Azerbaijan Georgia Turkey Project

Through the Paleolithic/Epipaleolithic Age

Archaeological excavations at Azikh cave in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan demonstrate that ancient people populated this territory circa 2 million years ago. Discovered within the cave was a mandible fragment belonging to an Azikhantrop human that dates to 350,000-400,000 years ago in addition to one of the world’s oldest discoveries: the remains of a fireplace dating to 700,000 years ago. The Middle Paleolithic Period, dating to approximately 150,000 years ago to 35,000-40,000 years ago, was the era of the Neanderthals. Rich artifact finds that were discovered in Azikh cave and neighboring Taghlar cave reflect the daily lifestyles and technological progresses (such as stone tool development) fostered by Middle Paleolithic people. Modern humans continually developed new technologies as they expanded geographically. Presently, modern human origin scholarship focuses on cave and shelter sites.

Gobustan Rock Art
This petroglyth from the Gobustan National Historical-Artistic Preserve depicts several human figures, and possibly a representation of a boat.

The Upper (Late) Paleolithic Period in the Caucasian and Anatolia regions commenced circa 35,000-40,000 years ago and progressed until the 14th millennium BC. This was followed by the Mesolithic-Epipaleolithic Period, which spanned from the 13th through the 8th millenniums BC. Technology continued to improve in the form of more complicated stone tools and the creation of some of the first examples of fine art. The germs of later forms of production developed during the Mesolithic Period.

Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic period-related sites have been discovered in the Caucasus, such as that located on the Gobustan Reserve in Azerbaijan. Most notably, Gobustan features rock art inscriptions that reflect the lifestyle of Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic people in addition to buried archaeological material. Gobustan became especially important to Azerbaijan’s own history when archaeologists discovered Mesolithic burials. Anthropological analysis has shown that the skull traits of humans found in these burials are linked to today’s Azerbaijani population.

This section on “Azerbaijan” is authored solely by candidate of history science Najaf Museyibli.

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Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Ages

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