It is also the main water reservoir of the Middle East, as two great rivers—the Euphrates and the Tigris— originate in its high mountains.
The mean altitude of the Armenian plateau is 5,600 feet (1,700 meter) above sea level.
Armenians have called themselves Torkomian or Torgomian .
They also call themselves Haigi serount or Haiki seround , descendants of Haig/Haik. Armenia has been identified with the mountainous Armenian plateau since pre-Roman times.
Another 3 million Armenians live in various countries of the ex-Soviet Union—mainly in Russia.
One and a half million Armenians are dispersed in the Americas.
Particularly significant symbols of Armenian culture include the statue of Mother Armenia; Dsidsernagabert, a shrine with an ever-burning fire in memory of the Armenian victims of the 1915 genocide; the ruined ancient monasteries; khatchkars engraved stone burial crosses; the ruins of Ani, the last capital of historic Armenia, which fell in 1045; and the emblem of the 1918 first republic of Armenia, its tricolor flag. Many prehistoric sites have been unearthed in and around Armenia, showing the existence of civilizations with advanced notions in agriculture, metallurgy, and industrial production, with diverse standardized manufacturing processes and pottery.
The origins of the Armenians have long been subject to debate among historians, linguists, and archaeologists.
The ethnic composition of Armenia's population is 93.3 percent Armenian; 1.5 percent Russian; 1.7 percent Kurdish; and 3.5 percent Assyrian, Greek, and other. The Armenian language is an Indo-European language.Having lost their own kingdom in the eleventh century to the invading Tartars and Seljuks, they managed to create a new kingdom farther south and west, in Cilicia, that flourished until 1375, playing a significant role during the Crusades.