"Day of Archaeology" 2016 in Agsu, Azerbaijan

Author: Fariz KHALILLI

Since 2014 the holiday of the archaeologists has been marked in Azerbaijan in initiative of MIRAS Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage, Azerbaijan referring to www.dayofarchaeology.com. Every year archaeology festival is held in the Medieval Agsu Town with participation of archaeologists, ethnographs, epigraphs, art historians, as well as volunteers of cultural heritage from Baku, Agsu, Shamakhi, Ismayilli regions of Azerbaijan and also local residents.

The exhibition "Urban civilization in early Middle Ages-Mehrevan walled town" was opened in windows and podiums of Juma Mosque in Medieval Agsu Town Archeological Tourism Complex on 29 July, 2016. The exposition reflected the results of archaeological excavations in Mehravan walled town conducted during 2013-2015 years. PhD Fariz Khalilli stated that, rich artefacts - bronze jewellery items, iron tools, agate seals, coins of Rome, Byzantine and Sasanyds; backgammon stones and dice; bone, stone and glass items, pottery trough, etc. are exhibited there. The exhibition will be available in Juma Mosque for a year.

One-act play called "Join us" screened by writer Arzu Soltan and intended for children was performed by pupils from Agsu. This play encourages children to be involved in archaeological researches and ends with students' starting to conduct archaeological excavations. The performance was played in the main square of Medieval Agsu Town.

At the conference hall of Medievel Agsu Town Archaeological Tourism Complex epigraph Mrs. Habiba Aliyeva and archaeologist Mrs. Elmira Abbasova gave a lecture about "Pottery to Applied art: What Do Ornaments Deal With?". In this workshop Azerbaijan's rich history of art, the variety of ornaments and their existence thanks to inheritance were discussed and appropriate questions were answered.

Handicrafts of women from Gagali, Bico and Gashad villages were also exhibited there within the project "The Role of Women in Rural Lifestyle Development" financed by  Council of State Support to Non-Governmental Organizations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and realized by MIRAS Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage.

Agsu Archaeological Expedition of Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan continued the explorations launched in 2014 in early Medieval Mehravan Town in Bayimli Village of Agsu Town with support of MIRAS Social Organization in Support of Studying of Cultural Heritage.

Upon the excavations covered 2000sq/ms the city's cultural layer of III-VIII centuries were studied. The depth of the excavation reached 2,5-3 meter in separate squares. Houses and administrative buildings, stone-planked roads, and large ecomony vessels were found from those excavations. Copper and silver coins minted in Roman, Sasanyds and Byzantine States were revealed from the excavations. Bronz and agate seals, dice stones, rare snail-shaped potteryware show how the monument was rich. A number of original ceramicwares, bone samples, golden jewelry displayed from 2015-year explorations increased the interest to the monument.

The explorations defined that, the town covering 12 hectare area is encircled with magnificent fortress walls of large adobes specific for Sasanids time. All edifices studied in the town are constructed with river stone and adobe. Less baked brick models are encountered amid only upper layer materials on the monument.

Upon the explorations for the purpose of the monument conservation the samples were submitted to Calabria University of Italy for analyses. The monument's conservation is intended on the basis of analyses outcomes applying nanomaterials.

2015 year's explorations proved that to be ruins of Mehravan town cited in historical sources. This is the town of Albanian State's prosperity. Mehravan was mostly military-administraive centre of Mehranyds, who were Girdiman feudals.

Various types of stone findings were found from Mehravan city. Stone wares include the grinding, graters, sling stones, cutting tools and grindstone of stones.
Gray stones were found in whole and as fragments. The top and bottom rocks of gray stones found in some squares, while, mostly only upper stones and fragments revealed. Some of them are large, whereas some others are medium and small circular. Gray stones are made of gray, black and fair gray stone. They were used for milling grain and salt and also for other purposes. Broken parts of gray stone dominate. Some of them were restored.

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Text- and images - above supplied by Shola Bayramova of MIRAS. Press Release in PDF format, including pictures of artefacts found, attached under Related Files below.

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