Home   |   

History   |   

Contacts   |   

Sitemap


HISTORY

In 1993 Council of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic passed a resolution on establishing an independent Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography by the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) and it stood on the basis of the natural result of developing of archaeology and ethnography.
Archaeological settlements are considered to be an extremely important key on the investigation of the ancient history of the people of Azerbaijan. Although, it was started on the XIX century, but the large scale archaeological investigations had been carried out only after the World War I.
Training of local specialists and archaeologists, as well as large scale of archaeological and ethnographical investigations made it possible to create the Department of Archaeology and Ethnography by the Institute of History at the Academy of the Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In order to increase the efficiency of the investigations, archaeological bases were set up in several regions like Nakhichevan, Gabala, Shamakha, Sheki, Gakh, Ganja and other regions of Azerbaijan. Long-term and large scale of archaeological investigations had been started to be carried out at the multilevel settlements of Gabala and Gobustan, as well as, at the Medieval town of Shabran.
On the 15th of September 1981, Council of Ministers of Azerbaijan SSR passed a resolution on “preservation, reconstruction and the use of the archaeological settlements and architectural building structures.” According to this resolution, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography had been decided to be set up. But, the Institute was set up only after the state independence of Azerbaijan. Taking into consideration the fact that, by that time there already were trained archaeologists and ethnographers; Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic adopted a resolution on July 8, 1993 about setting up of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography as an independent research center. This resolution made all the necessary possibilities to scientifically investigate the ancient and medieval history of Azerbaijan.
According to the resolution on the 25th of December, 2002 passed by the Presidium of the ANAS, 11 departments and 8 sectors corresponding to the historical periods and research problems were set up at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.
A research work on 6 problems and 24 subjects is carried out at the Institute on the direction of “Archaeological and ethnographical investigations in Azerbaijan”.
Strengthening of the state sovereignty of Azerbaijan made all necessary facilities for the government to pay more attention to our historical settlements and the ancient history.
According to orders signed by the national leader H.A. Aliyev about “Preservation and reconstruction of the historical architectural preserve of Icherisheher (Old City) in Baku” (February 17, 2003), “Reconstruction and Preservation of the complex of historical monuments of Chiragkala” (June 23, 2003), “Preservation of historical and cultural monument of Shabran” (September 27, 2003), plans of arrangements have been prepared to carry out tasks put before the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.
Genocide cemetery of Guba is considered to be one of the most significant archaeological investigations had been carried out at the recent time by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography. Hundreds of skeletons of the large group of the people of Azerbaijan killed by the Armenian invaders in 1918, had been discovered as a result of the archaeological investigations done in 2007-2008. Actually, this cemetery proves the facts that the armenian invaders had committed violent crimes against the people of Azerbaijan.
The order of the president Ilham Aliyev about “Financial support of the archaeological investigations which are considered to be carried out by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the ANAS in 2008 – 2009” signed on the 5th of February 2008, has ben considered to be the beginning of a new stage on the development of the Archaeology of Azerbaijan. According to the order, a budget had been disposed to make financial support for the archaeological expeditions in 2008-2009 and it was actually great contribution to the activity of the archaeological investigations. This order is considered to be the biggest care and attention for the investigations of the archaeological monuments of Azerbaijan. Great scientific success has been obtained as a result of large scale of archaeological excavations done those years. Those regions, which were not involved in the archaeological – ethnographical investigations for the long period of time, stood on the spotlight as a result of this care and attention. Large scale of archaeological investigations had also been on the progress in 2010. As a result, huge number of unprecedented material cultural samples, which are of the important contribution on the investigations of the ancient history of Azerbaijan, had been discovered.
Apart from this, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed several Orders as “ To create an Archaeological Park of Goytepe ” on the 18 th of April, 2012; “To support the logistic base of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the ANAS” on the 26 th of April, 2012; “About the 2800 th anniversary of the Monuments of the Mugan – Babazanli” on the 29 th of October, 2013.
To study the ancient history of the people of Azerbaijan by the archaeological investgations, the President’s orders put extemely important duties in front of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.
More than 40 expeditions for the archaeological and ethnographical investigations had been organized in the different regions of Azerbaijan to investigate material and spiritual culture of the people of Azerbaijan.
Archaeological Fund had been set up for the preservation of the remains of material culture discovered as a result of the archaeological excavations carried out during a long period of time. Remains of material culture reflecting the different period of time of the history are exhibited in the Museum Exposition Hall of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the ANAS.
