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The Trialeti culture, also known as the Trialeti-Vanadzor [Kirovakan] culture, is named after the Trialeti region of Georgia and the city of Vanadzor, Armenia. It is attributed to the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BC.Trialeti culture emerged in the areas of the preceding Kura-Araxes culture. Scholars speculate that it was an Indo-European culture.
Trialeti is a mountainous area in central Georgia. In Georgian, its name means "a place of wandering". The Trialeti Range is a part of the greater Trialeti Region.
Georgia, known until 1995 as the Republic of Georgia, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary parliamentary republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.
Vanadzor, is an urban municipal community and the third-largest city in Armenia serving as the capital of Lori Province in the northern part of the country. It is located about 128 kilometres north of the capital Yerevan. As of the 2011 census, the city had a population of 86,199, down from 148,876 reported at the 1979 official census. Currently, the town has an approximate population of 82,200 as per the 2016 official estimate. Vanadzor is the seat of the Diocese of Gougark of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
It is not to be confused with the Mesolithic Trialetian culture.
In Old World archaeology, Mesolithic is the period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The term Epipaleolithic is often used synonymously, especially for outside northern Europe, and for the corresponding period in the Levant and Caucasus. The Mesolithic has different time spans in different parts of Eurasia. It refers to the final period of hunter-gatherer cultures in Europe and Western Asia, between the end of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic Revolution. In Europe it spans roughly 15,000 to 5,000 BP; in Southwest Asia roughly 20,000 to 8,000 BP. The term is less used of areas further east, and not at all beyond Eurasia and North Africa.
Trialetian is the name for an Upper Paleolithic-Epipaleolithic stone tool industry from the area south of the Caucasus Mountains and to the northern Zagros Mountains. It is tentatively dated to the period between 16,000 / 13,000 BP and 8,000 BP.
The earliest Shulaveri-Shomu culture existed in the area from 6000 to 4000 BC.The Kura-Araxes culture followed after.
Shulaveri-Shomu culture is a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture that existed on the territory of present-day Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, as well as small parts of northern Iran. The culture is dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC and is thought to be one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures.
The flourishing stage of the Trialeti culture began near the end of the third millennium BC.
During the final phase of the Middle Bronze Age (c.1700–1500 BC), in addition to the Trialeti-Vanadzor period culture, three other geographically overlapping material culture horizons predominate in the South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) and eastern Anatolia: Karmir-Berd (a.k.a. Tazakend), Karmir-Vank (a.k.a. Kizil Vank, Van-Urmia), and Sevan-Uzerlik (a.k.a. Sevan-Artsakh).
Black-burnished and monochrome painted wares vessels from the cemeteries of Ani, and Küçük Çatma (Maly Pergit), both in the Kars Province of Turkey, and tr:Sos Höyük IV in Erzurum Province resemble those of Trialeti.
Ani is a ruined medieval Armenian city now situated in Turkey's province of Kars, next to the closed border with Armenia.
Kars Province is a province of Turkey, located in the northeastern part of the country. It shares part of its closed border with the Republic of Armenia. The provincial capital is the city of Kars. The provinces of Ardahan and Iğdır were until the 1990s part of Kars Province.
Erzurum Province is a province of Turkey in the Eastern Anatolia Region of the country. It is bordered by the provinces of Kars and Ağrı to the east, Muş and Bingöl to the south, Erzincan and Bayburt to the west, Rize and Artvin to the north and Ardahan to the northeast.
At that time, there was already strong social differentiation indicated by rich mound burials. There are parallels to the Early Kurgan culture. Cremation was practised. Painted pottery was introduced. Tin-based bronze became predominant. Geographical interconnectedness and links with other areas of the Near East are seen in many aspects of the culture. For example, a cauldron found in Trialeti is nearly identical to the one from Shaft Grave 4 of Mycenae in Greece.
The Trialeti culture shows ties with the highly developed cultures of the ancient world, particularly with the Aegean,but also with cultures to the south and east.
Trialeti-Vanadzor painted monochrome and polychrome pottery is very similar to that in the other areas of the Near East. In particular, similar ceramics are known as Urmia ware (named after Lake Urmia in Iran). Also, similar pottery was produced by the Uzarlik culture, and the Karmirberd-Sevan culture.
The site at Trialeti was originally excavated in 1936–1940 in advance of a hydroelectric scheme, when forty-six barrows were uncovered. A further six barrows were uncovered in 1959–1962.
Martqopi kurgans are somewhat similar, and are contemporary to the earliest among the Trialeti kurgans. Together, they represent the early stage of the Early Kurgan culture of Central Transcaucasia.
This Early Kurgan period, known as Martkopi-Bedeni, has been interpreted as a transitional phase and the first stage of the Middle Bronze Age.
The Trialeti culture was known for its particular form of burial. The elite were interred in large, very rich burials under earth and stone mounds, which sometimes contained four-wheeled carts. Also there were many gold objects found in the graves.These gold objects were similar to those found in Iran and Iraq. They also worked tin and arsenic. This form of burial in a tumulus or "kurgan", along with wheeled vehicles, is the same as that of the Kurgan culture which has been associated with the speakers of Proto-Indo-European. In fact, the black burnished pottery of especially early Trialeti kurgans is similar to Kura-Araxes pottery. In a historical context, their impressive accumulation of wealth in burial kurgans, like that of other associated and nearby cultures with similar burial practices, is particularly noteworthy. This practice was probably a result of influence from the older civilizations to the south in the Fertile Crescent.
The Trialeti pottery style is believed to have developed into the Late Bronze Age Transcaucasian ceramic ware found throughout much of what is now eastern Turkey. This pottery has been connected to the expansion of the Mushki.
