Kura-Araxes culture

Kura-Araxes culture

The Kura-Araxes culture or the Early trans-Caucasian culture, was a civilization that existed from 3400 B.C until about 2000 B.C. [The early Trans-Caucasian culture - I.M. Diakonoff, 1984] The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; thence it spread to Georgia by 3000 B.C., and during the next millennium it proceeded westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into an area below the Urmia basin and Lake Van, down to the borders of present day Syria. Altogether, the early Trans-Caucasian culture, at its greatest spread, enveloped a vast area approximately 1000 km by 500 km. [The Hurro-Urartian people - John A.C. Greppin]

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Its territory corresponds to parts of modern Armenia, Georgia and the Caucasus. [Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology - Page 246 by Barbara Ann Kipfer ] It may have given rise to the later Khirbet Kerak ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.


In its earliest phase, metal was scant, but it would later display "a precocious metallurgical development which strongly influenced surrounding regions" JP Mallory, EIEC, pp. 341-42.

They built mud-brick houses, originally round, but later developing into a square design. The economy was based on farming and livestock-raising. They grew grain and various orchard crops, and are known to have used implements to make flour. They raised cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, and in its later phases, horses.

Their pottery was distinctive. It was painted black and red, using geometric designs for ornamentation. Examples have been found as far south as Syria and Israel, and as far north as Dagestan and Chechnya. The spread of this pottery, along with archaeological evidence of invasions, suggests that the Kura-Araxes people may have spread outward from their original homes, and most certainly, had extensive trade contacts.

Their metal goods were widely distributed, recorded in the Volga, Dnieper and Don-Donets systems in the north, into Syria and Palestine in the south, and west into Anatolia. The culture is closely linked to the approximately contemporaneous Maykop culture of Transcaucasia. They are also remarkable for the production of wheeled vehicles (wagons and carts).

Inhumation practices are mixed. Flat graves are found, but so are substantial kurgan burials, the latter of which may be surrounded by cromlechs. This points to a heterogeneous ethno-linguistic population. Hurrian and Urartian elements are quite probable. One can also argue for at least an outpost of an early Semitic language, and certainly the presence of an early representative of the Kartvelian languages is not unreasonable. An influence of Indo-European languages was also likely present.

In the Armenian hypothesis of Indo-European origins, this culture (and perhaps that of the Maykop culture) is identified with the speakers of the Anatolian languages.Fact|date=April 2008


ee also

*Prehistoric Georgia
*Prehistoric Armenia

External links

* [http://www.geocities.com/komblema/observe.htm The Chronology of the Caucasus During the Early Metal Age: Observations from Central Transcaucasus] - Giorgi L. Kavtaradze
* [http://www.geocities.com/komblege/ansch1.htm The Beginnings of Metallurgy] - includes extensive discussion of Kura-Araxes metalworking


*James P. Mallory, "Kuro-Araxes Culture", "Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture", Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kura-Araxes-Kultur — Die Kura Araxes Kultur (auch frühtranskaukausische Kultur oder Mtkwari Araxes Kultur[1]) ist eine frühbronzezeitliche Kultur im Kaukasus. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Forschungsgeschichte 2 Verbreitung 3 Chronologie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Culture of Armenia — Part of a series on Armenians Հայեր …   Wikipedia

  • Culture of Azerbaijan — Part of a series on Azerbaijani people Culture Architecture  …   Wikipedia

  • Trialeti culture — The Trialeti culture is attributed to the first part of the 2nd millennium B.C. [Munchaev 1994, p. 16; cf., Kushnareva and Chubinishvili 1963, pp. 16 ff.] In the late 3rd millennium B.C. settlements of the Kura Araxes culture began to be replaced …   Wikipedia

  • Shulaveri-Shomu culture — is a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture in the Transcaucasus region. The culture is dated to mid 6th or early 5th millennia BC. [Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archeology Page 512 by Barbara Ann Kipfer] Archaeologists refer to the Shulaveri Shomu… …   Wikipedia

  • Nagorno-Karabakh — For the republic, see Nagorno Karabakh Republic. Nagorno Karabakh Լեռնային Ղարաբաղ , Leṙnayin Ġarabaġ(Armenian) …   Wikipedia

  • Aras River — Infobox River | river name = Aras caption = Aras River, Nakhichevan, Azerbaijan to the right and Iran to the left. origin = Erzurum Province, Turkey mouth = Kura river basin countries = Turkey, Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan length = 1,072 kilometers… …   Wikipedia

  • History of Armenia — This article is part of a series Prehistory 2400 BC 590 BC …   Wikipedia

  • History of Chechnya — The History of Chechnya refers to the history of Chechens, Chechnya, and the land of Ichkeria. Chechen society has traditionally been organized around many autonomous local clans, called taips. The traditional Chechen saying goes that the members …   Wikipedia

  • History of Nagorno-Karabakh — Ancient history The region of Nagorno Karabakh (ancient name, Artsakh, Արծախ) falls within the lands occupied by peoples known to modern archaeologists as the Kura Araxes culture, who lived between the two rivers bearing those names. Little is… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”