Version classiqueVersion mobile

On salt, copper and gold

 | 
Catherine Marro
, 
Thomas Stöllner

The exploitation of natural resources in the Caucasus in Late Prehistory

From generalists to specialists?

Transcaucasian communities and their approach to resources during the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE

Thomas Stöllner

Résumé

Le Caucase a longtemps été considéré comme l’une des fameuses montagnes de minerais de l’ancien monde. Pli principal du TEMB (Tethyan Eurasian Metallogenic Belt), cette zone montagneuse est extrêmement riche en ressources minérales. Ces conditions sont à la base de la façon dont les sociétés ont abordé cette région durant la (pré) histoire, et c’est encore le cas aujourd’hui. Cet article retrace certaines approches scientifiques selon lesquelles le Caucase représente un simple maillon entre les steppes eurasiennes au nord et les cultures orientales du sud dans la quête de matières premières. Ces perspectives, partiellement empruntées à l’Histoire, abordent la question de l’exploitation des matières premières d’un point de vue extérieur qui ignore les stratégies d’acquisition des populations caucasiennes elles-mêmes. Des approches considérant cette question à partir d’un cadre méthodologique de pratique théorique peuvent permettre d’adopter un point de vue plus proche des réalités caucasiennes : l’accès aux matières premières et les pratiques sociales et économiques quotidiennes sont des éléments importants dans la façon dont les sociétés protohistoriques et les paysages sont imbriqués l’un dans l’autre. Cet article s’intéressera tout particulièrement aux régions de Transcaucasie (Caucase du Sud) pour discuter certaines de ces questions en intégrant les données de la recherche moderne. Comment le pastoralisme, particulièrement dans les pâturages des piémonts, a-t-il influencé les stratégies d’approche des ressources naturelles comme l’obsidienne, le cuivre, le sel et les pigments ? Doit-on envisager une phase de diffusion du savoir qui serait à l’origine du développement des exploitations minières et de la métallurgie à grande échelle ? Comment l’arrivée de populations ou d’individus porteurs de savoir a-t-elle transformé les communautés locales ? La montée d’élites puissantes au cours du IIIe millénaire a sans doute été un processus complexe qui a commencé dès la fin du IVe millénaire. L’impressionnante reprise de la production métallique dans la période tardive kuro-araxe a certainement aussi changé le rôle des individus dans la production et la consommation de biens précieux. Certaines de ces questions seront abordées à partir de données archéologiques et archéométriques sur le phénomène kuro-araxe.

Texte intégral

Introduction: the evolution of mining strategies in the Trans-Caucasus

1When Transcaucasian prehistoric miners did approach resources such as obsidian, metals and precious stones, they were interacting in cultural landscapes in which human beings already had learned about mineral resources and their basic geological background. It is obvious that the group of early hominids from Dmanisi had already experience with lithic resources more than 1.1 million years ago. It is not easy to follow this narrow and crocked path through time and to argue for a continuity of knowledge. During such a long time span we have to consider the change of the landscape and the continuous growth and loss of knowledge. It is therefore important to realize the level of knowledge that already existed in the 5th and 4th millennium BC at the eve of the Kura-Araxes phenomenon. This will help us to understand the growth of knowledge that finally allowed the evolvement of specialized societies like we can reconstruct them from the Sakdrisi-Dzedzvebi complex. As I have outlined elsewhere there are several theoretical factors that help to understand the process of appropriation of resources within landscapes (Stöllner 2015). And considering the early stages of raw material exploitation there always was an intensive enmeshment of producing and consuming parts of the communities, thus indicating a rather strong interdependence between various parts of a society (Stöllner 2016). Within such processes appropriation and alienation stand in contrast to each other. Appropriation is part of the process of learning how to deal with resources in a social and technical way (Ingold 2000). Alienation stands in contrast if the technical processes or the ideological background gets separated between a producing community, intermediate specialists in transport and communication (e.g. traders), and consumers (similar to the concept of Kopytoff 1988).

2Such a process perhaps took place in the Near East and the South Caucasus at least since the later 5th millennium BCE, when trading and exchange between the Mesopotamian and their neighbouring regions evolved to higher level. These relations underwent various steps of hybridization of cultural habits that archaeologists tend to outline by material cultures of neighbouring societies involved. Twenty years ago these processes were conceptualized as “expansion” of Mesopotamian elements that involved cultural habits of consumption (feasting pottery such as bevelled rim bowls), technical abilities (ceramic production) as well as knowledge of administration (such as the so‑called Uruk expansion; Rothman 2001; Algaze 1989, 1993, 2008, 2013). Nowadays such concepts are neither put completely aside nor re-discussed theoretically. But it turned out with the so-called Ubaid and Uruk “influences” how complex those interrelations were over a long time span and that a simple core-periphery concept would not lead to proper answers.

  • 1 This recently was questioned by S. Batiuk (2013, pp. 454‑455) especially for ETC groups in rooms o (...)

