Last June the first Azeri-Italian mission in Azerbaijan of the GaRKAP (Ganja Region Kurgan Archaeological Project) started following a scientific collaboration between CAMNES/LdM and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at Baku, ANAS (Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences), in the fields of archeology and restoration of the ancient Azerbaijan heritage.
Under the joint direction of Dr. Nicola Laneri (CAMNES) and Dr. Bakhtiyar Jalilov (ANAS), the project aims at investigating the spread of the tradition of the numerous kurgans (funerary tombs covered with circular tumuli) in the Ganja region (northwestern Azerbaijan) dating back from the 4th to the 1st millennium BCE.
The first season of the project led to the excavation of kurgans of the late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age period located within the Heidar Aliyev Park in Ganja city. Thanks to the support of the Governor of the City (Elmar Veliyev) and the head of the local branch of the Academy of Science (Fuat Aliyev), as well as the Italian Ambassador (Augusto Massari), the Heidar Aliyev Park will hopefully become an archaeological park devoted to the history of the kurgans in Azerbaijan.
In addition to the kurgans around the city of Ganja, the main objects of the archaeological excavations were the Early Bronze Age era kurgans discovered in Garadaghli village of Goranboy region.
The international expedition was formed by representatives of the Italian Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near East Studies, as well as experts from Germany and France on various archaeometric areas.