The Burial Mounds on Apsheron Peninsula

The territory of Apsheron is an area rich with historic and prehistoric archaeological sites. The traces of ancient civilisations, which lived here, are still unsolved mystery. One of them is a field of burial mounds discovered recently not far from Turkan settlement near Baku. A few years ago an amateur archeologist Abbas Islamov found a mound on the steppe area. The mound was surrounded with boulder stands out from the grass. It was decided to start an archeological dig here.

In September 2004 group of enthusiasts lead by professional archeologist from Azerbaijan Academy of Science Idris Aliyev started excavations. On the photo Abbas Islamov (right) and Ron Gallaher dig the top of the mound.

As a result of excavation in the center of the hill two big blocks have been found out. Each of them is about 2 meters in length and have anthropomorphic forms (resembling a human being). On one of figures the head and a breast can be recognased. On a surface of stones notches are put. At a head of each of figures the vertical stone has been established. Both figures are focused on the West.

Works on clearing the mound have proceeded. An active stone quarry locates in 50 meters from excavation. Therefore there is a real threat of destruction of the mound.

Parts of a ceramic vessel have been found out near the southern edge of a barrow. On a photo archeologist Idris Aliev surveys a find. On the conclusion of the archeologist the ceramics is dated a bronze age.

After clearing the ground around the central figures a cromlech has appeared - an ideal circle in diameter of 9 meters, laid out of the squared and thoroughly adjusted stones.


By the way, it is I (Faig Nasibov) on a photo. Besides photo camera I also actively worked with a shovel.

For the third day of excavation one more cromlech has been appeared adjoining to the big circle. Diameter of this stone circle is about 4 meters.

At last the most part of the hill has dig out. The mound represents two stone circles, laid out as "8". There is one more cromlech inside the big circle. 2 anthropomorphic stone blocks are located in the centre of the mound. On a tentative estimation the design of the mound is similar with Maikop burial mounds and is dated 2-3 millennia BC. The excavation has been proceeding.


Plan of the mound based on the excavation and created by me.


The given barrow is not unique in the given territory. There are about 7-8 barrows available in the district.

Photos of the burial mound are published for the first time (Faig Nasibov, 2005).