Toros Toramanian was born in 1864 inShabin-Karahisar (now the town of Şebinkarahisar) in Western Armenia (where renowned Armenian commander Andranik Ozanian was also born). He is widely considered the founder of the Armenian architectural historiography.
In 1903, Toramanian accepted an offer to take part in the expedition of the Georgia-born historian Nicholas Marr to one of the ancient capitals of Armenia, Ani.
Subsequently, Toramanian joined the excavations of Zvartnots Cathedral. He would publish the results of his research in the work “The Temple of Zvartnots”.
Toramanian investigated a multitude of architectural monuments in Armenia and restored them graphically using the data preserved in the ruins. Thanks to him, we know what Zvartnots Cathedral looked like before its collapse in ca. 10th century. He also participated in the reconstruction of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral.
In 1930-1932, Toramanian was in charge of the architectural department of the History Museum in Yerevan. In 1933, Toramanian received the title of an Honored Scientist of the Armenian SSR.
Avetik Isahakyan wrote about Toramanian.
“The man is worthy of admiration and deep respect, for which, if he were a stranger and not an Armenian, there would be no words to glorify him: however, he modestly and meekly fulfills the desire of his heart, his duty, and is thereby happy.”