1/2 The 4,000-yr-old Ganja & ancient kurgans; Persians, Buddhists, Zoroastrians conquered; with Dr Elnur Hasanov, Senior Specialist, Ganja Branch of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences

Sep 30, 2019, 12:05 AM
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*.
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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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* The Kurgan hypothesis (also known as the Kurgan theory or Kurgan model) or steppe theory is the most widely accepted proposal to identify the Proto-Indo-European homeland from which the Indo-European languages spread out throughout Europe, Eurasia and parts of Asia. It postulates that the people of a Kurgan culture in the Pontic steppe north of the Black Sea were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). The term is derived from the Russian kurgan (курга́н), meaning tumulus or burial mound.  
       See also:    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan_hypothesis#/media/File:IE_expansion.png
       Map of Indo-European expansion 4000–1000 BC, according to the Kurgan hypothesis. Even within the Kurgan hypothesis, there is considerable uncertainty, mainly depending on assumptions about the Tocharians, the Corded ware culture, and the Beaker culture. The central purple area is supposed to show early Yamna culture (4000–3500 BC); the dark red area could show expansion to about 2500 BC; and the lighter red area,expansion to about 1000 BC.