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Its simply extraordinary collection of Bronze Age artefacts make this museum Armenia's preeminent cultural institution and an essential stop on every visitor's itinerary. Many of the items were excavated at the Necropolis of Lchashen near Lake Sevan in the 1950s, and it's hard to do them justice in words. The collection includes bronze sculptures, four-wheeled wooden chariots with metal decoration, carved stone fertility symbols, and a magnificent array of weapons and armour (arrows, quivers, helmets and shields).
Other exhibits of note include medieval khachkars, 18th- and 19th-century Armenian costumes, a 5500-year-old leather shoe discovered in a cave in Vayots Dzor region in 2008, carpets and embroidered amices (liturgical vestments). The only disappointing section is that concentrating on Soviet Armenia, which ostentatiously eschews English-language labelling (all other exhibits have Armenian, Russian and English labels).