New archeological finds discovered in Avey reserve [PHOTO]
By Sabina Mammadli
New archeological finds have been discovered as part of exploratory excavations conducted in the Goyazan branch of the Avey State Historical and Cultural Reserve.
The excavations were carried out by the State Service for Protection, Development and Restoration of Cultural Heritage within the project "Scientific-archaeological excavations and autumn school in the Goyazan branch of the Avey reserve".
The project was led by archaeologist Parviz Gasimov, an employee of the Institute of Archeology, Ethnography and Anthropology.
One of the study subjects at Mount Goyazan was the seven-tower, 400 meters tall Goyazan Fortress, built of non-rectangular rock. The excavations were also carried at the foot of the northwestern side of Mount Goyazan, where imported rafts and rock fragments were found.
The conducted research discovered that the towers of the fortress have a diameter of 6 meters, and the existing parts are 4 meters high. The length of the wall, including the five towers from southeast to northwest, is 111 meters, and the length of the back of the fortress is 99 meters.
To determine the construction date of the fortress, a ditch was set at the foot of the entrance of the northern tower. During the excavations, it was found that the perimeter of the towers of the fortress was also filled with unpolished pieces of rock used in its construction.
This method was used in the Middle Ages to strengthen towers and walls. More than 200 local glazed and unglazed ceramic fragments of the Middle Ages were found among the excavated rock fragments.
The research also revealed that the fortress was constructed in the region's Islamic style. Radiocarbon samples were taken from fragments found during the excavations to get a deeper understanding of the history of the fortress's construction.
A completely different architectural style can be witnessed at a height of 200 meters. According to initial judgment, these walls, made of polished stones in the shape of a cube, were probably sacred places of worship and shelters of the ancient or early Christian period. The natural erosion of the paths leading to these buildings makes it difficult to research them.
During the archaeological excavations, 12 graves were discovered. Nine skeletons had their hands placed crosswise on the chest in the directions of the shoulders, there are no signs of the coffin, and the orientation from northwest to southwest directly repeats the medieval burial tradition of Caucasian Albania. One of the other skeletons was buried over his left shoulder according to a Christian custom. The right hand of the other skeleton is directed towards the shoulder, and the left hand is directed parallel to it but towards the right pelvis.
The discovery of a stone box tomb indicates the centuries-long existence of a large Christian necropolis of Caucasian Albanians in the area. A well-polished stone box was buried in the tomb in a manner typical of early medieval Albanian Christianity. A small number of earrings, rings and buttons made of bronze, copper and iron were found in the burials.
The excavations revealed another essential monument to Caucasian Albania. GPS coordinates of the excavation area of 75 sq meters were taken, measurements were made with geodetic devices.
As part of the abovementioned project, tours to the reserve and master classes for students were organized.
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