Albanian Period

Chaparli Albanian church (4th-5th centuries). An archaeological complex from the classical period and Early Middle Ages (Ref. 1, pp. 196-206) was studied near the village of Chaparli in Shamkir District in 2005, in connection with the laying of the South Caucasus gas pipeline. The archaeological excavations revealed an Albanian Christian temple and a Christian burial site. Two buildings were found one on top of the other in square 6 of the excavations. Although the building found in the upper layer was badly damaged, it could be assumed to have been rectangular. The walls running east to west are 40-50 cm thick and a length of 2.5 m has been preserved, and another wall joins it on the eastern side creating a corner. These remains of buildings made of river stone are thought to date to the 10th and 11th centuries.

The remains of a rectangular building made from limestone, 25 sq.m in area, were found beneath this building. A portal 1.3 m wide was found in the eastern wall. The walls were 1.5 m thick and 1.6 m in the door section.
Archaeological excavations determined the area in which limestone was prepared during the construction process. An area for hewing, dressing and polishing the limestone was found in excavation squares 7 and 8. A stone slab decorated with a cross, found inside the building during the excavations, and Christian graves beneath and around the temple confirm that the remains are the ruins of an Albanian Christian temple of the 4th and 5th centuries. West of the temple, in the cultural layer’s lower construction stratum, a forge from the late classical period was found. In plan view the forge is oval. It had a two-tier construction.

Early Christian graves and two pitcher graves were studied during excavations at the site. Mainly, single burials were recorded. Only in square 3 was a collective grave found – a burial pit had been dug out in the shape of a cross and a body was buried in each part of the cross.

Grave goods were found in just one of the graves studied. Beads and bronze ornaments were found in a child’s grave.

1. Ashurov S.N: Çaparlı son antik – ilk orta əsr abidəsi (Chaparli – Late Classic to Early Middle Ages). Şəmkir: arxeoloji irsi, tarixi və memarlığı. Birinci respublika elmi-praktik konfransının materialları (Shamkir: Archaeological Heritage, History and Architecture. Material from the first republican academic conference), Baku, 2008