Cultural History: Azerbaijan: Middle Bronze, Late Bronze, Iron Ages
Middle Bronze - Late Bronze - Iron Ages
During the Middle Bronze Age, an early urban culture appeared in Azerbaijan marked by glazed pottery. Similar urban residential areas were discovered and excavated in the Nakhchivan and Garabagh regions. Also during this period the Uzarliktapa and Tazakand archaeological cultures were wide spread throughout Azerbaijan. It was also a time when local populations strengthened their economic and cultural ties with Middle Eastern civilizations. Several graves were found in Ganja-Gazakh region before the construction of the pipelines, specifically graves were discovered at the Babadervish site in the Gazakh region and near the Garajamirli village in the Shamkir region.
The most extensive archaeological excavations conducted along the pipelines route were those settlements that date to the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. A sample of sites that are located in the Ganja-Gazakh region, Garabagh region, southeastern Georgia and area northeast of present-day Armenia are associated with the Khojali-Gadabay culture dating to the second half of the 2nd millennium and beginning of the 1st millennium BC. The Borsunlu burial mound (272km) in the Goranboy region, the Zayamchai necropolis (365km) in the Shamkir region, the Tovuzchai necropolis (378km) in the Tovuz region, and the Hasansu necropolis (398.8km) in the Agstafa region excavated within the pipeline corridor all reflect this culture.
Overall, more than 200 grave monuments related to the Upper Bronze-Early Iron Age have been excavated in the pipeline corridor. The deceased were positioned on their right or left sides with their arms and legs folded. They typically adorn trinkets, weapons, earthenware among other items displayed around the deceased’s body. The excavation of these rich monuments has provided ample material for investigating the ancient funeral traditions of the region. Also of note during this time are the ancient kingdoms of Manna (Azerbaijan) and Urartu (eastern Anatolia), which were contemporaries of the Khojali- Gadabay culture during the Early Iron Age.
This section on “Azerbaijan” is authored solely by candidate of history science Najaf Museyibli.
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