3It often was further thought about the Kura-Araxes phenomenon or the Early Transcaucasian Culture (ETC) as a Transcaucasian “answer” after the collapse of the Uruk system (e.g. Kohl 2009). The spread of the Transcaucasian Kura-Araxes communities in a later time period from around 3500‑3000 BCE onwards can be conceptualized as a migration pattern of fringe pastoral communities to a “Mesopotamian” system, or better yet to landscapes with rising complex societies which can be discussed nowadays to a greater extent (e.g. recently Batiuk 2013). What is important for our article is, however, the question of how to understand their economic vision and organizational pattern. It is a very striking observation that metals came into utilitarian usage suddenly again around 3000 BCE after a phase of reluctant usage of metals in the transitional periods between the Late Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age after 3500 BCE (Japaridze 2013; Stöllner, Gambashidze 2014). This sudden rise raised the question if this change was reasoned by a change of the ritual habits or even reflects a change of social structures (e.g. Stöllner 2016). Our data from various projects especially indicates that metal production certainly was intensified by a larger involvement of the Kura-Araxes communities to mining and metallurgy processes.1 But what had triggered this intensification? Can we argue in favor of intensified exchange pattern with external communities such as those from the Upper Euphrates region? Hauptmann et al. (2002) already discussed the possibility to allocate some of the ore provenances of Arslantepe alloys (from the princely grave and the temple hoard) at the Lesser Caucasian Mountains. Does this indicate a radical change of external exchange modes during a time when Transcaucasian groups migrated to a larger extent to East and South-East Anatolia and the northern Iran (Sagona 1984; Palumbi 2007; Palumbi, Chataigner 2014)?

  • 2 A nice example of an intensive relation between pastoral activities and mining has been studied at (...)

4But before we are able to discuss this question we should outline some basic considerations on early mining and metallurgy. There is no doubt that access to raw materials did start sporadically at the beginning in most of the cases documented. It is therefore difficult to understand how early mining might have been practiced without the help of other landscape use strategies, such as pastoralism, especially in mountainous areas.2 Husbandry and mining therefore went hand in hand, especially when considering the tight relation in subduing a landscape by grazing and roaming with herds. The herds themselves provided subsistence and supply for their herders and allowed them to stay even in barren high altitudes. This logical interference was often outlined as a background for any early seasonal or sporadic mining (see in general Stöllner 2003; for instance Maggi, Pearce 2005). It is a logical first step for further intensifications: either early “miners” came along with formalized expeditions to barren lands or resources or they pioneered a stable continuous exploitation as a side effect of colonization and permanent settlement.

5Early steps of exploitation are difficult to find, often simply reasoned by the fact that younger mining had destroyed older traces or that sporadic near-surface exploitation did often leave only shallow and small-scale traces (generally discussed in Stöllner 2003). Therefore, it seems useful to also discuss other potential sources of information, for instance the way of herding and pastoralism from the Middle and Late Chalcolithic phase onwards from the 5th till the 3rd millennium BCE.

  • 3 It was recently noticed that Transcaucasian or eastern Anatolian obsidian was distributed to the J (...)

6Another indirect argument can be deduced from our knowledge about how the actual raw materials used in the periods before metallurgy became part of daily practice of Transcaucasian communities. Raw materials used in the ceramic Neolithic of the 6th and the early 5th millennium BCE provide some idea that the knowledge already existed about the landscapes in which raw material could be collected. There are some arguments for a direct-access pattern to mineral resources especially during occupation the Transcaucasian Shulaveri-Shomutepe communities (Hansen et al. 2013). Pigments and lithic resources most likely acted as door-openers to other skills and knowledge within the Transcaucasian landscapes. This is especially true for obsidian, which already around 5000 BCE was exchanged to far-distant locations3 (in general Cauvin et al. 1998; Badalyan 2010). But how did these networks work? Were they part of pastoral groups which met when grazing their herds at pastoral grounds nearby sources of obsidian (e.g. Armenian or the Georgian source of Chikiani; for Chikiani, see Badalyan 2010, p. 33, tab. 7, fig. 4; Biagi et al. 2017). It is therefore of importance to understand those early acquisition patterns with respect to a multi-perspective approach, either on the basis of land use and pastoral strategies, and with respect to raw materials used and the help of early mining evidence such as was documented by the Sakdrisi-Dzedzvebi or the Duzdağı complex.

Research history and research concepts

7Older generations of researchers did envisage the Caucasus as important ore mountains or as a landscape of resources especially from an external view, either from an Eurasian, northern perspective or from a southern and basically Mesopotamian view. Both perspectives are worthy of analysis in a retrospective way.

