|Location||Daş Salahlı village|
|Region||Gazakh rayon, Azerbaijan|
|Periods||Paleolithic and Mesolithic|
Damjili (Azerbaijani: Damcılı mağarası) – is a half-circular shaped cave site (6400-6000 BC) in Azerbaijan, where evidence of prehistoric human presence during the Paleolithic and Mesolithic was discovered.
Traces of ochre were found in a grotto of the cave, lending credence to the idea, that the occupants had a desire to deal with symbolism and aesthetics. The sediment layers, in which the ochre was found are mixed with more tardy ones which suggests that the use ochre dates back to the Mousterian culture
Damjili cave is the biggest cave among Avey Mountain caves. It has an area of 360 km2 (139.0 sq mi). The front side of the cave has been destroyed in the result of floods over years. The height of the cave's rear side is 4 m (13.1 ft).
Name of the Cave
Water of Damjili spring dribbles down from the flinty top of the cave through the natural cracks. Pure and cold falling water drops are accumulating in the dent below and forming a spring. That’s why the spring is called Damjili, literally meanining “with drops”.
Fragments of pottery dated back to the Bronze Age and Middle Ages were discovered from the primary excavations in the cave. The Paleolithic archaeological expedition formed under the History Museum of Academy of Science of Azerbaijan in 1956 conducted fundamental excavations in Damjili cave between 1956 and 1958 under the supervision of M.Huseynov.
In the result of this excavation, around 7000 stone tools and more than 2000 bones of hunting animals were found from different cultural layers of the cave.
In 2015-2017, a group of Azerbaijani and Japanese experts (led by the professor Yoshihiro Nishiaki of Tokyo University) conducted joint excavations in the area. The excavations began in 10 different directions. As a result, artefacts dating back to the Neolithic period, ruins of fireplaces, tools of Middle Paleolithic were discovered at a depth of 4 meters. The materials were investigated in Japanese laboratories.
Pencil-shaped nucleuses, small knife-shaped boards, tiny scrapers, cutting and pointed tools were attributed to Mezolithic, while arrowheads, polished stone object were attributed to the Neolithic period.
Disk shaped nucleuses tools are considered to belong to Neanderthal people 100,000-80,000 years ago settled in Damjili.
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