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Lankaran State University, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan medieval rural type settlements remained out of the focus of attention by archaeologists for a long time. Although medieval towns and urban-type settlements have been studied of large-scale archaeological excavations but detection, systematizationof Azerbaijan medieval rural type settlements as well as studying them through archaeological excavations have been poorly done.
But In the second half of the twentieth century someachievementsgainedin this field. During this period, in some areas rural type settlements were systematized and some of them were studied of large-scale archaeological excavations. During the collapse of the USSR and the early stages of Azerbaijan’s declaration of its independence the extremely difficult economic and political situation caused some problems in different fields as well as in the field of archaeological excavations.
After coming to power in 1993, the national leader Heydar Aliyevgave special attention to archaeological researches and since then starting from the early period of the twenty-first century archaeological excavation work has been restored. As a result of attention and care given by the contemporary president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the worthy successor of Heydar Aliyev's policy, large-scale archaeological excavations are being carried out in all regions of the Azerbaijan Republic at present. Especially during the last 5 years much work have been done in this field. Certain successes have been achieved in the study of medieval rural settlements too.
With the starting of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Pipeline (SCP) construction within the "Contract of the Century" projects the study of archaeological monuments as well as medieval rural type settlements of Azerbaijan were accelerated. In the areas where the pipeline crosses more than 40 monuments including a number of medieval rural settlements were found and studied by archaeologists.
Some rural settlements locatedin the corridor of pipelinessuch as Hacıalılı the 3rd , Qiraq Kasaman the 1st, Dashbulag, Fakhrali and some others were studied through large-scale archaeological excavations during 2004/2005.
It was found out that ancient Fakhrali rural settlement had been located in a plain area, at a distance of 289 km of BTC oil pipeline, 400m to the north-east of the temporary village of Geranboi region with the same name. The territory of the settlement had been consisted of arable land and covered an area approximately 4 hectares(3, p.142).
The monument was registered in 2004. Archaeological excavations were carried out in 2 fields of the settlement in 2004/2005 by archaeologist Viktor Kvachidze. As a result of excavations carried out in the cultural layer total thickness of which was 60cm, some industrial buildings, hearths, forges, ovens, a lot of metal generals, wastes of pottery and metal production were found, a lot of simple and glazed ceramic pieces, hardware, decorative items were collected. The materials found in the area approved this monument to be one of the rural settlements existed around the city of Ganja in the Middle Ages.
Based on the results of archaeological excavations Kvachidze published an article with the title of “Preliminary evidence of a settlement existed before the mongol period, Fakhrali (Goranboy region of Azerbaijan)” in the 2nd issue of the journal Azerbaijan Archaeology and Ethnography of the year 2004(1, p.142-149).
The rural settlement Hajıalılı the 3rd was located at a distance of 302km of oil and gas pipelines, to 500-600m south-west of the temporary village of Samukh region with the same name, to the left side of Samukh-Hajıalılı highway, in a plain area. The total territory of the settlement is approximately 1 hectare.
The monument was discovered in August 2005, in the result of cutting the cultural layer and digging a trench for a gas pipeline and it was included in the list of monumentsexplored by the archaeological excavations in the SCP corridor (2, p.94, 3, p. 2).
In 2005 new excavation work was carried out under the leadership of doctors of history Tarikh Dostiyev and ArifMammadov in the north and center of the settlement in two areas 125 sq.m each, in the territory of 250kv.m. The total thickness of the cultural layer in the settlement was discovered to be 1-1,2m. During the excavations of the cultural layer some remainings of blacksmith workshop, hearths, household wells, ovens, a lot simple and glazed ceramics, labor tools and jewelry were found. On the basis ofcollected materials the monument was approved to be single-layered and play as a rural settlement in this area during IX-XI centuries.
In 2008 a comprehensive scientific report on the archaeological excavations carried out around the monument was prepared by the leaders of the expedition. The reportincluded some photographs and graphic imagesof plan and cross-sections of the excavations, and also the features of the cultural layer were characterized, and scientific commentaries were given about the samples of material culture found in the area. Later in 2008, generalized information about the monument was given in the sixth volume of the book of "Archaeology of Azerbaijan" published under Maisa Rahimova‘s editorship (2, p.).