8The Eurasian view often stressed the importance of the north‑south connections, for instance with regard to the Majkop phenomenon and its later phases during the Novosvobodnaja stage from the first half of the 4th millennium onwards (Munchaev 1975; recently Ivanova 2012); although the chronological perspective has considerably changed during the last 20 years (e.g. Trifonov 1994, 1996). One basic vision expressed by the earlier researchers was the dependency on the Mesopotamian cultures, notably to the Ubaid and the Uruk stages. Metallurgical products quest, aspects of iconography such as those of the famous Majkop graves themselves but also aspects of ceramic styles and chaff temper got important anchors of the argumentations. There was a certain kind of “ex oriente lux” that has driven those arguments. Chaff-Faced Ware (CFW) appearing on LC sites at the Kura-Valley (Berikldeebi, Leilatepe, Soyuq Bulaq, Poylu, Böyük Kesik) was interpreted as indication of migrants from the south and northern Mesopotamia (e.g. Akhundov 2007). In an older vision even the similar Majkop ceramic was used as a witness of such migrations. Since this time, it became clear that the ceramic spectrum from the Majkop and Novosvobodnaja phases did resemble formal aspects of northern Mesopotamian and Transcaucasian LC ceramics but was none the less technically different and not chaff-tempered (Lyonnet 2007). Even the northern Mesopotamian origin was questioned and a larger cultural compound between northern Iran, Transcaucasian and East Anatolia was argued for instead (Marro 2007, 2010; Ivanova 2012). However we regard mobility patterns since the later 5th millennium within this region, the whole LC period appears as an innovative horizon that has influenced the Transcaucasian societies on a large scale. As concerns metallurgical innovation it is clear by now that numerous new aspects can be observed, like the casting of larger objects such as shaft-hole implements and the first appearance of prestigious metals such as gold and silver (e.g. Courcier 2014; Stöllner, Gambashidze 2014; Hansen 2011, 2016). Similar to ceramic techniques it certainly has to be discussed if those innovations would have been stimulated by the highland peoples in the above-mentioned regions rather than by the Mesopotamian Ubaid/Uruk worlds.

  • 4 For Early Uruk ceramic at Tell Brak and Tepe Gawra, see Matthews 2000, p. 67.

9An opposite vision had been offered by researchers who analysed the settlement dynamics and early urbanism in South Mesopotamia: Uruk and southern Mesoptamia were considered as a central and highly developed pre- or early urban sphere that at least expanded to fertile zones in the Susian plain but also by help of “colonies” and “outposts” to the north and the east (Algaze 1989, 1993, 2008, 2013; Rothman 2001; Butterlin 2003). The search for raw materials was one of the constitutive arguments for sites such as Habuba Kabira and Haçınebi in which drinking and feasting practices of Uruk style were established and went together with an inclusion of local elites and further administrative aspects (e.g. Stein 1999). Results from the Malatya plain and the famous Arslantepe clearly indicate the evolvement of centralized redistribution system by the end of period VII around the middle of the 4th millennium; imitations of Uruk vessels and rare imports have appeared rather later in period VIA (e.g. Frangipane 2016). This provides arguments for a process of mutual establishing of “Uruk” contacts along the river systems at least from the middle of the 4th millennium onwards. But such contacts were certainly grounded on older processes that reached back to the late 5th and early 4th millennium during the Early Uruk period.4 In the light of the more recent research there is no doubt that the inclusion in a wider Mesopotamian world was a multisided process. Therefore it is well reasoned to understand the evolvement of mining enterprises in the Caucasus as well as the technical and entrepreneurial role of raw material processing as a multilateral process that had a positive influence on the innovations of the highland populations in the Transcaucasian region. There is no doubt that first major transformations of metallurgical knowledge took place already, some in the second half of the 5th millennium, but a great spread of Caucasian metals can be seen not earlier than the later 4th millennium in the frame of the Kura-Araxes communities.

Metals as indicators of early mining

  • 5 Majidzadeh 1979; recently the site was re-evaluated and the workshop most likely dated to Tehran/Q (...)

10Within this article it is certainly of interest to use the metallurgical evidence to ask when Transcaucasian communities started to use regional metal sources and which deposits were in their prime interest (fig. 1). Despite the Neolithic evidence from the later 6th and early 5th millennium (see e.g. Courcier 2014, pp. 587‑594; S. Hansen in Lyonnet et al. 2012, pp. 84‑85), larger series of metal did not occur before the end of the 5th millennium during the Sioni-Leilatepe sequence. But there are differences when looking to the regional evidence. While Georgia provided only small numbers of metals (Gambashidze et al. 2010; Courcier 2014; fig. 2), there is a considerable amount known from the Kura and the Araxes valleys. Some new evidence came from Mentesh Tepe, from Ovçular Tepesi and the Kvemo-Kartli site of Dzedzvebi where casting moulds, crucibles and metal fragments have been discovered from the end of the 5th millennium BCE (fig. 3; e.g. A. Courcier in Lyonnet et al. 2012, pp. 109‑119; Courcier 2014; Gailhard et al. 2017; Gambashidze, Stöllner 2016, pp. 108‑115). According to the Mentesh Tepe stratigraphy (e.g. Lyonnet et al. 2012), the Tsopi-Sioni layers and the pits from Dzedzvebi IV.3 (Stöllner et al. 2014, pp. 102‑103) can also be assigned to this chronological horizon, although there are still many necessary clarifications to be made as concerns the ceramic sequence between the late 5th and the early 4th millennium BCE (LC 1‑2) for eastern Georgia (e.g. Nebieridze 2010). It is therefore especially difficult to mark the transition between the earlier phases of the Late Chalcolithic and later phases which we can describe for sites like Berikledeebi, Böyük Kesik or Leilatepe. But nevertheless it is clear that the casting of heavy tools was already practiced in the later 5th millennium. There was a horizon of heavy shaft hole-axes that spread from the Trans-Caucasus (Jrashen-hoard e.g. Kohl 2009, fig. 2; further axes of this type e.g. Gambashidze et al. 2010, pl. 16, 246, 249‑250; Ovçular-Tepesi e.g. Marro, Bakhshaliyev, Ashurov 2011; Gailhard et al. 2017) towards the Iranian Plateau, where casting moulds of this type are well known at least from the early 4th millennium BCE (Tappeh Ghabrestan) (fig. 3).5

