Home / Armenia / Karahunj: Armenian Scientists Accuse Oxford Scholar of Plagiarism

Karahunj: Armenian Scientists Accuse Oxford Scholar of Plagiarism

The research into Karahunj (alternative spelling: Qarahunge) by a team of Armenian and British scientists in Armenia didn’t happen, since “a non-Armenian youth,” Mihran Vardanyan, who is a post-graduate student at the University of Oxford, wanted to satisfy his ambitions through plagiarism and violation of RA law, said Chief Scientific Adviser of the Stars and Stones 2010 Oxford University Expedition to Karahunj Vachagan Vahradyan, and group members linguistic psychologist Gayane Hovhannisyan and New Generation of Vaspurakan Compatriots’ Union President Marine Vahradyan at a press conference today. 

Vachagan Vahradyan said that, in an open letter, he accused Mihran Vardanyan of plagiarism and explained:

“There were misunderstandings in the last two months of organizing the expedition. I was warning Mihran, and the latter, apologizing in the beginning, was making corrections on the Stars and Stones official website, connected with copyright. Then, Mihran, in an interview with Azatutyun Radio [RFE/RL Armenia service] and the Voice of America, explicitly states that he’s the organizer of the expedition,” explained Vardanyan, adding that he is asking Mihran to make a statement on those radio stations to rectify his earlier statement.  

However, Mihran Vardanyan is satisfied with only sending Vachagan Vahradyan a letter and apologizing, as well as seeming to be hurt.

“Mihran was my student; I have directed his scientific work, with which he has become a post-graduate student at the University of Oxford. When Mihran came to Armenia, met with me, I showed him our group’s latest research, and I suggested he present that research to Oxford University,” explained Vachagan, adding that he found out only later that Mihran is receiving a grant from the Royal Geographical Society. 

“I say to Mihran, to get permission, you have to apply to [Armenia’s] Ministry of Culture, but he arrogantly says, I don’t need permission: they go to Sissian with two people, to get permission from the director of the so-called Friends Club of Zorats Karer [Karahunj], who, by the way, is the director of the reserve zone; [he] does research. Here, they arrested Mihran, after which he tricked the police and said that they were simply photographing (and shooting video of) the area and they weren’t taking any measurements. However, in the [Armenian Public TV] H1 broadcast, the GPS systems and his notebook entries are clearly shown,” said Vachagan, expressing surprise that H1 didn’t come to today’s press conference.