Dashbulag rural settlement located at a distance of 342km of BTC pipelines, between the villages of Dashbulag and Deller Ceyir of Shemkir region was registered in connection with the construction of BTC main export oil pipeline in 2005.
During the pipelines construction in 2004/2005, 316 sq.m parts of the monument, total area of which is nearly 2,5-3ha, were studied through archaeological excavations carried out by Muzaffar Huseynov, Bakhtiyar JalilovIt was defined that there was a cultural layer total thickness of which wasthought to be 80sm in the settlement. During these excavations several household wells, the ruins of ovens and some other things of those types were found in this layer. Besides these things lots of simple and glazed pottery, glass and metal ware, stone tools and jewelry which are supposed to concern to IX-XI centuries were discovered in this layer of the settlement. The collected materials approved the monument to be the ruins of a single-layered rural settlement of the Middle Ages (2, p.93, 4, p.226).
In 2005 regarding with the results of excavations, Shamil Najafov and Z. S. Hajyly published an article in the XV edition of the "Scientific researches" collection titled as " About unglazed pottery found in Dashbulag rural settlement “. In 2006 Muzaffar Huseynov and Shamil Najafov published an article in the forth issue of the scientific news journal of Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University titled as “About household wells and ovens in Dashbulag rural settlement” (6, p.38-543; 7, p.368-373).
In 2007.Shamil Najafov, Muzaffar Huseynov and Bakhtiyar Jalilovprepared acomprehensive 85-paged scientific reports of archaeological excavations carried out in the monument.
In 2008. Muzaffar Huseynov and Bakhtiyar Jalilovmade a speech on the article" Dashbulag medieval rural settlement" at the I Republican scientific-practical conference entitled “Shamkir: Archaeological, Historical and Architectural Heritage” (4.p.226-238).
Gıraq Kasaman the 1st rural settlement is located at a distance of 405km to BTC pipelines, to the east of the village with the same name of Aghstafa region, at a distance of about 3km south to the residence of Galabozu and the river Kura, on the south-eastern slope of the hill inclining towards the valley in terraces, and streching from west to east.
The settlement was discovered during an archaeological survey done in 2 phases according to the archaeological program connected with Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and South Caucasus Pipelineconstruction. The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences conducted large-scale archaeological excavations in the settlement in 2004/2005. In four areas large-scale archaeological excavations, in 3 areas testing excavations has been carried out. Generally 900 sq.m area have been studied through archeological excavations.
During the excavations carried out in the cultural layer some remains of workshops, farm buildings, farm and domestic wells have been discovered and a lot of ceramic materials, glass, bone and metal ornaments, tools have been collected. Analysis of these materials approved Girag Kasaman the 1st rural settlement to be single-layered and operated as a rural settlement in this area in VIII-IX centuries.
In 2006 Tarikh Dostiyev and Viktor Kvachidze made reports at the conferenceheld in Tbilisi and dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Mingechaur expedition under the title of "The remains of workshops discovered in the settlement of Girag Kasaman I", and in 2007 Tarikh Dostiyev made a report at the "International Caucasian archeology, ethnography and folklore conference" held in Tbilisi under the title of ”Archaeological research results done in the settlement Girag Kesaman I in 2004/2005" (9, p.58 – 60; 10, p.91 - 92 ).
In 2007 Tarikh Dostiyev, Viktor Kvachidze,Farhad Guliyev Muzaffar Huseynov. and Bakhtiyar Jalilovprepared a comprehensive 105paged scientific report dealing with the archaeological excavations carried out in the monument. The reportincluded the plan and photographsof materials discovered, as well as the characterized features of the cultural layer, and the description of the materials collected (8).