Fig. 1 – The Transcaucasian highlands and their resource zones on the basis of the Chalcolithic to Bronze Age mining (DBM/RUB, T. Stöllner).

Fig. 1 – The Transcaucasian highlands and their resource zones on the basis of the Chalcolithic to Bronze Age mining (DBM/RUB, T. Stöllner).

Fig. 2 – Georgia, record of metals and metal alloys between the Neolithic and the end of the 3rd millennium (after the catalogue given in Gambashidze et al. 2010; Stöllner, Gambashidze 2014, fig. 1).

Fig. 2 – Georgia, record of metals and metal alloys between the Neolithic and the end of the 3rd millennium (after the catalogue given in Gambashidze et al. 2010; Stöllner, Gambashidze 2014, fig. 1).

Fig. 3 – Dzedzvebi, IV.3, smelting and casting set, Ovçular shaft-hole axes, Ghabrestan casting moulds and crucibles (DBM/RUB, H.‑J. Lauffer, M. Schicht).

Fig. 3 – Dzedzvebi, IV.3, smelting and casting set, Ovçular shaft-hole axes, Ghabrestan casting moulds and crucibles (DBM/RUB, H.‑J. Lauffer, M. Schicht).
  • 6 The evidence of Alkhantepe could by examined by courtesy of T. Akhundov and A. Hasanova† during a (...)
  • 7 Thanks to the collaboration with the Archaeological Institute of the Azerbaijan Academy of Science (...)
  • 8 The crucible 22434 found in pit 36100 at site Dzedzvebi IV.3 has not finally been interpreted. Thi (...)

11According to the recent investigation from our three sites with metallurgical evidence, Dzedzvebi, Ovçular Tepesi and Mentesh, we learn about copper usage and even about ores with a moderate arsenic level (Gailhard et al. 2017; Courcier 2014; unpublished data Dzedzvebi, see tab. 1/fig. 4) that came into use at the end of the 5th millennium. But still pure copper is the dominating raw material, if we look to the Mentesh Tepe evidence (Courcier, Lyonnet, Guliyev 2012). Arsenical copper came into use and – similar to the North Caucasian field – this alloy reaches a clearer steadiness in the later Late Chalcolithic phases (the Leilatepe phases, Late Chalcolithic 3‑4 according to the chronology of Lyonnet 2007), where a broader evidence is available from sites at the Kura valley. As recently discussed for West Azerbaijan and East Georgia, especially the Late Chalcolithic levels of settlements like Berikldeebi (Javakhishvili 1998; for the metals, Gambashidze et al. 2010, no. 17‑27), Mentesh Tepe (A. Courcier in Lyonnet et al. 2012, pp. 109‑113; Courcier 2014), Poylu and Boyuk-Kesik (Museyibli 2007) produced a larger amount of copper and arsenical-copper artefacts and especially also metallurgical implements like crucibles and moulds (tab. 1/fig. 4). It seems that the earlier Sioni stages of the second half of the 5th millennium represented a starting point in working complex ores regarding the Dzedvebi and Mentesh evidence. Arsenical bronzes and even the first practice in smelting high grade ores with silver ore anomalies can be mentioned: they clearly predate the silver and gold artefacts from the Soyuq Bulaq kurgans (e.g. Lyonnet et al. 2008; Courcier 2014, fig. 22, 29‑31) and the evidence of silver-cupellation technique found at Alkhantepe (Akhundov 2014).6 While the gold seems to be smelted from alluvial deposits (given the high level of platinum found recently in gold beads from Soyuq Bulaq)7, this certainly may not be the case for the silver. The analyses from various Sioni/Leilatepe sites indicate the usage of silver-rich polymetallic ores such as are known occasionally from the Bolnisi-Madneuli district in south-eastern Georgia. Recent investigation of slags and prill inclusions of the Sioni layers at Dzedzvebi IV.3 indicate the deliberate metallurgical processing of silver containing copper ores. A crucible with a nicely smoothed surface has brought up some elevations in copper and silver thus indicating that copper was not melted (as a dross would indicate) but perhaps used to smelt precious metals (Stöllner et al. 2014, pp. 102‑103, fig. 21b).8 Slags from the Sioni layers at Dzedzvebi IV.3 indicate furthermore the deliberate raising of silver contents when comparing the possible regional ore deposits. The question still remains unsolved whether the technique of cupellation was invented during the first half of the 4th millennium BCE in the Trans-Caucasus or at the Iranian Plateau. But it is likely that silver-lead bearing ores were exploited during that period for the first time, most likely from areas that already were explored during the later 5th millennium BCE.

