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Universit Ca' Foscari, Venezia, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici Supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Humboldt Kolleg International Conference, Venice, 9-11/01/2013

At the Northern Frontier of Near Eastern Archaeology: Recent Research on Caucasia and Anatolia in the Bronze Age
Universit Ca' Foscari Venezia, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, 2012
Organised by Universit Ca' Foscari Venezia, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici Elena Rova (Organiser), Monica Tonussi (Scientific Secretary)

Thursday, January 10th SESSION 3: The Early Bronze Age Chairman: H. Hauptmann

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Kavtaradze, Giorgi Leon Ivane Javakhishvili Institute of History & Ethnology, Tbilisi State University Georgia An Attempt at Dating the Starting Point of the Kura-Araxes Culture The term Kura-Araxes culture is not correct. This culture covers a much larger area than the land between the two Transcaucasian rivers, the Kura and the Araxes; indeed it covers an important part of the Middle East i.e. Eastern Anatolia, Cilicia, the Levant and north-western Iran. However, Transcaucasia is generally accepted to represent the core area of the initial formation of the Kura-Araxes culture. The fact of the Transcaucasian origin of the Kura-Araxes culture and its later spread to the Middle

East, where archaeological strata are more accurately dated than in Transcaucasia, gives us a favourable opportunity to determine the starting date of this culture in Transcaucasia. The dating of the first obvious signs of the Kura-Araxes culture found in situ in the layers of local cultures of the Middle East represents the terminus ante quem for similar and antedating archaeological artefacts of Transcaucasian KuraAraxes culture. An overview of evidence from chronologically relevant layers allows us to put the starting date of the Kura-Araxes culture of Transcaucasia somewhere during the first half of the 4th millennia B.C.; in fact it was contemporary with the Middle Uruk period. The preceding period of time belongs to the still unsolved problem of interrelation between the Caucasian Chalcolithic and Uruk cultures.
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