|"Pomegranates with Marble Statue Found in Artaxata (Artashat) ca. 150 BC", 26"x30", oil on linen (2013)|
"...Some sources have also indicated that Artashes built his city upon the remains of an old Urartian settlement. Strabo and Plutarch describe Artashat as a large and beautiful city and call it the "Armenian Carthage". A focal point of Hellenistic culture, Armenia's first theatre was built here. Movses Khorenatsi points that in addition to numerous copper pagan statues of the gods and goddesses of Anahit, Artemis and Tir brought from the religious centre of Bagaran and other regions to the city, Jews from the former Armenian capital of Armavir were relocated to Artashat."