212 from 304 workers of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography are research workers; 3 of them are Associated Members of the ANAS; 4 of them are Correspondent Members of the ANAS. There are 18 doctors and 82 candidates of Sciences.

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY OF AZERBAIJAN ARCHAEOLOGY
Investigation of archaeological monuments of Azerbaijan had begun since XIX century. For the first time, in 1829, A.Yanovsky made archaeological investigation in Gabala and published an article “The ancient Caucasian Albania”. In a different period of time, archaeologists from foreign countries carried out archaeological investigations in various regions of Azerbaijan: in 1834 Dudua de Manperi worked in Khanlar; in 1848 V.N.Khanika worked in Barda and Nakhichevan; in 1862 A.Berje investigated Mugan region; in 1880 Jan de Morgan worked in Talish; 1892-1903 E. Resler explored Karabakh and Ganjachay; V.Belk worked in Dashkesan and Gedebey; A.A.Ivanovsky investigated the monuments of Western Azerbaijan. It’s pity, that the important archaeological artifacts discovered at that time had been exported. They are exhibited in the different museums of the world.
Setting up Museum of History of Azerbaijan in 1920, Azerbaijan Archaeological Committee in 1923, enable to carry out archaeological investigations systematically. In 1925, D. Sharifov conducted first archaeological expedition of the city of Gabala. Since 1926, I.I. Meshaninov, A.A. Miller, A.A. Iessen, T.S. Passek, and B.L. Gatin had carried out archaeological investigations in Nakhichevan and Mugan.
30s of the XIX century can be regarded as a special stage in the development of Azerbaijan archaeology. Expeditions had been organized at the ancient town Kohna Ganja and Orengala (Middle Age, Beylagan) at the territory of Nakhichevan and the western region of Azerbaijan. I.M. Jafarzade, D. Sharifov, S.M. Gaziev and Y. Hummel took part at these expeditions. Investigations of cyclopean structures and Bronze Age monuments at Oghlangala and Govurgala at the territory of Nakhichevan by A. Alekperov, opened a new stage on the investigation of the ancient periods of the history of Azerbaijan.
In 1946, in accordance with the constructions of Mingechevir hydroelectric power station, “Mingechevir archaeological expedition” started to work. S.M.Gaziev, R.M.Vahidov, G.Aslanov and G.Ione took part at the expedition and according to the result of the investigations, more than 20 000 artifacts of the material culture had been discovered.
In 1939, I.M.Jafarzade discovered the monument complex of Gubustan. Due to the investigations carried out by I.M. Jafarzade in the monument complex of Gubustan, in 1947, unique rock carvings, camps, settlements and tombs describing long historical period-beginning from Mesolithic up to the Middle Ages, had been discovered and included in the World Cultural Heritage. More than 7000 rock carvings have been recorded there.
In 1951, O.H. Habibullaev carried out excavations in Kultepe I near Nakhichevan, one of the grandiose multilevel archaeological settlements of the Caucasus. Cultural layers and archaeological materials discovered at Kultepe I are regarded to be etalon in the periodization of the monuments of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus.
In 1953, A.A. Iessen and G.M. Akhmedov started to investigate the settlements of Orengala and Uzerliktepe. The materials of Orengala are of great importance on the investigation of the history of the early and developed feudalism period, as well as economical life and craftsmanship of the medieval towns. In 1958 – 1959, Archaeological Expeditions of Gabala, Shamakhi and Torpaggala (Gakh region) had started to make archaeological investigations on the study of the history of the Caucasian Albania, the first independent state in the Northern Azerbaijan.
In 1960, M.M. Huseynov made archaeological investigations in the cave of Azikh in Azerbaijan and as a result, Guruchay culture, which was similar to Olduvay culture, was included in the world archaeology. A lower part of human jaw (probably woman) had been discovered in 1968, it was a key on the identification an azikhantrop. So, Azerbaijan was included in the map of the first inhabitants of Europe.
Great changes started in the development of archaeology and ethnography from the end of the 60-s of XX century.
In 1960, H.A.Aliev came to the power of Azerbaijan. He paid a special care and attention to the study of the ancient history of Azerbaijan and regarding this, organized plan of arrangements. In 1974, Sector of Archaeology and Ethnography was set up under the Institute of History, National Academy of the Sciences of Azerbaijan.
