The Main Results of the Archeological Excavations in Shamkir town in 2013

The Shamkir archeological expedition carried out the archeological researches in the 4th and 5th sites of Shamkir town.
For the further studies of the complex with arches, attached to the town wall, the southern half of the lower level of the 5th site has been extended to the East. As a result of the archeological researches there has been uncovered the continuation of the wall remains, which retreats from the first arc for 12m.

This wall is 2.6m high in the North, while it reduces and makes only 60cm high in the South, where it ends. At a distance of 3.9m to the West from this wall there are the remains of four columns, erected by fired bricks. The distance between them is 2.9–2.95m.

The findings in the 5th site are not many and mainly consist of the fragments of the ceramic vessels, arrowheads, cornelian beads and the fragments of “khachdash”.

The wide archeological researches were carried out in the citadel, in the 4th site. The studies of the fortress walls were continued inside the citadel. As a result of it the north and partly the western walls of the citadel were examined till the foundation. The remains of the walls from the foundation here are 5.8–6m high. The lower 90cm highrows were built by the local big white stones. It is followed by a polychromic combined setting of river pebbles, fired bricks and white stones. It should be noted that the connection of the northern and western walls, i.e. the north-western corner of the citadel was erected by the blocks of white stone.

Significant results have been achieved while studies of the monumental buildings. There were detected the remains of the western wall of this construction, the western half of the southern wall was uncovered, the studies of the partition wall remains, situated in the yard of this building, were continued, room N7 was cleared up. The partition wall is 18.9m long, while the wall remains are 3.4m high. It ends in the South with an arc hole, which is 3.53m wide. In the area of the arch hole there was a heavy layer of cinder, ash and coal, which indicated a heavy fire in the beginning11th century.

The central tower of the southern wall of the monumental building is partly situated under the foundation of the 19th century building. Only the stone setting of the tower has been preserved. Generally, comparing with the other walls of the monumental building, the mud-brick setting of the southern wall is badly damaged. The mud-brick setting of the western wall of the monumental building was also badly damaged in the 19th century. Thus, there is a 1.1m deep and 1.15–1.25m diameter hole in the mud-brick setting of the western wall in the square 14J. The analogical hole was also found in the connection of the squares 8J and 7J, the diameter of which is 1.8m. There was found a 19th century fired-brick fireplace in the remaining of the mud-brick setting in the square 12J.

The results of the studies of room N7 of the monumental building, which had a rectangular shape with sizes 5.85x4.22m, deserve attention. The doorway of that room is situated in the eastern part of the northern wall. The curvature of the room walls allows assuming that the ceilings were vaulted. In the north-eastern corner of the room there were found and studied five domestic kyups, two of them were entire, the others were with cracks and in fragments.

In the lower construction horizon of the medieval cultural layer there were studied the construction remains with tandirs. In this construction horizon alongside with 22x22x5cm, 23x23x5.5cm, 24x24x6cm fired bricks there are also 45x45x7cm, 45.5x446x7cm, 45x45x6cm fired bricks, which is specific for early Middle Ages.

The 11th–12th centuries archeological complex, situated in the north-western sector of the 4th site, where was found a narrow street lying from the South to the North deserves a great interest. The fired brick construction remains are along the street. The wall, which lies from the South to the North and joins with the citadel wall, is noteworthy. Its thickness is 1.3–1.4m. In the North for a distance of 4.4m it thickens for 2m. A 1.3m thick river pebble wall joins it in the square 12R.
Right in this complex there were found the remains of 98x98cm columns between the squares 14R and 15R. It was set by fired bricks. Three setting rows were preserved.

The remains of the 11th–12th centuries room, situated in the squares 10M and 10N. The lower half – the basement of that room was erected by the river pebble in the lime solution for 2m high. The upper, the ground half of the room was erected by the combined settings, which is specific for the Arran architecture school.

To the West from the western wall of the monumental building in the squares 12Q and 12K there were found the remains of 11th–12th centuries tandirkhana, which consisted of five tandirs. One of them is small, while the others are large for baking bread.

The remains of 3m wide staircase, constructed by the fired bricks in lime solution, are of great interest. The lower rows of the staircase have been preserved better than the upper ones. This staircase is dated 12th century.

In the upper construction horizon of the medieval cultural layer there have been researched the remains of the quadrangular construction, situated in the north-western sector of the citadel. The western and northern walls of this construction are the similar ones of the citadel. The foundation of the eastern and southern walls of this construction was set by the river pebble. The walls were erected by the fired bricks and the river pebble as well. The walls are 60cm thick. The eastern wall is 18.5m long, while the southern one is 17.5m long. The western half of the southern wall, the remains of which are 1.6m high, has been relatively well-preserved. The mud-brick setting here has been strengthened by the belts of fired bricks. There was a fired brick doorway in the centre of the southern wall. The wall was badly destroyed to the East from the doorway.
The 2013 archeological excavations gave significant facts on handicraft production. Thus, in the 4th site there were discovered the remains of the 9th century potter horn, where unglazed ceramic was made according to the manufacture remains. Interesting facts have been gained for the studies of jewelry. The melting pot and the little bronze vessel for the overflowing liquid copper and gold are of this sort.

The site findings represent glazed and unglazed ceramic vessels, construction ceramics, samples of tools and weapons, iron things for everyday life, various stone and bone manufacture, glass vessel patterns, decorations and coins. A spearhead should be noted among the weapons. The “minai” type of delftware fragments, the polychromic glazed bowls with descriptive art, thin-walled glass vessel with a handle deserve attention.

The conservation operations were carried out in the citadel southern and eastern walls, in the counter-force of the citadel western wall, in the central tower of the monumental building eastern wall.