Perched atop a 50 ha, 300 meter tall hill called Karatepe, Oğlanqala is probably the largest Iron Age fortress in Naxçıvan, Azerbaijan, and one of the largest in the South Caucasus. The site is located in a position to control the fertile Şərur plain, the most agriculturally productive area in Naxçıvan, and the Arpaçay pass into the Lesser Caucasus. Excavations at Oğlanqala in 1988–1989 by Vəli Baxşəliyev of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, uncovered tantalizing evidence that the site was an important political center during the Iron Age (about 800 BCE to 50 AD). Five years of further survey and excavation from 2008–2013 by a team from the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, the University of Pennsylvania, and Emory University, provided important details about the history of this unique site that indicated that Oğlanqala was probably an independent polity in the middle Iron Age with economic and cultural connections to the neighboring powerful empire of Urartu, the location of an enigmatic monumental unfinished palace at the end or just after the fall of the Achaemenid empire, and a small town in the last centuries BCE.
Funding for survey and excavations at Oğlanqala has been provided by NSF Grant #0836388 and by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
For more information about the site of Oğlanqala go to: http://www.oglanqala.net/