Tab. 1/Fig. 4 – Frequency of Cu-As metals between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia (data after Akhundov 2014; Courcier 2012; Courcier 2014; Gailhard et al. 2017; Gambashidze et al. 2010; Meliksetian et al. 2011; Meliksetyan, Pernicka 2010; Museyibli 2007; Palumbi et al., this volume; Schachner 2002 and unpublished data DBM).

Tab. 1/Fig. 4 – Frequency of Cu-As metals between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia (data after Akhundov 2014; Courcier 2012; Courcier 2014; Gailhard et al. 2017; Gambashidze et al. 2010; Meliksetian et al. 2011; Meliksetyan, Pernicka 2010; Museyibli 2007; Palumbi et al., this volume; Schachner 2002 and unpublished data DBM).

Tab. 1

  • 9 The level of arsenic is similar at EBA metals in Armenia; most of the metals stem from the 3rd mil (...)

12Considering the general technical changes between the 5th and the 4th millennium BCE it is more obvious then that with the later 4th millennium BCE the copper-arsenic alloying became a standardized technique (tab. 1/fig. 4, based on 494 analyses)9: higher arsenic levels indicate that arsenic levels beyond 1% and even over 3% were the result of a deliberate alloying process and did not derive from arsenic levels in copper ores (such as fahlores). It is a long lasting debate in archaeometallurgy which technical concept was used, but a co-smelting with iron containing ores such as speiss from arsenopyrites ores could be one solution (e.g. recently Rehren, Boscher, Pernicka 2012). If so, it is likely that a specialized exploitation of ores could be the consequence, thus leading to a continuous access to well-known deposits from the second half of the 4th millennium BCE onwards.

Agro-pastoral strategies as a precondition for raw-material exploitation during the 5th and the 3rd millennium BC

13It is commonplace to link early raw material procurement with strategies of animal herding and husbandry of early societies. In our case transhumance might have been an important pre- or side-condition for the access to raw materials by semi-mobile Transcaucasian communities. But it is worth knowing which specialization the herding strategies had during different periods between the Late Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age in the Transcaucasian field. Regarding the landscapes and the mineral deposits, it is the quest to summer pastures that might have driven people to access to the higher valley parts and mountains. But it is still to be discussed if such pastoral modes were connected with longer sojourn in the mountains where they raised the offspring of the herds during the summer times. Alternatively, did they dash around the country within a few days to neighbouring pastures? Was this a specialization that was combined with further secondary products from the mountains, such as cheese or raw materials, that they brought back from their summer pastures?

  • 10 Zooarchaeological data have been used from Dzedzvebi (Berthon et al., this volume, pers. comm.), f (...)

14These are general questions that are difficult to understand at the moment. As Piro and Crabtree (2017, p. 281) recently pointed out, the mobile and nomadism aspect of Transcaucasian pastoral economies of the later 4th millennium and the early 3rd millennium has to be reconsidered. Herding strategies have been put forward for a longer time in regard of the general expansive character of the Early Transcaucasian Kura-Araxes phenomenon (e.g. Burney, Lang 1971, p. 57; Cribb 1991, p. 221; Kushnareva 1997, pp. 194, 208, 230; Sagona 1993, pp. 453‑454; Kohl 2007, pp. 95‑96). For a long time this discussion was not based on a sufficient zooarchaeological data base. This is now changed by several new investigations that help to understand the general level of pastoral activities of Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age communities (tab. 2/fig. 5)10, thus providing a chance to discuss vertical transhumance systems in general but also the pastoral activities of a mining community in particular.

Tab. 2/Fig. 5 – Frequency of domestic and wild animal bones (NISP) in settlements between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and eastern Turkey (data after Berthon, this volume; B. Lyonnet, N. Benecke, pers. comm.; Bartosiewicz 2010; Siracusano, Bartosiewicz 2012; Berthon 2014; Bökönyi 1983; Nebieridze 2010; Piro 2008, 2009; Piro, Crabtree 2017; Rova, Putiridze, Makharadze 2010; Wilkinson et al. 2012).

