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mountain in Armenia, northwest of Yerevan and north of the Ararat Plain. The highest point in both Armenia and the Lesser Caucasus range (13,418 feet [4,090 m]), Aragats is a circular, shieldlike mountain composed of both lavas and tufas. A volcanic cone of recent geologic age lies atop far older rocks. The crater of the volcano has become the steep-walled basin, or cirque, of a glacier, and there are several other minor glaciers. Near the jagged summit are high mountain meadows and rockfalls. On the slopes can be found steppe vegetation and xerophytes (dry and arid climate vegetation). On the southern slope are the ruins of the medieval Armenian fortress of Anberd.