On the 15th of September 1981, Council of Ministers of Azerbaijan SSR passed a resolution on “preservation, reconstruction and the use of the archaeological settlements and architectural building structures.” According to this resolution, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography had been decided to be set up. Archaeological bases were established to increase the efficiency of investigations in Nakhichevan, Gabala, Shamakhi, Barda, Sheki, Gakh, Ganja and so on. Long-term and large-scale archaeological investigations had been carried out at the settlement of Kultepe II of Bronze Age, near Nakhchevan region, at the historical settlements of Gabala and Gobustan and Medieval town place of Shabran. The results of these investigations enabled to illuminate the ancient periods of the history of Azerbaijan. 60-80-s of the XX century can be regarded an important stage in the development of Azerbaijan Archaeology.
This period is considered to be a special time for the training of the archaeologists. Leading archaeologists of current time had been trained at that period of time. They made collaboration with the specialists from Moscow and Leningrad (Saint-Petersbourg).
The tragedy of January 20th 1990 and the fall of the USSR reduced the archaeological investigations at the territory of the republic of Azerbaijan. But, Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic adopted a resolution on July 8, 1993 about setting up of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography as an independent research center. It was a new real impact on the development of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Republic.
Large-scale archaeological investigations by the collaborators of the Institute in Absheron, Karabakh, Ganjabasar, Gabala, Sheki, Ganja-Gazakh, Guba-Khachmaz, Lenkoran-Astara and other regions, illuminated and revealed the ancient history of Azerbaijan.
In 2001-2002, Nakhichevan Gemigaya expedition was organized, on the personal initiative and assistance of H.A. Aliev. It should be mentioned, that Gemigaya drawings that were on the highest peak of the Lower Caucasian mountain ranges on the territory of Azerbaijan Republic, were considered to be the research object. Furthermore, interesting data about ancient history of the Southern Caucasus had been determined, by the archaeological investigations at the settlements of the highland and lowland areas of Nakhichevan.
In 2003, a group of scientists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnograpghy was sent on a mission to Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan. Great successes were achieved as the result of the archaeological investigations of the settlements of Gemigaya in Ordubad region, Karabulak in Sharur region, Kolani in Shahbuz region and Meydantepe in Babek region.
The investigation of the settlements of the territory, where Shamkir-Yenikend water basin, Mazdok-Gazi Mammad gas pipeline and Yevlakh-Balaken railway located became the main direction of the research activity of the collaborators of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.
Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan export oil pipeline had already been realized. Archaeological investigations were carried out by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, together with British Petrolium Company (BP), for the archaeological settlements of the territory where main oil export pipeline passed. Large-scale archaeological investigations had been carried out at the burial mound of “Darayeri” in the district of Borsunlu of Goranboy region, in October – November 2002, in the necropolis and the ancient settlement of Zeyemchay of Shamikir region, in April – November, 2003, as a result of which, hundreds of material cultural artifacts of the ancient history of Azerbaijan of II – I milleniums BC, had been revealed.
Archaeological investigations carried out at the ancient settlement of Seidlar village of Samukh region, at the necropolis of Tovuzchay of Tovuz region and Narimankend of Yevlakh region, at the Khojakhan settlement of Tovuz region and Boyuk Kesik settlement of Agstafa region, enabled us to make reconstruction for economic, cultural and political history of the ancient tribes settled on the territory of Azerbaijan.
After long interval, archaeological investigations had started in the Gabala region in 2004, which more than 750 years was a capital of the Albanian state. Material-cultural artifacts had been discovered at the necropolis of Boyuk Kesik of Agstafa region in 2005, Chaparli of Shamkir region and Tovuzchay necropolis of Tovuz region due to the archaeological investigation of the corridor where Baku – Erzurum gas pipeline (one of the grandiose projects of the century) passed. These will enable us to illuminate and understand the ancient history of the Southern Caucasus, Front Asia and Azerbaijan.
The order of the president Ilham Aliyev about “ Financial support of the archaeological investigations which are considered to be carried out by the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of the Sciences of Azerbaijan in 2008 – 2009” signed on the 5th of February 2008, has ben considered to be the beginning of a new stage on the development of the Archaeology of Azerbaijan. According to the order, a budget had been disposed to make financial support for the archaeological expeditions in 2008-2009 and it was actually great contribution to the activity of the archaeological investigations. This order is considered to be the biggest care and attention for the investigations of the archaeological monuments of Azerbaijan. Great scientific success has been obtained as a result of large scale of archaeological excavations done those years. Those regions, which were not involved in the archaeological – ethnographical investigations for the long period of time, stood on the spotlight as a result of this care and attention. Large scale of archaeological investigations had also been on the progress in 2010. As a result, huge number of unprecedented material cultural samples, which are of the important contribution on the investigations of the ancient history of Azerbaijan, had been discovered.
