Archaeological evidence indicates that the fortress of Yerbuni stood on Yerevan's site in the 8th cent. BC The city, known in the 7th cent. AD, was the capital of Armenia under Persian rule and became historically and strategically important as a crossroads of the caravan routes between Transcaucasia and India. After the downfall (15th cent.) of Timur's empire, to which Yerevan belonged, the city passed back and forth between Persia and Turkey. In 1440 it became the center of East Armenia. During the 17th cent. Yerevan was a frontier fort and a caravan trading point. It became the capital of the Yerevan, or Erivan, khanate of Persia in 1725. Taken by Russia in 1827, the city was formally ceded by the Treaty of Turkmanchai (1828). Yerevan was the center of independent Armenia from 1918 to 1920, when it became the capital of the newly formed Armenian SSR; in 1991 it once again became independent Armenia's capital. Yerevan was severely damaged by the Dec., 1988, Armenian earthquake.
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