Tab. 2/Fig. 5 – Frequency of domestic and wild animal bones (NISP) in settlements between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and eastern Turkey (data after Berthon, this volume; B. Lyonnet, N. Benecke, pers. comm.; Bartosiewicz 2010; Siracusano, Bartosiewicz 2012; Berthon 2014; Bökönyi 1983; Nebieridze 2010; Piro 2008, 2009; Piro, Crabtree 2017; Rova, Putiridze, Makharadze 2010; Wilkinson et al. 2012).

Tab. 2

15We are far from a deeper understanding of animal herding strategies in the periods concerned here. But due to recent studies there are first answers to pending questions (Berthon et al, this volume; Berthon 2014; Berthon et al. 2013; Piro, Crabtree 2017; Messager et al. 2015; Siracusano, Bartosiewicz 2012), including also stable isotope data concerning animal fodder and human grain and meat consumption patterns. These multiple data allow new insights into complex ecological relations. If we look to the data set (tab. 2/fig. 5) it is clear that there are first the ecological conditions to be considered, then the common cuisine habits that may have changed over time, as well as patterns of the pastoral usage of the landscapes. For data from the Late Chalcolithic Ovçular Tepesi series there is now some indication that the herds were away in a seasonal mode, most likely by driving them to summer pastures (Berthon et al., this volume). The high portion of sheep and goats stand in concurrence with the bone assemblage from Areni I cave (Wilkinson et al. 2012), thus indicating a general importance of sheep/goat flocks in this part of the Lesser Caucasus. In general, it seems that the Araxes valley as well as part of Azerbaijan and Georgia were especially dominated by this flock composition in the later 5th and the early 4th millennium. During the EBA periods the portion of sheep/goat generally was decreasing in comparison to cattle; this is a tendency that is especially apparent for later Kura-Araxes settlements of the earlier 3rd millennium (e.g. Mokhra Blur V; Gegharot; EBA Sos Höyük) but also for those from southern and eastern Georgia (Dzedzvebi, Chobareti and Khashuri-Natsagora). This pattern goes side by side with a renewed increase of pig husbandry that also indicates a higher stability in pastoral patterns and in keeping some flocks nearby the villages. The isotope investigations carried out on wheat seeds, animal and human bones from Chobareti allow arguing for a rather local flock raising and foddering but also for a connection between fields, animal dung and animal fodder (Messager et al. 2015, pp. 222‑223).

16If we compare the pattern of these more or less stable settlements there is no doubt that they are very different from the husbandry pattern of areas in which Kura-Araxes layers seem to be discordant to earlier layers such as at Godin Tappeh IV (Piro, Crabtree 2017, pp. 280‑281) near Kermanshah (Iran) and at Arslantepe near Malatya. The flocks, especially in periods of discontinuity (Arslantepe VIA to VIB) but even more, and all the husbandry pattern have changed while sheep/goat now became the by far most dominating flock. This rapid change of animal consumption is indicative and falls together with the transition from the Arslantepe administrative centre to the Arslantepe ETC village. Siracusano and Bartosiewicz (2012) nevertheless argued for a predominant meat consumption pattern what would indicate driving herds to centres like Arslantepe to be consumed but not used for other products like wool and milk. It seems that Arslantepe inhabitants continued living at a consumer site while the herds themselves perhaps were kept at other places. This is different for centres like Godin IV, where the kill-off pattern indicates the usage of wool and meat and therefore a more sedentary but cyclical husbandry model for some of the flocks. According to the lack of younger age categories, Crabtree (2011) indicated a flock keeping pattern by which parts of herds were away, especially in periods of fertility and birth, while others were kept in the settlement. The same is true for the LC settlement of Ovçular Tepesi and Dzedzvebi (Berthon et al., this volume) in which the lack of younger age categories is observed for caprines. Such a pattern can be studied best at the Godedzor settlement (Palumbi et al., this volume), where the culling pattern of calves but also the usage of milk/wool and meat usage of caprines indicate an advanced summer pasture economy in the first half of the 4th millennium BCE.

17A seasonal pattern by which parts of the herds were away from the village might also have had positive effects for mining and survey activities at summer pastures (for instance salt and obsidian chunk collecting). This is probably different from intensive mining and metallurgical processes that were carried out near the settlement and that required bigger portions of the society to be involved. Flocks then would be driven around in the surrounding area of the settlement by daily courses but not for a longer time, as then larger portions of the young men would have been away from the village. It therefore can be argued that the Dzedzvebi LC (Tsopi-Sioni) society had not focused on a specialized mine or mining activity but was more active at all the ore-delivering zones in the surrounding area or even farther away. On the other hand, it seems likely that the complex sheep/goat husbandry (seasonal pattern) but also the higher portions of aged cattle and pig indicate a more diversified pattern of the Kura-Araxes mining community. As Dzedzvebi holds the only secure evidence for a mining community, these observations are valuable as they prove the more scattered strategies during the Late Chalcolithic in comparison to more specialized and focused activities during the Early Bronze Age. This can also be evidenced by pattern of wood management as it can be seen by the anthracological evidence from Sakdrisi but also the favouring of bread wheat in the Kura-Araxes period in comparison to the situation in Late Chalcolithic communities. Although the landscape already seemed opened at the end of the 5th millennium we may assume some intensification and specialisation also with agro-pastoral activities with the mining communities in the Mashavera valley (see contribution of N. Boenke and W.H. Schoch, in Stöllner et al., this volume). The Sakdrisi-Dzedzvebi evidence is therefore a good example how already established wood management and agro-pastoral activities became intensified and specialized during the late 4th millennium.