Apart from this, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed several Orders as “ To create an Archaeological Park of Goytepe ” on the 18 th of April, 2012; “ To support the logistic base of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of the Sciences of Azerbaijan” on the 26 th of April, 2012; “About the 2800 th anniversary of the Monuments of the Mugan – Babazanli” on the 29 th of October, 2013.
To study the ancient history of the people of Azerbaijan by the archaeological investgations, the President’s orders put extemely important duties in front of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography. The scientific results obtained by the archaeological investigations can possibly be classified as following. Paleolithic period. Large number of archaeological materials had been discovered by the archaeological investigations at the camp of Gazma mustye (30 thousand years) of Sharur regin, Autonomous Republic of Nakhechevan and Jeyranchol of Ganja-Gazakh region. These investigations contributed to study and understand the life of Paleolithic people, as well as its food and the technology how to make tools from stone. The discovery of the big tool like a chopper made from volcanic rock of andesite form the Lower Paleolithic settlement of Saggizli in Jeyranchol, is of great interest. Because, this type of tools had been discovered from the lower layer of the Azikh camp and it enables us to tell that the occupation history of the ancient people was older in Jeyranchol and the western part of Azerbaijan.
Due to the archaeological investigations in Shaki – Zagatala region, camps of primitive men referring to the 450-500 milleniums BC, had been discovered in the regions of Gakh – Zagatala.
Tools made form stone and open camps of the primitive men referring to the 1st millenium BC, had been discovered by the archaeological investigation done at the territory around Mingechevir Water basin.
Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. The investigation of the ancient settlements reflecting the aerly farming communities of Azerbaijan is on the spotlight, at the recent years. Particular interest of the world archaeologists from different countries as Gemany, France, Japan and so on, to the settlements of this period urged them to make large scale archaeological investigations. These investigations had been carried out at the Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlements of Ganja – Gazakh, Mil – Karabakh, Mugan and Nakhechevan regions. Large number of materials discovered at the Neolithic settlements of Hasansu in Agstafa region and Goytepe in Tovuz region (VII – VI milleniums BC) were considered to be singnificantly important on the investigation of the history of the emergence of the faming culture of Azerbaijan and the Southern Caucasus.
As you know, Japanese specialists had also been involved in the investigations of the Neolithic settlement of Goytepe and this contibuted to the comprehensive investigation of the settlement with the help of modern technology. So, material cultural samples and osteological remains took from the settlement, had been submited to the traceological, radiocarbon, paleozoological, paleobotanical analysis in Japan. The result is of great importance on the investigation of the history of the emergence of the early farming culture.
The investigations of the Neolithic settlements of Hasansu in Agstafa region and Haji Elemkhanli in Tovuz region are of particular interest. So, lithic industry discovered by the archaeological invetsigations at these settlements proved that the emergence of Shomutepe archaeological culture of the early faming communities had been occured on the background of Pre Pottery Neolithic culture.
Material remains are of great interest, which had been discovered by Azerbaijan – German joint Internatioanal archaeological investigations at the Chalcolithic settlement of Kamiltepe, in Agjabadi region. Structure remains from Kamiltepe had not been yet occured at the other different settlements of the same period in Azerbaijan and the Southern Caucasus. Archaeological investigations done at the settlement of Kamiltepe and its surroundings, showed the region had close relations with the cultural centers of the Near East, at the VI – IV milleniums BC.
Also, Chalcolithic settlements of Polutepe in Mugan and Gol yeri in Goranboy have large number of material cultural remains that show the close relations between Azerbaijan and the Front Asia.
Archaeological investigations done at the Galayeri settlement of the Chalcolithic period (first half of the IV millenium BC), at the territory of Gabala region, are of particular importance from the point of view of investigation of Leylatepe culture and its origin and characteristic features. Investigations of this settlement showed that the traditions of Eastern Anatolia - Northern Mesopotamia had spread in the larger territory of the Caucasus.
