Azerbaijan Georgia Turkey Project

This website presents information on some of the extraordinary treasures discovered during of the construction of the BTC and SCP pipelines and celebrates the new archaeological contributions uncovered during field work beginning in 2003 in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. This volume is part of a larger cultural heritage program, sponsored by BP and its coventurers in the Caspian projects. The authors thank BP for its support of this publication, which provides examples of the historic sites and artifacts unearthed during the excavations and underscores the cultural connections among peoples from the region. We extend our sincere gratitude to BP staff: Ismail Miriyev, Elnara Huseynova and Nino Erkomaishvili for their advice and patience during the production of this website. They provided continuing encouragement as well as invaluable access to site materials and introductions to pertinent scholars, images, and ideas. Their cooperation and substantive comments greatly enriched and improved this publication. We also thank Gunesh Alakbarova and Turkhan Ahmadov for proofreading the Azerbaijani text.

The Smithsonian’s preparation of the AGT archive database (used for the development of this website, and shared with our counterpart institutions in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey) has benefitted from the support and expertise of Dr. Najaf Museyibli and Ziya Hajili at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography; Dr. Malahat Farajova, Director of the Gobustan National Historical-Artistic Preserve; Dr. David Lordkipanidze, General Director of National Museum of Georgia, Dr. Mikheil Tsereteli of the Georgian National Museum; and Dr. Vakhtang Shatberashvili of the Georgian Archaeological Research Center; and many others. For help with Georgian archaeological data, visiting researcher Irakli Pipia (Tbilisi State University) brought to the Smithsonian in Washington his helpfulness, good humor and tireless translations of Georgian archaeological site reports. Guram Kvirkvelia, an esteemed Georgian archaeologist, also provided assistance. Besarion Maisuradze, the Deputy General Director for Science and Head of the Archaeological Research Center, was always supportive. Mrs. Nino Nadaraia helped edit the Georgian texts. Chingiz Samadzada, an Azerbaijani photographer, and Gabriel Salinker, photographer at the Georgian National Museum, supplied many of the images for this website. The Embassies of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey in Washington, D.C., also furnished outstanding photographs. Mikheil Tsereteli, Tamara Kokochashvili, Giorgi Mindorashvili, and Teimuraz Gotsadze, all from Georgia, along with Najaf Müseyibli, Malahat Farajova, and Ziya Hajili from Azerbaijan, visited Washington, D.C. for two weeks in October 2008 to participate in our international museum capacity building program. Each also had a role in helping to prepare this volume. Continuing correspondence with David Maynard also helped the project from its initial conceptualization to its completion.

All the authors sincerely thank Dr. Süleyman Yücel Şenyurt of Gazi University for his detailed and helpful comments as a peer reviewer for the Turkish sites and text and Dr. Vakhtang Shatberashvili for his careful review of the entire text. The Smithsonian team (Paul Michael Taylor, Christopher R. Polglase, Jared M. Koller, and Troy A. Johnson) extend our thanks to Dr. Najaf Museyibli of Baku’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, who joined us as co-author. This co-authorship is even more appropriate since the synthesizing efforts of all the authors derive, in the case of the Azerbaijani data, from largely unpublished field reports prepared by the institute represented by Dr. Najaf Museyibli. This website’s content reflects our collegial understanding that, even though the periodization of history and the interpretation of specific archeological facts may vary within each country’s traditions of scholarship, we all gain much from attempting to share and synthesize data across borders in ways that reflect and build our shared understanding.

Within the Smithsonian Institution, many merit our gratitude. Gregory P. Shook, Samantha Grauberger, and Lance Costello helped organize the October 2008 international museum capacity building program. Michael Tuttle, Webmaster of the Smithsonian Institution, along with Jared M. Koller, developed the website. Christopher Lotis and Whitney Watriss meticulously copyedited the text. We benefited from the assistance of numerous other colleagues including Yeonkyung Bae, Delores Clyburn, Catherine Fletcher, Halina Izdebska, Daniele Lauro, Matt McInnes, Mark Mulder, Ian Parker, Zaborian Payne, Robert Pontsioen, Michelle Reed, Nancy Shorey, William Bradford Smith, Karen Sulmonetti, Saw Sandi Tun, and Janet Yoo.

Finally, appreciation and thanks go to Dr. Carole Neves, director of the Smithsonian’s Office of Policy and Analysis, who played a vital role in introducing many of us to the Caucasus and who edited the text. Her commitment to the project and her comments, insights, and suggestions were of particular importance to the website’s successful completion.

Photo Credits
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs in this website were provided by BP Exploration Caspian Sea Ltd., whose extensive photographs of cultural heritage efforts form a major portion of the photographic archive assembled under the Smithsonian’s Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (AGT) project, along with contributions from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography (Baku, Azerbaijan), Gobustan National Historical-Artistic Preserve (Baku, Azerbaijan), and the Georgian National Museum (Tbisili, Georgia). The Embassies of the Republic of Georgia and the Republic of Turkey, the Smithsonian Institution, the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and Christopher R. Polglase also contributed photographs.

 

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