on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage.The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.The Republic of Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment.The unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD.Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.Throughout its history, the kingdom of Armenia enjoyed both periods of independence and periods of autonomy subject to contemporary empires.Its strategic location between two continents has subjected it to invasions by many peoples, including Assyria (under Ashurbanipal, at around 669–627 BC, the boundaries of Assyria reached as far as Armenia and the Caucasus Mountains), Medes, Achaemenid Empire, Greeks, Parthians, Romans, Sasanian Empire, Byzantine Empire, Arabs, Seljuk Empire, Mongols, Ottoman Empire, the successive Safavid, Afsharid, and Qajar dynasties of Iran, and the Russians.
Yerevan is the world's oldest city to have documented the exact date of its foundation.
By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, and in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics.
There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC.
Archaeological surveys in 20 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe, Several Bronze Age states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittites (at the height of their power), Mitanni (southwestern historical Armenia), and Hayasa-Azzi (1500–1200 BC).