Pottery Kilns and Workshops in the Bronze Age Settlements of the Nakhchivan RegionToğrul Halilov
Pottery is one of the ancient handicrafts of Nakhchivan. Many archaeological materials were obtained from the Bronze Age monuments of Nakhchivan regarding this handicraft. Among them, pottery workshops and pottery spheres have a peculiar place. Although these archaeological data have been mentioned separately in some research papers and reports, they have not been studied extensively. For this reason, it was necessary to conduct a detailed study of pottery workshops and furnaces located in Nakhchivan. As a result of the study, it was determined that pottery developed in the Bronze Age, and the settlements of Kultepe I and Kultepe II were some of the important pottery centers of Nakhchivan. The presence of clay containers with traces of oil on the top and edge in the workshop and around the furnaces, as well as burnt charred animal bones, indicates that animal bones, as well as wood, were used in these furnaces. Stone and bone tools around the kiln were used to make and decorate pots and other ceramic products. Potters made painted vessels as well as simple vessels. The widespread use of containers decorated with paint since the Middle Bronze Age proves that Nakhchivan is one of the important centers of the “Culture of Painted Containers”. In this study, information was given about the pottery kilns unearthed in the archaeological excavations in Kultepe I and Kultepe II settlements in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, and evaluations were made about the development of pottery in the region during the Bronze Age.
Nahçıvan Bölgesinin Tunç Çağı Yerleşimlerinde Bulunan Çömlekçi Fırınları ve AtölyeleriToğrul Halilov
Çömlekçilik, Nahçıvan’ın en eski sanat dallarından biri olarak kabul edilmektedir. Nahçıvan bölgesinin Tunç Çağı yerleşim yerlerinde bu sanat dalıyla bağlantılı çok sayıda arkeolojik veri bulunmaktadır. Bu tür arkeolojik veriler içerisinde yer alan çömlek atölyelerinin ve fırın kalıntılarının bilimsel önemi vardır. Bu arkeolojik veriler hakkında ayrı ayrı kaynaklarda ve arkeolojik kazı raporlarında bilgiler verilmiş olsa da kapsamlı bir biçimde incelenmemiştir. Bu nedenle Nahçıvan’da bulunan çömlek atölyeleri ve fırınlar ile ilgili detaylı bir çalışma yapılmasına ihtiyaç duyulmuştur. Çalışma sonucunda çömlekçiliğin Tunç Çağı’nda geliştiği, Kültepe I ve Kültepe II yerleşim yerlerinin Nahçıvan’ın önemli çömlekçilik merkezlerinden olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Atölyede ve fırınların çevresinde, yanarak kömürleşmiş hayvan kemikleri yanında üzerinde ve kenarında yağ izi olan kil kapların bulunması, bu fırınlarda odunun yanı sıra hayvan kemiklerinin de kullanıldığını göstermektedir. Fırının çevresindeki taş ve kemik aletler ise kapların ve diğer seramik objelerin yapımında ve süslemesinde kullanılmıştır. Çömlekçiler basit kapların yanı sıra boyalı kaplar da yapmışlardır. Orta Tunç Çağı’ndan itibaren boya ile süslenmiş kapların yaygın olması, Nahçıvan`ın “Boyalı Kaplar Kültürü”nün önemli merkezlerinden biri olduğunu kanıtlamaktadır. Bu çalışmada Nahçıvan Özerk Cumhuriyeti içerisinde bulunan Kültepe I ve Kültepe II yerleşim yerlerinde yapılan arkeolojik kazılarda ortaya çıkarılan çömlekçi fırınları hakkında bilgi verilmiş ve Tunç Çağı’nda bölgede çömlekçiliğin gelişimine dair değerlendirmeler yapılmıştır.
The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic has an ancient and rich history. There are many archaeological monuments in the territory of the autonomous republic. A lot of archaeological material has been found in these monuments. Each of them has a special place in the study of our history, material, and spiritual culture. A group of such archaeological materials consists of pottery kiln and workshops found in the Bronze Age monuments of Nakhchivan. We decided to research these because they have not been studied thoroughly before. During the research, pottery kilns and workshops found in the Bronze Age monuments of the Nakhchivan region were catalogued using reports and library materials, their period, scientific significance for Azerbaijani archaeology and other issues were determined. During the research, it was determined that a pottery kiln was found in the Bronze Age archaeological monuments in the Nakhchivan region from the monuments of Kultepe I, Kultepe II, Chalkhangala, Shortepa. Pottery kilns belonging to the Early Bronze Age were dated back to the Kultepe I settlements, and pottery kilns belonging to the Early and Middle Bronze Age were dated back to the Kultepe II settlement.
