"Welcome to the Naxçivan Archaeological Project, the first ever joint American-Azerbaijani program of surveys and excavations. Since 2006, Lauren Ristvet (University of Pennsylvania), Hilary Gopnik (Emory University), Dr. Vəli Baxşəliyev (Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Naxçivan), and Emily Hammer (University of Chicago), along with their colleagues and students, have investigated the long-term history of this fascinating region."
The Naxçivan Autonomous Republic is part of Azerbaijan, but is separated geographically from the rest of the country, bordered on the south and west by Iran and Turkey (the Araxes/Aras River marks the boundary) and on the north and east by Armenia. This region is 5,363 km2 (2070 square miles) making it roughly the size of Delaware. Naxçivan's position on the north-eastern frontier of Greater Mesopotamia makes it an ideal place to study the interaction of steppe/nomadic societies, indigenous village societies and external empires (particularly Urartu and Achaemenid Persia). We are also interested in investigating the nature of political complexity in the Caucasus, as an important counterpoint to the better known political trajectories of Mesopotamia, Iran and the Levant.