The investigation of the links of inheritance among some of the historical stages is considered to be one of the actual scientific problems in Azerbaijan archaeology. Inheritance between Chalcolithic and Early Bronze periods is of the topic of the discussion among the specialists, at the present moment. From this point of view, archaeological investigations at the settlements of Ovchulartepesi and Khalaj in the Autonomous Republic of Nakhechevan is of particular importance. So, archaeological materials discovered from these settlements, especially pottery reflect themselves the transition from the Late Chalcolithic to the Kura Araxes culture of the Early Bronze Age. Also, these materials clarified the debate topic of the archaeology of the Caucasus i.e. the problem of the birthplace of the Kura – Araxes culture and the initial scientific hypothesis if the region of Nakhechevan referred to the center of emergence of this culture had been proved by the facts.
Bronze Age. Archaeological investigations had been carried in the regions of Khachmaz (Serkertepe), Sharur (I Makhta) and Absheron of the Early Bronze Age. Due to these investigations, materials about the life of the people of the Early Bronze Age, its material and spiritual culture and religious beliefs were discovered.
Among the number of settlements of the Kura-Araxes culture spread along the large territory from the Northern Caucasus to Suria – Palestine, conical and nacre objects discovered for the first time from the ancient settlement of Makhta I, had probably been used as trade and exchange among the tribes. These objects are considered to be initial features of the adminstrative management and show the existence of the traditions of statehood and social inequality, from the ends of the IV millenium BC, at the territory of Azerbaijan. On the other hand, these materials attested that the Kura – Araxes culture had been emerged earlier at the territory of Nakhechevan.
Excavations of the burial mounds of Tatarli and Shadli in Goranboy region caused to determine a new funeral tradition that was unfamiliar to the Kura – Araxes culture up to date. Burial mounds of Shadli enabled us to follow the relation between early and middle stages of the Bronze Age.
Investigations done at the II Kultepe settlement of proto city culture of the middle Bronze Age in Nakhechevan, had been resulted with the discovery of the workshops for production. Excavations of the burial mounds of the middle Bronge Age in Oguz region, had been observed by the discovery of number of pottery samples and metal objects, as well as interesting funeral traditions. Such kind of burial mounds had less been investigated in Azerbaijan. Discovery of single necropolis in Oghuz region and excavations of these burial mounds showed this culture had widely been spread in Azerbaijan and the Southern Caucasus. Nargistepe settlement in Khojavand region should specifically be mentioned among the Middle Bronze Age settlements. Preliminary investigations here showed the relevance of the investigation of the culture of the Middle Bronze Age at the territory of Karabakh.
Development of social, economical and political processes, as well as rappid economical progress at the Late Bronze – Early Iron Ages, are being investigated with the different settlements referring to that period, at the historical territory of Azerbaijan.
Archaeological investigations had been carried out at the different burial mounds (Gornaboy, Gedebek, Goygol, Aghdam etc) and the ancient settlements (Shahtakhti, Sarvantepe, Yastitepe, Sumbatan, Oglangala and so on) dating back to the Late Bronze – Early Iron Ages, in the regions of Ganja – Gazakh, Karabakh and Nakhechevan. A number of data had been obtained about the economical, political and cultural relations and the life of the people of the Late Bronze – Early Iron Ages.
Joint International Archaeological Investigations (Azerbaijan – United States) of the Oglangala settlement (I millenium BC) in Sharur region, had been of particular importance for the study of the history of the culture of ancient city in Azerbaijan. Scientific hypothesis about such kind of ancient settlements like Oglangala, Shahtakhti and others, i.e. they refer to the early city culture had been proved by the facts. Discovery of the structures of the early city culture by the archaeological investigations at the Oglangala settlement had once again proved these facts. Oglangala was a center of one small state city in Sharur steppe, VIII century BC. People of this region forced against the Urartians, as a result of which, they could not move into Nakhchevan and Azerbaijan. Antique period. Archaeological investigations at the Gabala city, the capital of the Caucasian Albania, should specifically be emphasized among the excavations of the Antique period. Number of numismatic materials about the high development of the economical trade relations, as well as building structure remains of the Antique Gabala city and material cultural artifacts had been discovered here.
Strong building structure remains of the Antique and Early Medieval periods had also been discovered at the ancient settlement of Galatepe, Agjabadi region. Actually, in their works, writers and authors in the Antique period had already informed about the existence of the settlement a kind of city in this territory. So, archaeological investigations had once again attested this data and the remnants of the city of the Caucasian Albania that was unfamiliar up to date, had been discovered.
Meydantepe settlement of Antique period in Babek region is considered to be one of the archaeological settlements in Nakhechevan region where large scale excavations had been carried out. Archaeological excavations are of great importance from the point of view of the investigation of the international relations and the life of the Antique period of Nakhechevan.
