A book entitled “Azokh Cave and the Transcaucasian Corridor” was published recently, which represents the results of more than one decades’ work carried out in Azokh cave and its scientific significance for the Armenian and international scientific communities.
A journalist from “Artsakhtimes” had an interview with the leader of archeological expedition in Azokh cave: Levon Episkoposyan.
First of all, let us speak about the book “Azokh Cave and the Transcaucasian Corridor”, its role and significance.
The book was published in September 2016 and is the result of about 10-12 years’ hard work. It is necessary to mention that the book was published abroad, by the famous Springer press, well-known to scientists. For a short period of time the book will be disseminated in nearly all the outstanding universities. Universities professing archeology, paleontology certainly buy such books. It turns out, that information about this book begins to circulate all over the world. The second important factor is the content of the book, which includes pure scientific material and is available only for scientific researchers.
Along with this, the scientific material will become a basis for various lectures, articles and so on. The second phase of its dissemination depends on our work. We try to send the book to our colleagues working in Armenian communities. Through them we shall try to inform Armenian communities, for them to spread it in non-professional circles. The Armenian Diaspora’s newspapers will include information about the book, and the review will be published in one of the Armenian academic magazines.
The aim of the book is to show that nowadays, as well as 10-15 years ago, scientific researches are carried out in Artsakh, and they do not yield the international standards. Artsakh is involved in the international scientific field, and people live in peace. Life cannot be one-sided, for example, pure military, or economic, it should have its spiritual, cultural and scientific aspects as well. In spite of all the military, political problems, we should not ignore its scientific aspect.
Although passages from the book have been published earlier, in the form of separate articles, but the book itself in summarized form, with colorful pictures and maps is a novelty. Some passages have been translated into Russian, in order to attract more people interested.
Do you expect new responses from international universities, scientific communities, as well as investments in the field after publishing the book?
The publishment of the book itself, as well as the fact that authorities of Artsakh appreciated the essence of the book and our hard work stimulates to focus the attention not only on Azokh but also on other scientific investigations carried out in Artsakh. Artsakh is famous for its scientists and we should be proud not only of scientists born in Artsakh, but also of those living in Artsakh. One of our objectives is to deepen and strengthen the scientific atmosphere in Artsakh, to make it pleasant and attractive for younger generation. Nowadays younger generation seems to be somewhat passive, but I hope such events will evoke their interest.
What concerns people abroad, it is necessary to mention that we should inform them, generate interest and enlarge the field of our research. We cannot be limited with a single cave, because it does not imply a thorough understanding about the investigated material and the scientific problem.
Azokh is a very rich cave and its cultural stratum is nearly 13 meter deep. It includes 250 years of cultural layer. There are 2-3 monuments like this in our region. You see, how much time do we need to investigate it thoroughly, in case we are able to deepen it 20 cm every year? 65 years are needed to investigate 13 meters, one can say there is plenty material of investigation for 3 generations. With the help of technical and technological development we are able to discover more material.
A number of investigations are carried out in other caves as well. Are they parallel to each other?
We should not to be limited with a single cave, in order to have some idea about the changes in ancient times, about 40, 50, 100 thousand years ago. So we should investigate a number of caves. It is clear that it depends on the existence of our resources, be they human, financial or connected with time. We hope that the work we just started will be carried out by the younger generation and we shall have more aspects to investigate. Artsakh is very rich in such monuments and they are waiting for their turn to be investigated.
Any phenomenon concerning Artsakh or else is politicized. What is your opinion about it?
Of course, we have also faced such unpleasant situations, our neighbors have been trying to prevent from publishing the book, but it was crowned with success. This is a victory, since they used all their possible “weapons”. We took into use our scientific resources and as a result the victory is ours. Their reaction is quite expectable, but the most important is the fact that they are silent today, because the research has been carried out by the best and outstanding scientists, more than 20 European universities have been involved, and we have 10 pithy and extensive articles. This is quite a persuasive argument and in this case they can do nothing.