Another rural settlements studied by archaeological excavations during the independence is Polutepe. The monument is located in a plain area, of the eastern side of the village Uchtapa in Calilabad, in the bank of the river Injachay, on the hill. The settlement with 4.5 ha territory was first discovered by Ideal Nerimanov and defined to be the Stone Age farmers’ residence. Later some pieces of glazed ceramic samples dispersed around the east of the monument draw attention. In 2004 in order to determine the nature and stratigraphy of the monumentTufan Axundov carried out archaeological excavations with 10m long and 2m width in 20kv.m.area of the settlement. The materials collected from the cultural layer proved the monument to be two-layered, the upper cultural layer of which with 1m thickness belonged to IX-XI centuries, while the bottom layer with 3.2 m thickness belonged to the early Stone Age.
The main part of cultural materials gathered from the medieval layer consists of samples of pottery.In 2004 Tufan Axundov and Tarikh Dostiyev published an article devoted to the excavations carried out in Polutepe middle Ages section entitled as "Medieval layer of Polutepe settlement " in “Archaeology and Ethnography” Journal (11, p.117-124).
In the years of independence during the research work carried out in the town of Samukh region Arif Mamedov, head of the Department of Archaeology and Ethnography of Ganja Regional Scientific Center of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences,registered medieval rural settlement Chobanabdallı and carried out archaeological excavations in 50 square meter area. He gave information about the excavations carried out in this settlement in his book "Historical and archaeological research in Samukh town" published in 2000 (12, p.29).
In addition to the above-mentioned discoveries, in the period of independence some more Middle Ages rural settlements were discovered in the different areas of Azerbaijan and articles and theses have been published in various collections.
In 90s of XX century, Mil-Karabakh archaeological expedition conducting archaeological excavation research in the fields of Govurarx found Gurdtepesi rural settlement, situated in the territory of the village Garadalaq in Aghjabadi region and carried out archaeological excavations in 16km.area with 4x4m.
In 1994 T. Rasuloglu gave information on the results of this excavations in a thesis entitled "Archaeological monuments throughout Govurarx" published within the materials of a scientific session devoted to S.M.Gazıyev’s 100th anniversary (13, p.52-54).
In those years Samir Karimov, PhD registered a number of rural settlement in the territory of Lerik region found during the archaeological investigations he carried out there and gave information about them in his book "Archaeological monuments of Lerik region" published in 2006 (14, p.87-91).
The Archaeological expedition of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of NASA led by Tufan Axundov conducted 20-day research work in Astara and registered many monuments, as well as a number of medieval rural settlements in the region, and published a book "20 days in Astara" in 2009 (15).
In 2008/2009 Mikayil Mustafayev conducted archaeological excavations in the rural settlement Muxortəpə, discovered in 1970, in the region Imishlyand on the results of his rerserch he gave information in the collection of reports entitled "Archaeological Investigations in Azerbaijan" published in 2009/2010 (16, p.; 17, p.252-255).
In 2009 D.Musayev conducted excavations in another rural settlement called Serkertepe which had begun to be studied by archaeological excavations since 1983 and later on the results of his research he gave information in the collection of reports entitled "Archaeological investigations in Azerbaijan" published in 2010 (18, p.76-78).
In 2011 "South-East archaeological research expedition led by AbuzarAlekperov during archaeological investigations in the Lerik region find out a number rural settlement and carried out archaeological exploration excavations in two areas in one of them, in Chuxur Mahelle rural settlement associated with the implementation archaeological research project in connection with the 100th anniversary of the research carried out in the territory of Lerik by Morgan brothers at the beginning of the twentieth century(19, p.333-340).
In 2011 during field archaeological research work in the territory of Imishly region Mikayil Mustafayev found out and registered some rural settlements as Giziltepe and Yeddi Kurgan near the medieval settlement Muxortepe and Galacha near the village Sarxanlı (20, p.342-345).
Namig Huseynli, junior research fellow of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences and also the member of “Shemkir Archeological Expedition “discovered a number of rural settlements during his field archaeological research work in the territory of Shemkir and registered these monuments as medival rural settlements in his dissertation work "Archeological monuments of Shemkir region" defended in 2013 (21).