Medieval period. Archaeological investigations had been carried out at the Medieval towns of Shamkir, Gabala (Gala area), Shamakhi, Shabran, Shehergah (Kurdemir) and Late Medieval town of Agsu. Investigations had been enlarged in Shamkir region and several new building structures had been unearthed at the Naringala part of the city. One part of Medieval architectural structure in Shamakhi had been discovered and these architectural remains had presumably been one of the residences of Shirvanshahs. Excavations in Shehergah showed the existence of another large city place of the Middle Ages, in Shirvan region. Since 2010, large scale archaeological investigations had been carried out at the city place of Agsu of the XVII – XIX centuries. As a result, architectural remains, number of samples of craftsmanship and numismatic materials had been discovered. Conservation had been done on the architectural remanins found by the archaeological excavations.
All these scientific achievements based on the archaeological investigations illuminated the ancient history of Azerbaijan and these achievements were resulted with the discovery of the material data which are significantly important for the history of our motherland.
At the recent years, Intenational scientific relations had highly been developed. Great success had been obtained through the enlighttenment of the international community with the data about the ancient settlements and history of Azerbaijan. Local archaeologists had made mutual international excavations, investigations and discussions about future collaborations with the different archaeologists from several countires as the United States, France, Germany, Turkey, Japan, Korea, Georgia, Israil and Russia.
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography had also developed the collaboration with the non-Governmental Organizations.
Since 2006, archaeological investigations had been carried out at the medieval town of Shamkir, under the mutual project of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Social Community of Development of the Regions. As a result of these investigations, Naringala of the Medieval town of Shamikir had completely been unearthed and it was determined that the history of city is of some centuries earlier. Internet Web Page of “Archaeology of Shamkir” had been organized under the mutual project with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and Social Community of Development of the Regions.
Since 2005, large-scale archaeological investigations had been carried out at the ancient city of Gabala, capital of Albania, one of the ancient states of Azerbaijan, under the mutual international project between Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and SEBA (Seul – Baku) Korean Cultural Exchange Association. As a result of these investigations, large number of architectural building structures and other material cultural samples had been discovered. Actually, these investigations showed that Gabala city was important economical – political and cultural center in the Southern Caucasus, at the Antique and Early Medieval periods. Korean archaeologists had also joined the archaeological investigations in Gabala.
Since 2007, large-scale archaeological investigations had been carried out at the remnants of an ancient city (middle of the I millennium BC) near Garajemirli district of Shamkir region, with the joint collaboration of the archaeologists from Germany, Georgia and Russia. This excavation is of particular importance for the investigation of the city culture of the same period of Azerbaijan. Discovered city remnants have close analogies in Front Asia. This city was the bigest administrative place and military-political center in its time in the Caucasus.
One of the siginificantly important duties in front of Archaeology and Ethnography of Azerbaijan is to inform the international community about the settlements, material cultural samples and important scientific results.
Archaeological excavations in Mingechevir (1946 – 1953 years) made great contribution to make note about the ancient history of Azerbaijan and these excavations were considered to be the main and large investigations in the Caucasus. Large number of materials from the investigations of Mingechevir had trained one generation of archaeologists. Taking into consideration the scientific significance of the investigations, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography together with the Executive Power of Mingechevir city organized a Scientific Conference in Mingechevir city, in 2006, on the 60s anniversary of the beginning of the archaeological investigations.
In 2007, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and Social Community of Development of the Regions organized Scientific Conference in Shamkir, on the topic of “Shamikir: its archaeological heritage, history and architecture”. Results of the archaeological and ethnographical investigations at the territory of Shamkir had been discussed in the Conference.
Also, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography organized International Scientific Conferences at the recent years. So, in 2000 (Baku), 2005 (by the financial support of the BTJ Baku) and finally, in 2008 (by the financial support of Social Community of Development of the Regions), International Conferences had been organized on the topic of “Archaeology, ethnology and folklore of the Caucasus”. Tens of specialists and scientists from Russia, Northern Caucasus, Dagestan, Georgia, Turkey and France had also participated in these Conferences.
