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Archeologists uncover secrets of Naringala Fortress

23 August 2017 [18:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nacional

For hundreds of years, Naringala Fortress protected people from the outside world. Now historians open the secret of the Fortress in Shamkir to all.

For Shamkir people, the ancient fortress was more than just a settlement – it was a sacred place. Today, one can see here only the remnants of the citadel and fortress walls that once surrounded the city and seemed, perhaps, so impregnable, immutable and eternal to the people, who inhabited it at the time.

The medieval fortified settlement situated on the left bank of the Shamkirchay river, like many ancient cities of Azerbaijan, faced destructions, restoration and a period of prosperity.

Archeological excavations, launched in 2016, are still underway here. So far, archaeologists were able to "unearth" priceless information not only about the Naringala Fortress itself, but also history, culture and urban planning traditions of the Middle Ages in Azerbaijan.

The total area of the 7th-century Naringala Fortress is 28 hectares. The fortress was destroyed twice during the Mongol and Russian invasions.

The archeological team carefully removes the ground layer by layer and carefully sifts and takes out the soil to uncover the secrets of this ancient and historic fortress.

During the study, it has been revealed that sewage lines were constructed in the settlement. Pottery was famous here: a number of colored ceramic and ceramic dishes, various decorative items were produced in the city.

Head of the expedition Tarix Dostuyev told Azertac that the aim of this year’s expedition was to complete the study of the monumental building, launched back in 2007.

“In previous years we studied the southern, eastern and central parts of the building. But northern and western sides were left beyond the scope of the research.  Thanks to current studies, the northern part of the building was completely explored. It turned out that there are three rooms in this section. As a whole, the monumental building has more than 10 rooms and covers an area of almost 2,000 sq m.,” he said.

The foundation of the fortress walls is made of fluvial stones and clay. This part of the building is about 1-2 meters.Then, a seismic girdle was created, ie a layer of wood was laid, which increased earthquake resistance. T

he tower walls are made of bricks. The height of the building is about 5 meters. As for the size of rooms, they vary depending on the designation of rooms.

The archeological team also carries out here a restoration work with an aim to preserve this ancient architectural monument for future generations. In the future, the Naringala Fortress may also appear on the touristic map of the region.

Azerbaijan’s Shamkir boasts the ancient history. The city has been known since the 5th century as Shamkur, a major trade and craft center.

For centuries, the city changed ‘hands’ being under the rule of the Persians, Arabs, Khazars, and emirs from the Kurdish dynasty of Sheddadids. In the 12th century Shamkir for a while was part of the Georgian kingdom. Needless to say, no one could remain indifferent to the strategic position of the city on the Great Silk Road.

Shamkir’s most attractive feature is its so-called “German pages.” Back in 1819, immigrants from Wurttemberg, escaping revolt from the Napoleonic wars, came to Azerbaijan and established two colonies, which they called Yelenendorf and Annendorf (now Goygol and Shamkir cities).

The German colonies left behind a lot of historical artifacts and some streets were even lined with German houses, Lutheran churches, wine production, etc.


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