Procurement strategies of obsidian, salt and metals: the state of the art as concerns the archaeology of raw materials in the Trans-Caucasus

18According to the state of the art there are different levels of information about mining operations and raw material procurement strategies in the Caucasus. It is not always the quarry or the mine itself that can provide evidence for an exploitation. Often we only can indirectly evidence the usage of a source by detailed geochemical and mineralogical provenance studies. A mine simply may be difficult to locate as sources can be reached and extensively collected and used from the surface (e.g. salt, obsidian, flint), especially if secondary accumulations of flint and obsidian pebbles are easily to be reached at river beds or at eroded slopes. This is not different in principle from the colourful outcrops of metal ores.

19The shallow character of near-surface diggings may be the reason why the oldest phases of mining are so difficult to evidence in the field even if there are younger and more visible phases of exploitation. But often it is also the lack of field work that has hindered a better knowledge about exploitation strategies in different deposit-rich landscapes at the Caucasus. Georgia for a long time had a leading role in investigating old mines (e.g. Mujiri 1987, 2008; Maisuradze, Gobedschischwili 2001; Stöllner et al. 2010, pp. 105‑107; recently Tamazashvili 2014a, 2014b), but nowadays further projects have continued these efforts also in other parts of the Transcaucasian regions.

Obsidian

20In the case of obsidian the rich natural supply attracted people to collect the volcanic glass from the Upper Palaeolithic onwards (Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b, pp. 56‑58). This direct access mode of using the regional sources continued to be the basic procurement strategy during most of the prehistoric periods. In contrary to the wide-spanning models for the Aegean and the Anatolian (Renfrew, Dixon 1976; Torrence 1986; Sørensen 2010), the level of observation is much more regional here. Detailed geochemical studies on provenance have been carried out to understand the modes of dispersal in a region that provides abundant regional sources, especially in Armenia (Badalyan 2010; Chataigner, Işikli, Çil 2013; Chataigner, Gratuze 2014a; Karapetyan et al. 2010). Due to the nature of the volcanic flows, chunks can be collected at the volcanic flows but also from river valleys nearby. This differentiation between primary and secondary deposits is important to make, because sporadic or seasonal access did not necessarily require approaching the primary volcanic flow: river pebbles, sometimes visible by weathered surfaces, and cortex at the obsidian artefacts or debitage (e.g. from Kul Tepe Hadishar, Khademi Nadooshan et al. 2013) indicate the usage of such deposits. Another question is how larger portions of material had been transported: aged cattle of Godedzor (A. Bălășescu, J. Chahoud in Palumbi et al., this volume) were interpreted by their pathological traces, noted on adult feet extremities as indicating use of the animal for transport and traction. Whether this is related with obsidian transport is rather unsure, as larger chunks either could be carried by humans themselves or even by sheep (as for salt transport in the Himalyan mountains; Valli, Summers 1995). An obsidian chunk of 8.86 kg was found at a tomb in the 3rd millennium settlement of Gegharot that came from the Arteni volcano nearly 14 hours of walking away (Badalyan, Avetisyan 2007; Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b, p. 64). This allows the assumption that even larger blocks have been carried to settlements to provide their inhabitants with raw material.

  • 11 For the geology of the Armenian deposits, see Karapetyan et al. 2010.

