Garakopektepe monument – magnificent historical monument of Azerbaijan – AZERTAC

Baku, April 2, AZERTAC

As one of the magnificent historical monuments of Azerbaijan, Garakopektepe is located on the right bank of Kondelenchay, at the entrance to the city of Fuzuli. The monument is a high hill in the shape of a truncated cone. The height of the hill is 50 meters, the diameter from north to south is 220 m, from west to east is 180 m. Garakopektepe was once mentioned in scientific literature as a sepulchral monument, a type of burial mound or burial mound. Excavations of the Garakopektepe settlement began at the end of the 19th century. So, Emil Resler, the German archaeologists, came for the settlement investigation. Later, Russian archaeologist AA Ivanovsky, a prominent member of the Moscow Garakopektepe Archaeological Society, excavated the settlement. “But the Garakopektepe firm kept its secrets on thick layers of earth, this outstanding scientist had even confused. Since then, the scientific literature has long dismissed the misconception about the monument, and it has been considered a mound”. However, during the extensive archaeological excavations carried out in the 1960s-1980s, it became clear that this monument was an ancient settlement. The cultural layers identified here confirm that this settlement existed in the region for several millennia.

The oldest stage of Garakopektepe coincides with the Mesolithic age. Flint and microlitic obsidian artefacts discovered on the territory of the monument clearly testify to the colonization of this area during the same period. It is believed that at that time Mesolithic hunters inhabited this hill. The next layer that outcrops on the surface of Garakopektepe is dated to the period of fully developed sedentary agriculture. This period coincides with the 6th-5th millennium BC. This stage is characterized by small adobe constructions for daily domestic needs, very simple agricultural tools and primitive clay utensils. In this cultural layer, stone, bone and horn adzes and sickles have been revealed, as well as utensils typical of this period. During the period of the Early Bronze Age and the spread of bronze culture in the territory of Azerbaijan, that is, from the 4th to the 3rd millennium BC, round and rectangular dwellings and domestic premises typical of this period were built on the slope and at the foot of this archaeological monument. These constructions affirm that at that time Garakopektepe was an inhabited place and a craft center. Some of the ancient crafts developed here include metalworking, pottery, weaving and others.

It is interesting to note that the thickness of the cultural layer dated to this period is 7 m. This testifies to the existence of very intense life activities on the territory of the monument. During the archaeological excavations, high-quality glazed ceramics, examples of small plastic art and various ritual fireplaces were discovered. Very rare and valuable finds have been revealed in the aforementioned layer of the Garakopektepe monument. Among them are spearheads made of meteorite stone, a clay mold for the bronze ax and ceramics richly decorated with symbolic ornaments. During the archaeological excavations carried out on the territory of the monument, artifacts dated to other stages of the Bronze Age were found. The excavations carried out in the upper layer of this period have made it possible to find the ruins of a magnificent wall dated from the Middle Bronze Age. Various ceramic articles, decorations and other artifacts discovered in this layer cover the same period. The resulting materials convincingly demonstrate the development of cultural interactions and trade relations between the local population and Southwest Asia.

In addition, it should be noted that a large burial site belonging to the ancient inhabitants of this region was discovered in the territory not far from Garakopektepe. Interesting finds spanning the Bronze and Early Iron Ages have been obtained during the archaeological excavations carried out in this territory. The cultural and economic development of Garakopektepe also continued in later ages. Thus, a very important watchtower that had been erected on the Great Silk Road existed here in the High Middle Ages. The territory was completely covered with stone constructions. The archaeological artefacts discovered here give grounds to put forward the idea that in the Middle Ages, Garakopektepe was an important commercial and artisan settlement which played an important role in the life of the region.

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