Archaeological Explorations in Baskal

Baskal is one of our historical places, which includes elements and traditions of medieval urban culture in Azerbaijan. We remind that in the vicinity of Baskal people lived in engaged in traditional economic activities from the V millennium BC. 

Tarix: 24-9-2019 // saat: 22:20
By the end of the I millennium BC, at the beginning of the I century AD, a particularly intense life was going on in the territories around Baskal. During archaeological excavations and reconnaissance works in the territories of Girlartepe, Galalar and Kürdüvan, in the 70-90s of the last century, the remains of a very rich material culture were discovered, containing the history of the territories around Baskal.
Unfortunately, for hundreds of years, the history of Baskal, the most important handicraft center not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the South Caucasus, especially in the production of silk, dying and iron products, has still not been properly studied.
In accordance with the tasks set by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, in the Decree "On the Baskal State Historical and Cultural Reserve" of October 3, 2018, significant work is currently underway to turn Baskal into a model tourist center in the near future. Naturally, archaeological research is necessary in order to revive the medieval appearance of Baskal, to carry out the necessary restoration and conservation works. For this purpose, based on the appeal of the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of ANAS is currently conducting archaeological research on the territory of the Baskal State Historical and Cultural Reserve.
The expeditionary team led by Professor Gafar Jabiyev first began exploring the reconnaissance in the territories of Galabashi, Bazaar Square, the Bath complex and the Mosque complex. The goal is to study the time, the dynamics of the settlement in this village, the stratigraphy of the construction and the remains of the habitat, the degree of protection of the elements of the city in the process of historical development, as well as the life and culture of the inhabitants.
Archaeologists have already discovered and explored one part of the northern wall of the Baskal fortress and the remains of the sewage of the Baskal bath. During research on the territory of the mosque, particularly interesting finds were discovered. Research has shown that the building, which in recent decades has been the Baskal mosque, was actually built on older buildings in the area. The magnificent structure, built on four magnificent columns and covered with burnt brick in the shape of an arch, is currently one of the oldest known architectural samples in the Baskal region.
We would like to recall that on one of the wall inscriptions relating to the Baskal mosque, the names of Sheikh Muhammed and his son Sheikh Safayi are mentioned. The names of the two sheikhs written on this  inscription from 1568, attached to the wall of the mosque, suggest that this place belonged to the khanagah of one of the Sufi schools protected by the Shirvanshahs. The inscription typical of the Shirvanshahs period, which is one of the varieties of the Arabic script, executed by naskh and sols, speaks of the order for the construction of a mosque and of Sufi and Dervish, who are carriers of truth and transmitting truth.
The second element of the khanagah is an ancient plane tree - a plane tree. Interestingly, in the book of Professor Evgeny Pakhomov on coins, it is noted that the coins found in Baskal in the 20th years of the last century were found in Pir Chinar and Pir Bulak. We recall that there are no other old plane trees in Baskal except this plane tree. It's known that Sufis often retire in the hollow of such trees for prayer for 40 days. There are also medieval miniatures associated with this ritual. 
In short, the first results of archaeological research in Baskal, initiated and supported financially by the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, opened new horizons for archaeologists. Experts believe that in order to deeply and comprehensively study the glorious historical past of Baskal, it is necessary to continue large-scale archaeological research of every building, every street and every square.

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