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The site has evidence of occupation from the second millennium B.C. and was the site of a fortress in the sixth century B.C. King Khosrof II built a palace on the site, when it served as the capital of Armenia and subsequently as the seat of the katholikos. It also served as a regional administrative centre for the Sassanian empire and the caliphs of Baghdad. The excavated structures cover the entire history of the site until its destruction by the Mongols in the thirteenth century.