By Leman Mammadova
In addition to onshore studies, the undersea research is also crucial to study the history of Azerbaijan and the lifestyle of the people who lived on the coast of the Caspian Sea.
The relief of the Caspian Sea has seen many changes. In the times of the Safavid and even long before that, the ships were sailing the sea and the caravans left from its coast to Baku or Shirvan. In the place known as Amburan in Bilgah, there was a port in ancient times. Near Pirallahi, there was an ancient harbor - a city-type settlement in this area was called Zira Gardens. Now, the potteries of 10th-15th centuries come to the shore with strong waves.
The history of the underwater monuments of the Caspian Sea dates back to 1968. The first archaeological researches on the Caspian coast of Azerbaijan, were conducted by historian-archaeologist Viktor Kvacidze in 1968-1987.
Today, Russian Geographical Society proposes to conduct joint subsea expeditions in Caspian Sea to the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS).
Head of the Absheron Archeological Expedition at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography Idris Aliyev told Trend that it requires a great deal of money and experts in this field to conduct undersea archeological expeditions.
Representatives of the Russian Geographical Society this year announced that they could assist in technical and humanitarian assistance to undersea archeological expeditions in Azerbaijan.
They have included it into 2019’s plan. The expedition will be held in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.
The subsea archaeological expeditions were launched in the Caspian Sea in 1968 and stopped in the late 1980s. Aliyev noted that despite the attempts to start the studies in the 2000s, this could not be realized due to technical and financial difficulties.
In August-September 2008, the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography conducted a subsea expedition. Investigation began from the Gurgan cape in the east of Absheron with the participation of experienced divers. It should be noted that in this part of the sea, the city of Gurgan is hidden under the water.
Up to 100 exhibits discovered during underwater archaeological investigation on the Caspian Sea's coast were exhibited at the "Underwater Archeology-40 years" exhibition in 2009.
The undersea monuments discovered so far include the Bayil castle, the Bilgah port, ancient cemeteries in the bay of Baku, the ruins of the Mughan city of the IX-XIV centuries in the Salyan district, the ship's anchor in the southern part of the Sanga-Mugan Island and etc.
The 50th anniversary of the undersea archeological expedition in the Caspian Sea was marked in March 2018.
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