Kultepe I settlement is 10 km far from the city center of Nakhchivan. It is located within the borders of Kultepe village of Babek district in the northeast. In 1951 under the leadership O. H. Habibullayev, the archaeological expedition of the History Institute of Azerbaijan A.S. began to research Kultepe I. During 1951-1964 investigations four cultural layers about different ages were discovered. The total thickness of the cultural layers is 22,2 m. The Early Bronze Age layer overlying the Chalcolithic Age layer is 8.5-9 m thick. The Middle and Late Bronze Age layer overlying the Early Bronze Age layer is 2 m thick. The Early Iron Age layer overlying the Middle and Late Bronze Age layer is 1.5-2 m thick. Different material and cultural examples from of Kura-Aras culture were discovered from this layer. They mainly were built round but sometimes square. They were constructed on a stone basement of mortar or air bricks. During O. H. Habibullayev’s investigations, it was determined that the roundshaped buildings were covered with coniclike, but square-shaped buildings with flat cover. The third stage of Kultepe I belongs to the Middle and Late Bronze Age. Very few construction remnants about this period were discovered. For O. H. Habibullayev they are mainly square and stones, air bricks were used as construction materials. During archaeological investigations, different tools prepared from stone, bone and bronze were discovered from this layer. The clay product discovered from this layer was pink. They were sometimes in grey and black colour and burnt perfectly. Most of the painted dishes are pink.
Kultepe II settlement is 10 km away from the northeast of Nakhchivan while it is 5 km away from the north of the Kultepe I settlement. The western part of the settlement, which spreads over a very large area (3 hectares), has been largely destroyed because of the changed bed of the Cehri Stream. Early, Middle and Late Bronze Age cultural layers in the area were unearthed in the archaeological excavations conducted by Osman Habibullayev and Veli Aliyev between 1968-1988. The Early Bronze Age layer is 5.5 m, the Middle Bronze Age layer is 4.5 m thick. There are six excavation sites in Kultepe II but only in second excavation site, the investigation had been continued till the virgin land bed. As a result of investigations, three cultural layers were discovered. The first layer is about the early Bronze Age, and it is characteristic of the material-cultural examples belonging to Kura-Aras culture. During investigations 14 construction layers were discovered in the area. The lower construction layers were round formed, but the upper layers were round-shaped and square buildings are characteristic of the Bronze Age of Kultepe II. A hole of a stone for a central column holding a conically shaped cover inside one round formed building was discovered. Firstly, mortar and then air bricks were used in the construction of these buildings. Second layer of Kultepe II settlement belongs to the Middle Bronze Age. As a result of investigations, four construction layers were discovered. The discoveries from this layer are characteristic of the old city culture. Investigations show that the settlement around of which was enforced had appeared in Kultepe II at the end of III millennium B.C. Along with a pottery kiln, a potter’s workshop of the Middle Bronze Age was also registered at the Kultepe II settlement. Two pottery kilns of the Early Bronze Age were recorded at the Kultepe I settlement. Pottery kilns were found on the third and fifth floors of the building. Remains of pottery kilns were also dated back to the seventh and eleventh construction floors of the Early Bronze Age Kultepe II settlement. Remains of pottery kilns and workshops were found on the second and fourth floors of the Kultepe II settlement of the Middle Bronze Age. The kiln belongs to the group of the “White Sea” type kiln considering their shape and characteristics. The kiln registered in the monuments of Kultepe I and Kultepe II, the workshop complex found in Kultepe II, the jars filled with paint, all painted pottery, many simple and painted pottery prove that these settlements were one of the main pottery centers of Nakhchivan in the Bronze Age. The accumulation of large quantities of painted pottery and a thick layer of coal around the kiln and the workshop was due to the mass production there. The discovery of charred animal bones in the workshop and around the kiln, as well as clay pots with traces of fat on and around them, also proved that animal bones and other fuels were burned in the kiln along with firewood. The stone and bone tools around the kiln were used to make pottery and other ceramic products.