At the recent years, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography continues to organize International Scientific Conferences. Conferences of “Karabakh in the Stone Age”(2010) on the 50s anniversary of the discovery of Azikh cave, “Early farming cultures of the Caucasus” (2011) on the 60s anniversary of the investigations of Kultepe settlement, “Ancient city culture of Azerbaijan on the context of the world urbanization” (2012), “Archaeology and Ethnography of Azerbaijan during the years of Independence” (2013) on the 20s anniversary of the Institute should specifically be emphasized. Scientists from the United States, France, Turkey, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, Russia, Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Hungary, Poland and some other countries had participated in the Conferences.
At the recent years, collaborators had published tens of books and more than 1500 scientific articles (Azerbaijan and foreign editions). Archaeologists and ethnographers had participated at the International and regional scientific Conferences and Symposiums, with the reports about archaeology and ethnography of Azerbaijan, as well as, they actively participated in the International archaeological expeditions in the Republic. Joint International archaeological investigations are being carried out at the different settlements of different periods in Nakhechevan, Gabala, Shamkir, Tovuz, Agjabadi and Lerik by the expeditions of Azerbaijan – United States, Azerbaijan – Georgia, Azerbaijan – Korea, Azerbaijan – Germany, Azerbaijan – Japan and Azerbaijan – France. I edition of the “Stone Age” and VI edition of the “Middle Ages” of the multivolume book of “Azerbaijan Archaeology” had already been published, but II eidition of “Archaeology of the Chalcolithic period”, IV edition of “Archaeology of Antique period” and V edition of “Archaeology of the Early Middle Ages” are going to be published.
“Archaeological Fund” of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography has more than 400 thousand material cultural samples discovered by the archaeological investigations during long period of time. Building of the archaeological fund had been repaired, structure of the fund and system of management were improved due to the financial support by the head government. Archaeological fund also provides the regional museums with the archaeological artifacts. New contemporary Scientific Exposition Museum of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography is located in the Old City and open to everyone. During the years of independence, Archaeology and Ethnography had started its new stage. It is rapidly developing by the care and attention of the state. Collective of the Institute will justify high confidence of the leadership of the country.

ETHNOGRAPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS IN AZERBAIJAN
From historical - ethnographical viewpoints Azerbaijan is one of the interesting regions in the Caucasus. Convenient natural geographical environment, intensive ethno-cultural relations with close and remote countries, convinient social-economical circumstance and some other reasons are considered to be the main cause of the emergence of distinctive culture. It is natural, that Azerbaijan has always been on the spotlight of European and Eastern scientists and their opinion about the traditional, cultural, material and economical life of the people of Azerbaijan seems to be good.
Azerbaijan ethnography became more interesting for the scientists, after when Russian Empire had occupied the country in 1828. In order to lead colonial policy effectively, Russia started to investigate the traditional culture, customs and traditions of the people of Azerbaijan. At the cities of the Southern Caucasus, especially in Tbilisi, newspaper and magazines, as well as articles and books had started to be published in Russian language.
Most of the articles and books published on Azerbaijan ethnography at the beginning of the XX century served the military-political and economical interests of Russia. It is known, that Azerbaijan had always been a natural source of row material and to carry out a foreign policy, Russia had to know the life mode of the people of Azerbaijan.
Most of the materials about the ethnography of Azerbaijan collected up to the beginning of the XX century have descriptive character. There is lack of summarized theoretical works. Various aspects of the life of people were connected with different reasons (confessional circumstance, military-political and economical policy of Russia, national policy, etc.).
Renaissance had already been observed on the national Ethnography during the years of ADR (Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan). At that time, national spirit was dominated to avoid the problems on the ethnography of Azerbaijan.
A new stage began in the history of ethnography of Azerbaijan, after when the Soviet Union came to the power in 1920. So, the interests of ethnography had also changed.
In the 20s – 30s of the XX century, mixed ethno – political condition was formed in Azerbaijan due to the controversial national policy of the government. On the one hand, independent etnic development of people and the equality were announced, but on the other hand, non-real and artificial new soviet customs and traditions were applied and used against national clothers, as well as its culture and music. Soviet Union tried to strengthen the culture of the totalitarian regime by these methods. During these years, ethnography of Azerbaijan was formed as a part of Soviet Ethnography. Faculty of Orientalia of Azerbaijan State University, Committee for stdying of the monuments of History, Art and Nature, State Research – Scientific Institute of Azerbaijan played a great role on these processes. In the 20s – 30s, there was a Department of History and Ethnography at the Institute. I Turkology Congress held 1926 in Baku played a special role in Azerbaijan Ethnography. G.F.Gjursin, famous specialst and scientist, made a report on the topic of “Duties of the ethnographical investigation of the Turkish speaking people in the Caucasus” in the Conference. Number of well known scientists as I.I.Meshaninov, N.Y.Marr, B.V.Miller, B.Chobanzade, R.Efendiev, A.K.Alekperov, D.Sharifov, H.Zeynalli, H.Veliev (Baharli) played a special role in the training of local specialists and development of Azerbiajan Ethnography. During those years, Soviet Union rules had been applied and government also tried to study the traditional life of people. As a result, large number of field materials about the different aspects of the culture of people (traditional farming, cattle breeding, religious beliefs etc) was discovered, monographs and articles had been published.
