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Azerbaijan: Sharur region, a landmark of regional archeological tourism

By Peter Tase

The Region of Sharur, in the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan) has become one of the top tourist destinations in the Caucasus Region, thanks to its wealth of archeological parks, cultural monuments, castles, ancient history and its identification (by many international scholars) as a unique destination for the study of ancient ceramic pieces of the VIII Century BC. Some of these distinguished sites are: Aghbujag archeological site and its necropolis; Aghdaban Fortress and Akhamat (Akhammad) historic place.

To the west of Akhura Village (Sharur Region) are located the archeological monuments of Aghbujag, located on the low hills around the village, currently parts of it are currently used as an arable land.  The ceramic pieces of pink color, discovered in this location, belong to the late period of antiquity.  Today’s visitors will have a chance to observe the construction remnants and the four angle holes located in some parts, which prove that it has been an ancient settlement. According to the archeological items found, it is certain that Aghbujag was a settlement established in the V-IV Centuries B. C.

In the Necropolis of Aghbujag there are cone shaped monuments located in Akhura Village, there are found graves on stone boxes, and their burial was made in different directions.  The side walls of the graves were built of flat rafts, the graves’ surfaces were covered with the same type of stones.  Unfortunately during the agriculture works this necropolis was completely destroyed; only some pink color ceramics were left from this grave site.  These items are a unique representation of the latest classical age.  During the process of investigation in this Necropolis, it was discovered that the funeral tradition also existed while employing big pitchers.

Archeologists have found pieces of these pitchers on the eastern part of the necropolis; according to the archeological testimonies in the ground, the necropolis of Aghbujag dates back in the 2nd Century BC.

In the southern side of Shada Village, Shahbuz Region, is located the Aghdaban Fortress, a historical treasure full of archeological monuments, situated on a high oval shaped hill, as the surface on top of the hill is flat and suitable for settlement. The hill top was surrounded with defense walls; the foundation of these walls exists until today.  Meanwhile some parts the walls continue to maintain a height of one meter tall.  The historians and archeologists will observe that in this fortress there are square shaped stone buildings, important architecture features that were used at ancient times.

During the ongoing investigations, there are discovered ceramic pieces that belong to the period of middle and late antiquity.  It is certain that the Fortress of Aghdaban, was built during the I-X Centuries.

Sharur Region is home of Akhamat (Akhammad) Settlement, that was built in the 1st millennium BC and located in the South-Western side of Akhamat Village.   During the agricultural cultivation of this area, there were found big construction stones, stone labor tools (grain grind stones and pestle), and ceramic objects of great value.  In 2001, a team of archeologists begun a campaign of investigations in this territory and was able to find earthenware dishes, pots and remnants of ancient homes.  This region is well known for its archeological treasures including the grey color, very well burned tableware, prepared by a mix of clay with fine sand that was prepared and concocted during the VIII Century BC.  Based on the items found in this area, including dark red archeological artifacts, it is certain that this territory of Sharur Region has inherited ancient settlements that go back eight centuries BC.

The government of Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, places a great priority to the historical, archeological monuments and cultural sites located at every corner of Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan).  Sharur Region is a tourist destination with many unique features, archeological site seeing, pleasant infrastructure with a local population that waits with great interest all international visitors and tourists from every walk of life.

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Peter Tase

Peter Tase is a contributor, freelance journalist and a research scholar of International Affairs, Paraguayan Studies, Middle East Studies and Latin American Affairs, located in the United States. Educated at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and Marquette University Les Aspin Center for Government; Tase is the author of “Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages: Guarani, English, Italian, Albanian and Spanish” and “El Dr. FEDERICO FRANCO y Su Mandato Presidencial en la Historia del Paraguay.” He’s a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy News. His personal website is www.petertase.com

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