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M.Puturidze N.Akhvledini:East Georgia on the Crossroads of Eurasian Civilizations

(The Characteristics and Development in the Second Millennium BC.)

Presented paper deals with the retrospective overview of dynamics of the international relationship of South Caucasus and more southern civilizations of the Near East throughout the whole II millennium BC. First steps of cultural-economical connections between the mentioned areas started rather earlier than II millennium BC. But this time interval seems the most important from the point of view of sharp progressing of the international relations. This process evidently reflected by the giant kurgans of the famous Trialeti Culture.

Caucasian cross-road area, where was coming into contact and coexisted various cultural traditions from the ancient time have a close relations with neighbouring civilizations of the Near East. This fact which is possible to reconstruct mainly by the help of archaeological evidences has a great importance for understanding the debatable problem of origination of the Trialeti Culture. An impressive number of the precious items of that period evidently proofs in favour of importance of this factor in life of South Caucasian tribes. Here given an attempt to evaluate the Trialeti Culture in context of Near Eastern international exchange network. It is clear that for the South Caucasian culture was familiar achievements of Old Anatolian and more distance civilizations and their traditions. As it can be easily seen from the considered here materials, various items of the Trialeti Culture reveal much similarity to, or finds their immediate analogies with pottery and metalwork among the sites of the Near East. Supposingly that the Trialeti Culture was formed on the basis of transformation and merging of an "alien" culture with local traditions.

In the 2nd half of the 2nd millennium BC.(precisely in the 15th-13th cc. BC.) on the territory of East Georgia two archaeological cultures (Samtavro and Lchashen-Tsitelgorebi(LT)) coexisted. Dividing line between these two archaeological cultures plotted along the River Aragvi(R. Abramishvili).

To the West of the River Aragvi there was a cultural-historical community, which extended as far as the Black Sea, distinguished by pottery with zoomorphic handles a feature which linked two archaeological cultures-those of Colchis and Samtavro. To the East of the River Aragvi another cultural-historical community existed (LT) covering a large part of the territory of modern Armenia, the North-West part of Azerbaijan and part of the territory of Eastern Georgia-its Eastern and Sauthern regions. This cultural-historical community (LT) united several local archaeological cultures (R. Abramishvili).

On the territory of Shida (Inner) Kartli the interests of societies of the Samtavro and the LT archaeological cultures overlapped and it is possible to assume that in this area they coexisted relatively peacefully.

Both of these archaeological cultures (Samtavro and LT) are linked with the lines of those emerging from Asia Minor. Considering the framework of the present report we shall only linger at one object. This is a weapon (daggers).

The swords and daggers characteristic of the LT archaeological culture with a range of variants evolved from Near Eastern models. When speaking about the development of weapons from Near Eastern models transformation on local ground is ment rather than evolutionary development of them.

Much more difficult is the issue of the bronze leaf-shaped daggers, characterizing the initial stage of the Samtavro archaeological culture.

In Transcaucasia bronze leaf-shaped daggers are discovered in Georgia and Armenia. Only one case of finding of this type dagger is known to us in Azerbaijan.

Bronze leaf-shaped daggers are discovered in the North Caucasus on the territory where kobanian culture was spread, in the Kuban edge and one in Dagestan.

The cases of bronze leaf-shaped daggers discovery is frequent in the Southern countries, such as, Syria, Libya, Palestine and in the South-East part of Asia Minor.

In the North-West Europe bronze leaf-shaped daggers are found in: Hungary, Bohemia, Bavaria, Silezia, central and North Poland, Switzerland, in South France and in North Italy.

The daggers of the Southern type are different from ones discovered in the Caucasus and their early types are of early period (19th-18th cc. BC.), but these of the later period chronologically are separated from the early ones in the Caucasus.

All bronze leaf-shaped daggers discovered in West Europe are dated by 15th-13th cc. BC. and the date of their existence mainly coincide with the date of early period leaf-shaped ones from Caucasus.

The connecting territory of the Transcaucasia and the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, East Anatolia, from the archeological view point isn’t relevantly studied. That’s why it’s difficult to prove genetic connection of bronze leaf- shaped dagger from the Caucasus and the Middle East. However, even on this stage we consider this point of view quite acceptable.

In a number of cases similarity of dagger blades from Europe and Caucasus is so close that we can prove their influence on each other, but without a better study of the territory in between Europe and the Caucasus (The Northern Black Sea cost) it woud be difficult for us to determine where the shapes of daggers we study first evolved-in Europe or in the Caucasus.

Even the picture made up on considering this only object (in the excavations of the entire Late Bronze-Early Iron age not one of this kind of artefacts are found) enables us to conclude that from the 2nd half of the 2nd millennium B.C. the Oriental and Occidental worlds intensivly cooporated on the territory of East Georgia.

Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (18.10.2009)
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