Ethnographic investigations reduced during the II World War. At that time, materials were collected to make ethnographic map of Azerbaijan. Ethnographs, R.Babaev investigated the ancient wedding traditions in Guba and Absheron, but A.A.Aleskerzade collected field ethnographic materials on traditional meals of the people of Absheron. Furthermore, some works were published on the topic of national taditions of the military-patriotic spirit.
In 1954, Department of Ethnography was set up in the Museum of Azerbaijan History. In 1958, Department of Ethnography was placed under the authority of the Institute of History at the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. During those years, large number of ethnografic field materials, concerning the family life and economy of the people of Azerbaijan were collected.
The role of Azerbaijan ethnographers in 60-80s should specifically be noted, because they investigated ethnic, economic-cultural processes of the given period, the traditional farming culture, ethnography of modern city, etc. High training of the good specialists - ethnographers had happened at that period of time.
Among those scientists, we can note such names as T.A. Bunyadov, Member of the National Academy of the Sciences of Azerbaijan, A.A.Abbasov, Correspondent Member of NASA, H.A.Guliev PhD, doc. of historical sciences. Book of “People of the Caucasus” was published in Moscow, in 1961. It is an important phenomenon for its time.
During the years of independence, a new stage started in the development of Ethnography of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan ethnography was formed as a separate branch of science. New condition put some new duties in front of Ethnography. Investigation of some research problems is connected with the national rebirth. The achievements on this sphere are connected with professor A.A.Abbasov, Correspondent Member of NASA. Some research problems like ethnogenesis of the people of Azerbaijan and ethnic history, islam and religious view points before islamic period, modern national policy, modern ethnic condition, national self-consciousness, ethnographical investigations of the ethnic minorities, ethnosociology, ethnopolitology etc. had closely been connected with his activity. I part of “Azerbaijan Ethnography” and multivolume monoghraph of “ The Azerbaijanians” (in Russian) were published at this period of time. Today, such kind of works is still continued.
Number of research investigations had been carried out and interesting results were achieved in Ethnosociology. “Ethnosociological investigations in Azerbaijan” are carried out on the direction of the study of ethnocultural and ethnosocial features in the development of Azerbaijan society. These investigations are connected with the study of cultural and political tendencies of the processes occurred in the world and the country. From this point of view, following research problems should be noted: “Ethnic aspects of modern ethnocultural processes”, “Ethnosociological aspects of Azerbaijanians”, “Ethnolanguage processes in Azerbaijan in the XIX-XX centuries and “Characteristic features of modern migration processes in Azerbaijan” and so on. Investigations enable us to come into conclusion that political, social and cultural factors are of particular importance among the problems that the society of Azerbaijan faced at the transition period. In addition, migration, urbanization and other processes influence highly to the modern ethnocultural processes. It was determined by the investigations that subcultures were formed under the influence of different local and foreign factors. The subcultures of women, subcultures of the cities and villages even refugees should be noted among the subcultural groups.
One of the tasks of ethnosociological investigations is considered to be the working out of the scientific bases of national policy of the government of Azerbaijan. Conception of National policy had been prepared as a result of these works and was submitted to the government structures.
Like the other humanitarian and sociological sciences, ethnography has always been under the care and attention of national leader H.Aliev. His speech, orders and decrees stimulated the development of ethnography. His orders about the celebration of the 1300 th anniversary of “Kitabi-Dede-Gorgud” on 20th of April 1997, and “About the preservation and reconstruction of Icherisheher part of Baku” on the 17th of February 2003, stimulated the investigation of the traditional culture of the people of Azerbaijan. Today, the ethnographers started to explore some urgent problems of the science like etnography of Baku city, etnography of Icherisheher.
In order to make fieldwork investigations, the ethnographers often visit different regions of Azerbaijan and participate at the conferences and symposiums in the foreign countries.
Copyright © Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography ANAS. All rights reserved.