The big part of the monuments belong to the Late Bronze and First Iron period belong to Khocali-Gedebey culture.

Khocali Mounds  

The climate of Khocali region situated near the Badara and Qarqar Rivers and which most territory is consisted of mountains is mild-warm, the mountainous territories are subalp an alp meadows. The highest points are Qizqala (2843 m) and Qirkhqiz (2827 m). There are mountainous- forests and mountainous- meadow lands. About 40% of the territory is reach with beech, birch and so on trees. That was the reason that cattle-breeder Turk tribes living nomad life style chose the region territories as summer posture from old times and inhabited there and created rich cultural monuments.

If speak about the historical monuments of the region we should first speak about the circular tomb belong to XIV century (1356-1357), necropolis belong to the late Bronze and First Iron period, mound field and so on. There were many grave stoned with “ram and saddle” pictures, holy sanctuaries (like Seyid Celal fireplace, fireplace of Djahan nene and so on) until occupation. We can add “Esgeran  castle” situated between Khocali region and Esgeran settlement, in right and left sides of Qarqar River which belong to XVIII century, Albanian church situated in the place called “Kilseli” and old Albanian- qipcaq (qarqar) graves. There were three cemeteries in Kerkichahan settlement of the region. There were graves which had texts belong to XIV century and the rest of Muslim cemetery which belongs to 800 years ago. Now Armenians destroyed all of them.

Khocali cemetery consist of stone boxes and mounds, which was found in XIX century are archeological monuments belong to the late bronze and first iron period (VIII-VII centuries B.C.). Different faience containers, arms (sword, daggers, spears, and axes), jewelry made from gold, bronze, cockleshell, and glass and so on, bronze labor instruments, horse things were found there.

Want to note that the monuments of Late Bronze period of Azerbaijan was characterized as the period of late Bronze and First Iron in literature. This period which is passage from Bronze period to Iron period first of all include the second part of the II thousand years B.C. The researches of archeological monuments show that there was development in social-economical, cultural life of the tribes live in Karabakh also in Azerbaijan territories from the second part of II thousand years B.C. The evaluation process of ethnic and cultural joint of the tribes living in that period continued. It is important to research those archeological monuments in order to understand those processes.

The big part of the monuments belong to the Late Bronze and First Iron period belong to Khocali-Gedebey culture. The live places belong to that cultures are few. One of the monuments belong to that period researched widely is the habitant place number 1 in Gencecay valley. This living place is situated in the south of Khanlar city and in the left side of Gencecay. The territory is about 3 ha. Homes found there are divided into two groups. Long formed tribe homes belong to the first group. Archeological researches show that such homes were used in different periods of Bronze period. The home number 58 used in Late Bronze period is divided into four parts with partition. In the east wall of the building there is door place to the first and fourth rooms. The door places of other rooms were not found. May be they were a little bit higher than floor. Most of the buildings belong to Late Bronze period in that habitant place are little half mud-hut style homes. The rests of those buildings were researched by Y.Hummel. A big yard which was fenced with river stones was defined in front of the home number 54 in habitant place. River stones were used for building homes. Fish waist technology was applied while building. This technique was used widely in Azerbaijan, also in Gence and Nakhcivan.

Another group belong to Khocali-Gedebey culture is situated in Karabakh. The living places of Karabakh belong to the Late Bronze period were learned in researches in intelligence style. During the researches held by A.A.Iessen the rests of mud-hut style, right-angled, oval formed homes were found in Uctepe, Resultepe, Boyuktepe, Goytepe, Qaratepe and in Uctepe living places. Two building levels belong to the end of II thousand years B.C. were found in Qaratepe living place which was researched and noted by H.F.Ceferov. During the research the rests of defense walls strengthen with four-cornered towers were found in that living place. The defense wall was built on stone base with air-brick. The ceramics found in living places of Karabakh are in grey color and patterned with different ornaments also with mushroom style protuberances. One of the mounds researched in Borsunlu and belongs to the Late Bronze period is belonged to the head of tribe. A big grave chamber with territory of 256 m2 (32 x 8 x 4) was noted under that mound. The top of the grave is closed with two, three in some places four level tree posts. A thick cane floor was among them.

Due to the archeologist Veli Bakhsheliyev it is supposed from carvings that the mound was robbed before:

     “A tribe leader who joined world and religious government in hands was buried in grave. The tribe leader was buried on tree floor fastened with bronze, golden nails and bronze board. He had nine slaves and guards. Eight horse skeletons patterned richly, also neat cattle and small cattle bones were found from the grave. The funeral ritual takes attention with big celebration”.


A scientist writes that the grave equipments are very rich. There were clay containers with original forms and patterns, bronze axes, different horse bridles, arrow heads, spear heads and so on. Bone bridles with human pictures, jewelry made from elephant teeth, golden buttons, golden belt, glazed clay container are differ from others for great taste. There are glass buttons, beads, pasta, jewelry made from bronze, original formed marble maces among findings:

    “Due to the researches of archeological materials the Borsunlu mound belongs to XII-XI centuries B.C. One of the monuments of Khocali-Gedebey culture best learned in the region is Bronze period cemetery near the Khocali village. There are little mounds and kromlexes there. Single and collective funerals were in those mounds. Also burning tradition was noted in those mounds too. Ceramics, arm and jewelry things which are characteristic for Khocali-Gedebey culture were found in monuments”.

