Image: Sarmatian Kurgan, 4th century BC, Fillipovka, South Urals, Russia. A dig led by Russian Academy of Sciences Archeology Institute Prof. L. Yablonsky excavated this kurgan in 2006. It’s the first kurgan known to have been completely destroyed and then rebuilt to its original appearance. Public domain.
A kurgan (Russian: курга́н) is a tumulus, a type of burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, often of wood. The Russian noun, already attested in Old East Slavic, comes from an unidentified Turkic language. Kurgans are mounds of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. More information: see below*.
Dr Elnur Hasanov, Senior Specialist, Ganja Branch of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences; Archaeology and history of Ganja, Azerbaijan. The name “Ganja” refers to historical tribes who called themselves “Ganzhak.” Ganja city, over 4,000 years old, has changed place four or five times. More than five ancient kurgans; with the help of the Smithsonian, of Japanese professors, and others, we have three international ethnological excavations right now. Ganja is on the Great Silk Way. “Every empire has been here except the empire of the New York Yankees.” Persians moved in during the Eleventh or Twelfth Century. Ganja was long the capital; has changed its fortifications four or five times. Buddhists and Zoroastrians have been here. We have more than twenty Shi’a and Sunni mosques, early Christian temples, a German Protestant church and a Russian church—and the first and only Jewish quarter here, still here.
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