A kurgan is a tumulus, a type of burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, often of wood. The Russian noun, already attested in Old East Slavic, comes from an unidentified Turkic language, compare Modern Turkish kurğan, which means "fortress". Kurgans are mounds of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Popularised by its use in Soviet archaeology, the word is now widely used for tumuli in the context of Eastern European and Central Asian archaeology.
The Kura–Araxes culture or the early trans-Caucasian culture was a civilization that existed from about 4000 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end; in some locations it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; it spread northward in Caucasus by 3000 BC.).
The Maykop culture, c. 3700 BC–3000 BC, was a major Bronze Age archaeological culture in the western Caucasus region.
The Mushki were an Iron Age people of Anatolia who appear in sources from Assyria but not from the Hittites. Several authors have connected them with the Moschoi (Μόσχοι) of Greek sources and the Georgian tribe of the Meskhi. Josephus Flavius identified the Moschoi with the Biblical Meshech. Two different groups are called Muški in Assyrian sources, one from the 12th to the 9th centuries BCE near the confluence of the Arsanias and the Euphrates and the other from the 8th to the 7th centuries BCE in Cappadocia and Cilicia. Earlier Assyrian sources clearly identify the Western Mushki with the Phrygians, but later Greek sources then distinguish between the Phrygians and the Moschoi.
Godin Tepe is an archaeological site in western Iran, situated in the valley of Kangavar in Kermanshah Province. Discovered in 1961, the site was excavated from 1965 to 1973 by a Canadian expedition headed by T. Cuyler Young Jr. and sponsored by the Royal Ontario Museum. The importance of the site may have been due to its role as a trading outpost in the early Mesopotamian trade networks.
The prehistory of Georgia is the period between the first human habitation of the territory of modern-day nation of Georgia and the time when Assyrian and Urartian, and more firmly, the Classical accounts, brought the proto-Georgian tribes into the scope of recorded history.
The modern territory of Armenia has been settled by human groups from the Lower Paleolithic to modern days. The first human traces are supported by the presence of Acheulean tools, generally close to the obsidian outcrops more than 1 million years ago. Middle and Upper Paleolithic settlements have also been identified such as at the Hovk 1 cave and the Trialetian culture. The sites of Aknashen and Aratashen in the Ararat plain region are believed to date to the Neolithic period. The Shulaveri-Shomu culture of the central Transcaucasus region is one of the earliest known prehistoric cultures in the area, carbon-dated to roughly 6000 - 4000 BC. The Shulaveri-Shomu culture in the area was succeeded by the Bronze Age Kura-Araxes culture, dated to the period of ca. 3400 - 2000 BC. The Kura-Araxes culture was then later succeeded by the Trialeti culture.
Aratashen is a town in the Armavir Province of Armenia. It is located on the Ararat plain.
The Caucasus region, on the gateway between Southwest Asia, Europe and Central Asia, plays a pivotal role in the peopling of Eurasia, possibly as early as during the Homo erectus expansion to Eurasia, in the Upper Paleolithic peopling of Europe, and again in the re-peopling Mesolithic Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum, and in the expansion associated with the Neolithic Revolution.
Agarak is a village in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. It is located on Amberd River. The modern settlement was founded in 1919 by emigrants from Van and Bitlis.
Kültəpə is a settlement dated from the Neolithic Age, a village and municipality in the Babek Rayon of Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. It has a population of 1,859.
Hadishahr is a city in the Central District of Jolfa County, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 27,842, in 7,552 families.
The Shengavit Settlement is an archaeological site in present-day Yerevan, Armenia located on a hill south-east of Yerevan Lake. It was inhabited during a series of settlement phases from approximately 3000 BC cal to 2500 BC cal in the Kura Araxes (Shengavitian) Period of the Early Bronze Age and irregularly re-used in the Middle Bronze Age until 2200 BC cal. The town occupied an area of six hectares. It appears that Shengavit was a societal center for the areas surrounding the town due to its unusual size, evidence of surplus production of grains, and metallurgy, as well as its monumental 4 meter wide stone wall. Three smaller village sites of Moukhannat Tepe, Khorumbulagh, and Tairov have been identified and were located outside the walls of Shengavit. Its pottery makes it a type site of the Kura-Araxes or Early Transcaucasian Period and the Shengavitian culture area.
Archeological sites in Azerbaijan first gained public interest in the mid-19th century and were reported by European travellers.
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Martkhopi is a village in Gardabani District of Georgia. It is located on the left side of Ialno range, in the gorges of the rivers Alikhevi and Tevali, and is at an altitude of 770 meters. It is 55 kilometres from Gardabani and 12 kilometres from Vaziani. According to 2014 census, the village is populated by 7397 residents.
Alikemek-Tepesi is an ancient settlement located in Jalilabad District (Azerbaijan), in the Mugan plain, belonging to the Chalcolithic period, dating to c. 5000 BC. Early levels belonged to the Shulaveri-Shomu culture. It covers an area of over 1 hectare.
Kul Tepe Jolfa(Gargar Tepesi) is an ancient archaeological site in the Jolfa County of Iran, located in the city of Hadishahr, about 10 km south from the Araxes River. It dates to Chalcolithic period, and was discovered in 1968.
The Bronze Age began in the second half of the 4th millennium BC and ended in the second half of the 2nd millennium BC in Azerbaijan, while the Iron Age commenced in approximately 7-6th centuries BC. The Bronze Age in territory of today's Azerbaijan is divided into the early bronze age, the middle bronze age and the late bronze age. Bronze age was studied in Nakhchivan, Ganja, Dashkasan, Mingachevir, Gobustan, Qazakh and Karabakh.
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