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Muslim necropolis of VIII-IX centuries found in Derbent

24 April 2017 21:24 Posted in:  SOCIETY
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Makhachkala, April 24, 2017. A Muslim cemetery of the VIII-IX centuries has been found in southern Dagestan city of Derbent. The necropolis has been revealed on the construction site of the museum-exposition and an office building, Arsen Budaychiev, a junior researcher at the Department of Excavations of the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of Dagestan Scientific Center RAS said.

The cemetery was found in the lower part of the city behind the northern defensive stone wall of the 6th century AD, that is, outside the historical city (shahristan). In the Middle Ages these territories were not habited. At the same time, the archaeologists found powerful strata up to 2.3 m thick of superficial natural character, which contains the fragments of ceramics, glass vessels and bricks. This indicates the active use of the territory by townspeople for agricultural purpose.

In the cultural layer there are also metal products, copper coins, ornaments (fragments of glass bracelets), which are mostly dated by VIII – the beginning of the XIII century.
In the cultural layer of pre-Mongolian time, late Muslim burials in stone boxes were discovered, which are difficult to date.

Another Muslim necropolis was found in the pre-Matter layer. The burials were made in ground pits, pier graves made in the mainland. According to stratigraphic observations, the cemetery was in operation at the final stage of accumulation of the lower pre-matter layer (layer 4), dating back to the 8th century. Over the burials themselves there were alluvial layers with the inclusion of finds related to the pre-Mongol period (IX - the beginning of the XIII century). Thus, the newly discovered burial ground can be dated by VIII - the beginning of the IX century. Then it refers to the Arab period of the history of Derbent and to the first stage of the spread of Islam.

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