The mound number 11 explored in Khocali gave special important results. A bead with the name of Adadnirari the Assyrian leader was found there. I.I.Meshaninov belonged that bead to VIII century B.C. But lately researchers are inclined to belong that bead to the period of I Adadnirari, approximately the end of IX century and the beginning of VIII century B.C. This finding is very important for making clear the black pages of our history also to lighten the ethnic personality of the population of Karabakh in Late Bronze and First Iron period. The issue is that the place where the thing was found is near Qarqarchay which has the name of qarqars which was one of the old tribes of Turk-qipchaq. Qipchaqs were called as kumans in old sources. It is interesting that the old sources approves that this nation lived in Azerbaijan some thousand years before Christ, in other way, they approve that Azerbaijan had avtoxton population. In old cuneiform texts (XIII-XII centuries B.C.) the etononyms of “ku” and “kumen” are also used.

It is considered about the “Ku” etnonym that it was a name of one of the Turkish tribes and the name is related to the swan (goose) totem spread among Turks. The name of Kumans is noted in old sources (in cuneiform texts) in XIII-XII centuries as “kumen” for the first time. Y.Yusifov notes in the same attitude with authors above:

   “This etnonym also was formed with article units of “man” (men) which forms ethnic names in Turkish languages. Kuman meant “yellowish, whitish” in Turkish language”.

We meet the etnonym in inscription of I Tiglapalsar (115-1077 B.C.).

“(V, 73) the troops of Kumans arrived to Musru country really… (V.82). Then all of kumans which aimed to call help to Musru country mobilized all regions against me and for victory… (VI.22)… The leader of Kumans who was afraid of my powerful fight intense hugged my legs…”

Assyrian shah II Adadnerari (911-890 B.C.) also remembered kumans in his inscription. So the golden bread found in Khocali with the name of that leader proves that the place where he was faced with qipcaq-kuman was in Azerbaijan territory.

Besides Khocali cemetery archeological carvings were held by Emil Resler in Mountainous Karabakh Territory, near Arcadzor-Dovshanli, Ballica, Sirkhavend, Akhmakhi villages. In mounds number 1 and 2 in Dovshanli there were collective funerals. Bronze dagger, arrow heads, axes, military fork, knives, golden breads and many grey clay containers were found near the skeletons.

Another group of the monuments in Mountainous Karabakh were researched by Y.I.Hummel, A.A.Ivanovski, I.M.Ceferzadeh, T.Passek and B.Latinin. H.F.Ceferov, F.R.Mahmudov and T.I.Akhundov closely participated in researches of Beyimsarov, Borsunlu, Saricoban mounds included that group. Big stone mounds of Khocali necropolis (№ 7,11,14,19- 21), mounds number 1 and 2 in Arcadzor-Dovshanli, number 1-5 in Akhmakhi, number 1 in Balliqaya, number 91 in Qarabulaq are specially different for richness of funeral tradition. Big mound top, compound structure of grave chamber, use of tree constructions, dye of the chamber and skeletons with red color, horse bones, collective burials, many arm and horse equipments are characterized for them. In some graves there are human skeletons in sitting position by skeletons lied. For this signs, there are close relationship among monuments of Karabakh group and monuments of Gencecay region.

There is a need to explain widely about some of the burials in order to lighten funeral tradition. It is clear from “Azerbaijan archeology” book which consisted of VI volumes that 4 human skeletons were found in stone box grave under the mound number 1 in Arcadsor- Dovshanli:

“The top of the grave is closed with 5 stone boards. One of the skeletons was buried in the south-east part of grave, with hands longed aside. A jug filled with kauri was found near his leg. There was bronze garland on the head of skeleton. Another two skeletons were noted in corners of west walls. It is considered that one of them was woman. She had head jewelry made from bronze in the head. It is considered that there were helmets on the head of other 2 skeletons”.

Three graves were found under the mound number 2 researched there. It was impossible to investigate one of them as it was aside from carvings. There were human skeleton, diadem in his head, horse skull near it, teeth of boar, bronze ring and serdolic breads were found in I “a” grave.

There were little rug near the right shoulder of skeleton. It is interesting that the mouth of skeleton in that grave was filled with gold. There were headless human skeleton, things made from bronze and stone, clay container pieces, horse things were found in II “v” grave in mound. There also were bones of horse, dog and bird.

Akhmakhi mounds situated between Aracadzor and Balliqaya differs from others with little size. The under mound graves are stone boxes there. In mound number 1 in Akhmakhi four skeletons were found. One of them was in lying position, others were in sitting position. 9 human skeletons were found in grave chamber of mound number 3 in Akhmakhi. One of them was in laying position other 8 in sitting position. The signs of violent death were found in sitting skeletons.

3 human and 2 camel skeletons were found in mound number 5 which was researched by A.A.Ivanovski in right side of Kondelencay. Clay containers, bronze arms, golden things were found around the skeletons. Those archeological materials are characteristic for Khocali-Gedebey culture.

Baxtiyar Tuncay


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