Politics 12:00 13/04/2024 NKR

Monument Watch exposes Azeri lies about Artsakh's ancient culture

The video "Ancient Aghdam Destroyed Nomadic Heritage", produced by the Azerbaijani CBC TV channel, contains several arbitrary statements regarding the ancient culture of Artsakh. These statements distort and falsify the real picture of archaeological heritage research, the Artsakh Monument Watch reported.

Specifically, when discussing the semi-nomadic and nomadic kinds of economic life that existed in Artsakh during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, isolated quotes from the publications of individual archaeologists are included in an attempt to establish a link between this kind of economy and the local Turkic tribes, the "Azerbaijani". This claim lacks scientific validity and is highly misleading. Drawing parallels between modern peoples residing in the Caucasus and ethnic groups from the 2nd-1st millennium BC is inherently flawed and lacks credibility. No reputable scientific publication supports such parallels. During this period, characterized by significant climatic fluctuations, permanent settlement became challenging across Central Asia, the Mediterranean region, Northern Mesopotamia, and other areas. This led to the emergence of nomadic tribes alongside sedentary populations (Fig. 1). Attempting to equate the communities formed as a result of this crisis with the nomadic tribes that appeared in the region during the Middle Ages reflects a misunderstanding of historical and scientific developments.

Another issue lies in the portrayal of stone anthropomorphic monuments (stelae) discovered in the steppes of Artsakh, dating back to the 8th-6th centuries BC. It is not new that Azerbaijani researchers have attempted to "Albanize" all heritage layers within the territory of Artsakh. The first attempt to "Albanize" anthropomorphic stelae was made by the Azerbaijani archaeologist M. Khalilov, dating the monuments to the 4th-7th centuries AD and interpreting their presence in Caucasian Albania as manifestations of idolatry (Khalilov 2004, 104). Likely, these and other researchers who regard these monuments as Albanian may have been influenced by passages from “The History of the Caucasian Albanians “by Movses Daskhurantsi (Kaghankatvatsi). These passages describe the Khazar raids and the appearance of Khazar warriors, portraying them as broad-faced, without eyelashes, and having a feminine appearance (Movses Kaghankatvatsi 1969, 103-104).

"However, as indicated by our research findings (Yeranyan 2021, 248-254; Petrosyan, Yeranyan 2022, 10-15), these monuments are unrelated to the Albanians and other indigenous Caucasian communities. Throughout our studies, we have abstained from any endeavor to link them to Armenian culture," the Monument Watch said.

"Unlike the Azerbaijanis, who relocated a significant portion of the monuments discovered during the Soviet era from their original sites, leading to the current unknown whereabouts of some, Armenian archaeologists refrained from any such actions. Azerbaijanis can verify this by visiting the monuments in the occupied territories.

"We suggest that Azerbaijani researchers refrain from disseminating their semi-literate views so extensively and instead focus more on archaeological research that accurately documents phenomena, rather than making politicized statements in the field," the watchdog added.

Source Panorama.am
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