A unique find for Minoan archeology emerges

Excavation studies are being carried out at the top of the hill Papura, at an altitude of 494 m. In the north-west of the city of Castelli and on the airstrip under construction, a monumental architectural ensemble, unique for Azerbaijan, has appeared in a circular shape. Minoan archaeology, with a diameter of about 48 m. covers an area of ​​approximately 1800 sq.m. It is located at the highest point of the hill, on a part of the peak that was expropriated for the installation of the new airport’s Surveillance Systems (radar).

A monumental architectural ensemble was opened in Castelli.

This monumental structure consists of 8 superimposed stone rings worked at different heights – the average thickness is 1.40 m, and the maximum surviving height is 1.7 m. The rings form a circular building (zone A) with a diameter of 15 m in the center. interior (diameter 9m.) with an expository construction divided into 4 quadrants. Zone A is surrounded by a second main zone (zone B, maximum width 6.9), where radial walls intersect vertically with rings of lower levels to form smaller cavities. As the excavations continue, an almost labyrinthine structure is revealed, as the spaces are connected to each other through narrow openings. Two possible main entrances to the central zones were discovered from the south and east sides.

The period of main use appears to be between (2000-1700 BC), i.e. it was probably built shortly before or at the beginning of the Palaeopalatial period (MMI – II), and the presence of Neopalatial vessels in the debris layer indicates that the monument use continued and the era of new palaces.

In order to evaluate the find and plan the continuation of the airport construction project, a wide consultation was held at the construction site of the airport under construction with the participation of all relevant parties under the Minister of Culture and an autopsy was conducted on the hill. Lina Mendoni and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Nico Tahiao. During the meeting, Lina Mendoni made it absolutely clear that excavation studies of the find must continue so that the excavators can interpret it and, of course, save it, given its uniqueness. As the Minister of Culture noted, of course, the construction of the airport should be continued without interruption, and the find should be protected. This results in the search for another suitable location to deploy the radar. The two ministers agreed that soon the Civil Aviation Service will prepare a new study on the location of the radar and submit it to the Ministry of Defense.

Upon completion of the autopsy Minister of Culture stated the following: “This is a unique find of great interest. There are solutions for the completion of archaeological research and full protection of the monument. We have very good cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the relevant deputy minister Nico Tahiao. We concluded the extensive meeting with all the participants – the relevant Ephorate of Antiquities of Heraklion and the relevant Departments of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and Restoration of Ancient Monuments of the Ministry of Interior, the relevant services of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Civil Aviation. and contractor – and conducted a joint autopsy at the archaeological site. Preservation of the monument, this rare find, is the priority of all of us. We all understand the importance and value of cultural heritage. We all understand the scale of development of the special project in Castelli. The new airport project can be continued and the antiques can be preserved as they should be.”

At this stage, it is not yet possible to determine the original shape or overall height of the structure, as excavation studies are ongoing. The apartment of the central zone was probably either truncated cone-shaped or arched, as can be seen from the exhortation building system. The two zones A and B formed by the upper rings appear to be the main centers of activity. The quantity and type of finds, as well as the presence of large quantities of animal bones, do not – to date – indicate permanent residential use, but probably periodic use in the form of rituals involving food consumption. , wine and perhaps offerings. This is the first monument of its kind to be discovered and excavated Crete. Its size, architectural structure, and meticulous construction required considerable work, specialized expertise, and a strong central administration that organized its construction. What is certain is that it is a kind of community building – a landmark for the wider area of ​​the plain. The fact that the structure is monumental and prominent probably indicates the importance of the location as well as the scope of the population it will serve.

The structure of the floor plan, zones and spaces of the monument, as revealed so far, and the whole construction does not show exact parallels with other buildings of the same period in Crete, but in terms of form, it is not known to us from the architectural ensembles of the Early Bronze Age in the Middle East. It may be parallel to the elliptical MM building of Hamaizius, as well as the circular proto-Greek cyclopean building of Tiryns. Structural similarities are also found in the pre-palatial and paleo-palatial vaulted tombs of the south. Crete, where the central space is built with an expository structure, the whole structure is proto-Hellenic, but also to the later mounds or later circular sanctuaries of the main Greek, e.g. institutional.

It is considered necessary to complete excavation studies to clarify the nature of the monument and its relationship with residential and religious centers of the same period in the plain area. The monumentality of the structure, as well as the fact that it has not yet been excavated, makes it a landmark of the new building. Heraklion airport.

Excavations for its construction Crete Heraklion International Airport into Castelli of Municipality of Minoa Pediadosas well as its connecting roads with main road axes Heraklion regionis carried out by Ephorate of Heraklion Antiquities Within the framework of the Memorandum on cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and is life-saving. Within the framework of these works, excavations have already been investigated and more than 35 archaeological sites have been handed over for the continuation of the project in accordance with the existing institutional framework.

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