Archaeological excavations carried out in the years of independence completed someexisting gap in the field of rural settlements study,and served as a comprehensive source in the study of the medieval period of Azerbaijan archeology.A number of rural settlements located in separate regions of Azerbaijan were registered and some of them studied through archaeological excavations. The artifacts discovered during excavations allowed to restore the image of rural settlements, helped to illuminate the plan structure, self-employment, the level of cultural development and other issues in those rural settlements.
1. Kvachidze V.A Preliminary evidence of the settlement before the Mongol period Fakhrali (Goranboi region of Azerbaijan) // AAE. 2004, № 2, p.142-150.(In Russion)
2. Archaeology of Azerbaijan. Volume VI. Baku, 2008. (In Azeri)
3. Dostiyev T, Mamedov, A. Comprehensive scientific report Hacıalılı III rural settlement located at the 302 km. of the route BTC. Baku, 2008. (In Azeri)
4. Huseynov T.M., Calilov B.M. The medieval settlement Dashbulag.// Shemkir: archaeological heritage, history and architecture. Proceedings of I Republican Conference. Baku, 2008. (in Azeri)
5. Nacafov S.N, Hajyly Z.C. unglazed pottery Dashbulag medieval settlement. "Scientific researches". XV collection. Baku. Seda, 2005, p.538-543.(In Azeri)
6. Huseynov M.M, Nadjafov S.N. The household wells and ovens discovered in the medieval settlement Dashbulaq. Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University. № 4 Baku, 2006, p.368-373. (In Azeri)
7. Nəcəfov S, Huseynov M., ,Calilov B. Comprehensive scientific report Dashbulag rural settlement located at the 342 km. of the route BTC. Baku, 2007, 84 p. (In Azeri)
8. Dostiyev T., Huseinov M., Guliyev F., Kvachidze V, Calilov B., Comprehensive scientific report Giraq Kasaman rural settlement located at 405 km. in the route BTC and SCP. Baku, 2007.
9. Dostiyev T., Kvachidze V. The remains of workshops found out on the settlement Girag Kasaman. // Materials of scientific conference dedicated to the 60th anniversary expedition Mingechaur. 2006, p.58-60. (In Azeri)
10. Dostiev T.M. Results of archaeological research in the settlement Girag Kasaman I in 2004-2005. // International scientific conference "Archaeology, Ethnology, Folklore of the Caucasus." Tbilisi, 2007, p.91-92. (In Russion)
11. Axundov T.I., Dostiyev T.M., Medieval layer of the settlement Polutepe // AAE. 2004, 2005, p. 117-124. (In Azeri)
12. Mamedov A. Historical and archaeological research on the Samux town. Baku, 2000. (In Azeri)
13. Resuloglu T. Archaeological monuments throughout Govurarx. // Proceedings of the scientific session devoted to the 100th anniversary of S.M.Gazıyev. Baku, 1994. p.52-54. (In Azeri)
14. Karimov S.K. Archaeological monuments of the Lerik region.Baku. Araz, 2006, (In Azeri)
15. Axundov T.I. 20 days in Astara. Baku, East-West, 2009, 111 p.(In Azeri)
16. Mustafayev M.The results of archaeological excavations in the medieval rural settlement in Muxortepe 2008. Archaeological investigations in Azerbaijan Baku, 2009. p.109-111.(In Azeri)
17. Mustafayev M.The results of archaeological excavations in the medieval rural settlement in Muxortepe 2009. Archaeological investigations in Azerbaijan.Baku, 2010, p. 252-255. (In Azeri)
18.Musayev D. Archaeological excavations in the settlement Serkertepe. Archaeological investigations in Azerbaijan, Baku, 2010, p.76-79. (In Azeri)
19. Alekperov A.I, Mirabdullayev A.M, Azizov T.H, Karimov, S.K. Archaeological investigations in Lerik region. Archaeological investigations in Azerbaijan, Baku, 2012. p.333-341. (In Azeri)
20. Archaeological survey in the terretory Imishly.Archaeological investigations in Azerbaijan,Baku, 2012. p.342-345. (In Azeri)
21. Huseinly N. Archeological monuments of Shemkir. (IX-XIII centuries). Dissertation work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History. Baku, 2012. 159 p. (In Azeri)