Another successful meeting took place at Bishop’s House on Tuesday evening, November 19th. The main speaker was Dr Christian de Vartavan Tutundjian. The research was based on the history of his own ancestry; the generations of nobles, merchants, patriots and scientists. It was a story that also reflects the history of Armenians during the 18th and 19th centuries uncovering many historical evidences. The speaker presented the struggle of Armenian people for self emancipation as well as a story of migration from Artsakh to Istanbul, from Egypt to Brazil, from France to England.
The presentation was a part of the programme called “Armenian connections” and the objective of this programme is to present, uncover the history of individual Armenians as well as making a new connections through lectures, workshops and informal gatherings.
Christian Tutundjian de Vartavan, born in France in 1965, was educated in France, Switzerland and England (University College London).
But for four years as director of communication then vice-president of his family technology company (2000-2004), he has been an Egyptologist from the age of 4 to the age of 51.
In 1988 at the age of 23 he obtained the top front page and back page of The Times as well as world press for his discovery of the Tutankhamun Plant Remains in Kew’s Royal Botanical Gardens. In 1994 he obtained his Ph.D for the combined study of the same Tutankhamun plant remains both in Kew and Cairo, on a unprecedented invitation of the Egyptian government. In 2006, Armenia created in Yerevan State University the first Egyptology Research Centre of its history and appointed him its director. His subsequent scientific discoveries brought the centre to international fame and made Armenian National News. In 2013 he received from the Republic of Armenia the state award of ‘Efficient Scholar’. In 2014 his work entered the hall of fame of Egyptology in Oxford University. Out of the 110 names listed, he is the only Egyptologist to have this honour in his lifetime in the United Kingdom, and one of two worldwide. In 2015 the open archive was extended to include his personal correspondence which became part of the National Archives of the United Kingdom.
In 2016, after his tenth book and nearly 40 scientific discoveries, he closes his Egyptology career and in 2017 becomes the global ambassador of two blockchain companies – one of two positions he still holds. In 2018 he is included by the current Minister of Transportation in the All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) of UK’s Parliament on the Blockchain technology and in 2019 he is nominated a Permanent Member on the Advisory Board of the same, after a marking speech. He now regularly sits in Parliament with peers and MPs advising HM’s government on this new technology. Just before summer he has also been nominated by Lord Clement-Jones on the APPG for Artificial Intelligence where he also now sits regularly in the House of Lord.
In 2017 he is elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS), the most prestigious naturalists’ society in the world, and in 2018 he is elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).
He is, through his grand mother Iskouï bey Tutundjian de Vartavan, also a member of the Gulbenkian and Kouyoumdjian families of Talas, including Calouste Gulbenkian or Hagop Pacha Kouyoumdjian. Dr. de Vartavan descends directly on the elderly male line from the Meliks of Khamsa (Karabagh) and in particular from this melik which resided in Vartavan[k] (north- east of Ghapan, Syunik).
In 1730 the sultan of Turkey invited the Melik-Vartavantsi to take 18 of the 36 tobacco (Tütun) monopolies of the Ottoman Empire. Since then the family history has been very precisely recorded across time and several continents.