By Amina Nazarli
A joint Azerbaijani-French international archaeological expedition is completing a mission to study the Neolithic monuments in Azerbaijan’s Tovuz region, according to the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography operating under Azerbaijan's National Academy of Sciences.
The joint expedition that explored the VI millennium BC settlement of Mentesh has lasted for eight years.
A total of 12 French experts participated in the research.
Mentesh is one of the largest and most attractive ancient archaeological settlements of the South Caucasus.
During excavations, a mound, measuring 160 square meters was discovered in the excavation site. Moreover, more than 30 human remains, ruins, objects made from bones, pottery, stone, and iron tools were also found in Mentesh.
Earlier, Bertil Lionet, the head of the French archaeological team said that the excavations also provide an opportunity to study the flora and fauna of those times.
The archeologists plan to publish a scientific monograph on the results of the archaeological expedition.
Thereon, the joint work of Azerbaijani and French archaeologists in the Tovuz region will be complete.
For the future, Azerbaijani archeologists will co-operate with the University of Tokyo to continue studying the ancient settlements of the Neolithic period, including Goktepe and Hajiallamkhanli.
The excavations in Goktepe were started by an Azerbaijani expedition in August 2008. The site later sparked the interests of archeologists from France, Japan, and Germany who later joined the expedition.
The site is located in an area that is two hectares and eight meters high.
The ancient settlement of Hajiallamkhanli is located about a kilometer to the west of Goktepe.
Thanks to the ancient objects found in the settlement by Japanese scientists from the University of Tokyo, the archeologists have discovered that the settlement dating back to the mid VII millennium BC. Hajiallamkhanli is now considered the oldest Neolithic settlement in Azerbaijan.