On the Interactions between North Western Iran and the South Caucasus during the Chalcolithic and Kura-Araxes Periods

Le 6 juin 2019

MSH - Salle André Froissard
14 Avenue Berthelot - 69007 Lyon
Conférence en anglais

Akbar ABEDI (Tabriz University, Collegium de Lyon Fellow): The Importance of the Exploitation of Raw Materials and Prehistoric Trad

Moreover, although the highlands of North-Western Iran and the Southern Caucasus constitute a fairly homogenous geographical area, the prehistory of these regions has never been investigated in a comprehensive way. This lecture and research project also aims at a new reconstruction of the later prehistory of these areas during the 6th – 3rd millennia through a collaboration with the scholars of Archeorient working on the South Caucasus. Through discussions, we will investigate the structural roots and development of social complexity during the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age.
According to preliminary analyses carried out on obsidian artefacts from Kul Tepe and Dava Göz most of the obsidian used on these sites during the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age belongs to the Lake Sevan Basin in Armenia (more than 70% of the obsidian assemblages come from the bed of Syunik). These results bring fuel to the work already carried out by French colleagues on the obsidian of the Caucasus: our data will contribute to trace back obsidian exchange networks between the south Caucasus, NW Iran and eastern Anatolia.‬ More geo-chemical analyses are now needed to study the routes of prehistoric trade between the south Caucasus and northwestern Iran in greater detail.
Apart from obsidian studies, important work has been carried out at Archéorient on the exploitation of prehistoric salt, the relationships between the obsidian sources of Lake Sevan and the archaeological sites in northwestern Iran and Lake Urmia Basin, and the exploitation of copper; while the gold mine of Sakdrissi in Georgia has been investigated by a German team from the university of Bochum. We would like to contribute to these investigations by publishing the data actually available from northwestern Iran. In this lecture I would like to bring out the evidence for prehistoric trade and routes through the obsidian analysis of Kul Tepe Jolfa and Dava Göz Khoy, while introducing new data on Iranian salt mines like those of Duzdagi near Jolfa and Duzdagi near Khoy.