Catherine Marro (CNRS, Laboratoire Archéorient, UMR 5133)
Veli Bakhshaliyev (Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences)
How Eveha Participates
In 2016, excavations on the Duzdagi salt dome concentrated on the areas where we had previously worked in 2015: area M1, where we have focused most of our work since the beginning of our research, but also area M14, which we had just begun to examine last year.
In M1, we continued to excavate structures dating from the Kuro-Araxes period, while in M14, we opened a long and deep trench in a hillock bordering the platforms to the north which were used as pitheads. During the previous season, only a few preliminary sondages were opened in this area. These revealed small hearths, probably related to the logistical needs of the miners or shepherds. The radiocarbon dating carried out on these hearths show that they are relatively recent (Iron Age, between the 4th century BC and the 4th century AD). The trench opened in 2016 in M14 is approximately 20m long and a maximum of 7m deep. It revealed a stratification which attested the region’s recent climatic history, with some layers representing wet periods, and others showing dry periods. In the middle of this stratigraphic sequence, a number of hearths suggest a recurring human presence, although no settlement of the site has truly been identified. All of the pottery remains associated with these hearths or found in colluvial deposits appear to date from the Iron Age.
Outside area M1, located in salt level 2 (SL2), the remains of salt extraction from the Kuro-Araxes period are still difficult to understand. They are largely obscured by the thickness of the colluvial layer which, in salt level 3 (SL3), where area 1 is located, reaches several tens of metres in places.