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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography: Georgians falsified facts during restoration at Keshikchidagh monastery complex

Baku. Farid Mirzayev - APA. "Archaeological research we’ve conducted in the area where the Keshikchidagh monastery complex (David Gareji) is situated shows that the caves located there were actually temples of fire worshipers. After the Caucasian Albania’s conversion to Christianity, churches were built in those same impassable places during the reign of Albanian King Vache II, the department head at the ANAS Institute of Archeology and Ethnography and doctor of historical sciences, Arif Mammadov, who is leading archeological research at the Keshikchidagh monastery complex, told APA.

"Georgian elements in the Keshikchidagh monastery complex began to emerge in 1836"

He said Georgian elements in the Keshikchidagh monastery complex began to emerge in 1836.

 

“In 705, the Arab Caliphate ordered the closure of Albanian churches. But they still were open until the Synod in Petersburg decided to close them in 1836. At the time, there was little interest in churches because Islam had been deeply established in Azerbaijan. So there began to manifest Georgian elements in churches located in Georgia. There are descriptions inside some of the 72 caves in the area of the Keshikchidagh monastery complex. The castle-churches up there have nothing to do with Georgians. A photograph shot by Georgian historian Muskhelishvili in 1948 shows quite a different view of today’s Keshikchidagh monastery complex. Temples in Georgian territory have gone through extensive restoration and even those located in Azerbaijani territory have been restored by Georgians. It seems they have done some falsification too during the restoration,” said Arif Mammadov.

 

"Temples located in Azerbaijani territory have been restored by Georgians. It seems they have done some falsification too during the restoration"

The department head added that today the monastery complex is located at the Azerbaijan-Georgia border but in fact, considering the Caucasian Albania used to cover far larger areas than modern-day Azerbaijani territory, those caves should have been located at the heart of the Caucasian Albania, far from the modern border.

 

“Some of those caves in the same form are located in the Republic of Georgia, at a distance of 10-12km from the border. I and Imash Hajiyev study the descriptions in those temples. Archeological research in that area discovered that at the foot of the area where the monastery complex is located there are barrows dating back to the Late Bronze and Early Iron ages,” said the historian.

 

He also noted that materials found during excavation prove that early human settlements in that area may have begun at least the late second millennium B.C. and the first millennium B.C.

 

“Human settlements emerged there during the Iron Age and lasted until the late Middle Ages,” he said.

 

The historian stressed that there is a need for new archeological work at the Keshikchidagh monastery complex. 

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