Present-day Armenia—the republic of Armenia—is a small mountainous republic that gained its independence in 1991, after seven decades of Soviet rule.It constitutes one-tenth of the historical Armenian plateau.Surrounding Lake Sevan, it has an area of approximately 11,600 square miles (30,000 square kilometers).

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The plateau consists of a complex set of mountain ranges, volcanic peaks, valleys, lakes, and rivers.

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.

In the Bible, the area designated as Armenia is referred to as Ararat, which the Assyrians referred to as Urartu.

Armenians also identify themselves as the people of Ararat/Urartu and of Nairi, and their habitat as nairian ashkharh or yergir nairian .

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. The designation "Armenia" applies to different entities: a "historical" Armenia, the Armenian plateau, the 1918–1920 U. State Department map of an Armenia, and the current republic of Armenia.The notion "Armenian culture" implies not just the culture of Armenia but that of the Armenian people, the majority of whom live outside the current boundaries of the republic of Armenia.Armenians call themselves hay and identify their homeland not by the term "Armenia" but as Hayastan or Hayasdan.The origins of these words can be traced to the Hittites, among whose historical documents is a reference to the Hayasa.