at or call (510) 925-4282.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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