Oren-Kala

Oren-Kala

 

the remains of a medieval city dating from the fifth through the 13th centuries and located in Azerbaijan in the Mil’skaia Steppe. Oren-Kala is situated 15 km northwest of the settlement of Zhdanovsk. The ruins are on the site of the medieval city of Bailakan, the most important point on the trade route from Transcaucasia (the city of Barda) through Ardebil to the Middle East.

Excavations (1933, 1951, and from 1953) in Oren-Kala suggest that originally, around the late fifth or early sixth century, a rectangular fortress was built. The fortress was surrounded by a 2.5-km adobe wall, which was later faced with fired bricks. In the 11th to 13th centuries, fortifications remained only in the southeastern part of the ancient fortress; the surrounding wall was 1.5 km long. What remains of the crumbled walls is an embankment measuring 8 or 9 m high; ruins of more than 30 towers have been found along its top. Within this later fortification, the remains of lavish dwellings, baths, and other structures have been excavated. Residential and artisans’ quarters were located in other parts, which were not fortified in the 11th to 13th centuries. There is much evidence of local pottery-making.

REFERENCE

“Trudy Azerbaidzhanskoi (Oren-Kalinskoi) arkheologicheskoi ekspeditsii.” In Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, nos. 67, 133. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959–65.
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