21As there is not one single dominant obsidian source (such as Melos in the Aegean) it is rather difficult to analyse the way chunks, cores and smaller re-workable pieces travelled to their final usage area (see for instance Sørensen 2010). But there is a relatively well discussed analytical basis for obsidian inventories concerning their provenance. Geochemical studies made their progress in the last two decades especially in the Caucasus (Badalyan 2010; Chataigner, Gratuze 2014a, 2014b). This allows a series of interesting observations to discuss access strategies during single periods and in different regions: 932 obsidians of 34 sites ranging from the Late Neolithic and the Shulaveri-Shomutepe tradition till the 3rd millennium and the Kura-Araxes phenomenon have been evaluated (tab. 3/fig. 6). According to a general pattern that had already been outlined by R. Badalyan (2010) we are able to distinguish several general supply zones. The Kura valley predominantly was provided with obsidian from the Chikiani volcano near the Paravani Lake in South Georgia, while the lower Araxes valley plus North Iran seem to have been supplied by a series of volcanoes around the Syunik field in south-eastern Armenia. The pattern is more varied for the settlements in the Ararat and the Shirak plain, where different deposits are to be noticed: not only the large Arteni volcano but also those from Hatis and Gutanasar, Tsaghkunyats and the Gegham/Geghasar mountains are evidenced as suppliers from the Neolithic onwards.11 A further obsidian source is known from Sarikamis North/South in the Kars region (Chataigner, Işikli, Çil 2013). We generally may ask whether there was a change in supply pattern during times in different landscapes or not, given the fact that mining and supply might be professionalized at the latest on the eve of the 3rd millennium BCE. The data available do not indicate this. There are settlements and areas which were able to harvest their obsidians only from one source (Berikldeebi, Tsikhiagora, Godedzor). Others were provided by a small number of deposits (e.g. Tsiteli gorebi, settlements from the Shirak plain), while some had a strikingly diverse supply pattern (e.g. sites from the Ararat plain and the settlement of Mentesh Tepe). It is interesting to note that the obsidians from the Gegham Mountains east of Jerevan were rather not only distributed regionally, but to even further distances: Gegham obsidian is prominent at the Mil/Mugham steppe, at the lower Araxes valley (Kültepe), but interestingly also in East Georgia and West Azerbaijan (Tsiteli gorebi, Mentesh). Considering the rich evidence of Mentesh Tepe and its possible copper resources in the Lesser Caucasus mountain range south of the Kura valley (Courcier, Lyonnet, Guliyev 2012), it is also not unlikely that access routes crossed the mountains to summer pastures around the Sevan Lake where the Gegham obsidian might have been exchanged. This would explain the generally rich spectrum of Armenian obsidians at this site (Lyonnet et al. 2012, pp. 172‑177). Perhaps one could assume a similar situation for the East Georgian Late Chalcolithic site of Tsiteli gorebi.

Tab. 3/Fig. 6 – Obsidian procurement of settlements between the 6th/5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia (data after Badalyan 2010; Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b; Khademi Nadooshan et al. 2013; Lyonnet et al. 2012).

Tab. 3/Fig. 6 – Obsidian procurement of settlements between the 6th/5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia (data after Badalyan 2010; Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b; Khademi Nadooshan et al. 2013; Lyonnet et al. 2012).

Tab. 3

22An interesting case recently was investigated for the usage of the Syunik (Satanakar, Sevkar) deposits. Their usage at North Iranian and Mil/Mughan steppe sites indicates the access to summer pastures by groups from the plains north of the Urmiah Lake and via the Araxes valley. The French-Armenian research team (Chataigner et al. 2010; Palumbi et al., this volume) discovered painted ceramic of Urmiah style at the Late Chalcolithic site of Godedzor. On the other hand, there is Syunik obsidian at the North Iranian sites, another indication for long distant relations during the 5th and the 4th millennium BCE (Blackmann et al. 1998; Ghorbani 2010). At the EBA site of Kultepe Jolfa, Syunik obsidian is by far the most dominating type of obsidian, thus indicating that there was a direct access to the south-eastern Armenian highlands and their obsidian deposits (Abedi et al. 2013; Khademi Nadooshan et al. 2013). It is uncertain if these routes included a visit at the salt deposits at Duzdağı when accessing the highlands via the Sirab valley, as salt exploitation seems to already be evidenced by Chaff-Faced Ware during the Late Chalcolithic (Marro et al. 2010; Marro, this volume).

23Which obsidian material would have been selected if there were different choices possible in a nearer distance (such as in the Shirak and Ararat plains) is more difficult to understand (fig. 7). According to the least-cost-path calculation it is not always the nearest deposit that decides its usage (Chataigner, Barge 2010). Although least-cost-path determination can be treacherous regarding the ways once used, it becomes obvious that some settlements did not favour the nearest deposits possible, such as the EBA settlement of Kamrakar, whose provisions came rather from the south-west and the west (Kars region, Arteni volcano), while the assemblage from Gegharot settlement was supplied from nearer deposits eastwards (Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b, pp. 64‑65). This might be reasoned in different transhumance routes or also in social difficulties between different settlements and their communities. Even cultural choices cannot be excluded.

Fig. 7 – Map of obsidian provenances of prehistoric settlements between the 6th/5th and the 3rd millennium BCE (tab. 3/fig. 6) in relation to obsidian deposits used (DBM, T. Stöllner).

Fig. 7 – Map of obsidian provenances of prehistoric settlements between the 6th/5th and the 3rd millennium BCE (tab. 3/fig. 6) in relation to obsidian deposits used (DBM, T. Stöllner).

Rock salt

24As salt is one of the most important supply goods for early agrarian and pastoral societies it would not be surprising if salt deposits were intensively exploited also in a phase when the access to summer pastures became increasingly important (for instance during the 5th and the 4th millennium BCE). This undeniable importance of salt does not meet our knowledge about salt procurement and salt trade, especially during prehistoric periods in wider Anatolian-Caucasian and Iranian region (Schachner 2004). There have been some attempts to identify prehistoric salt production and salt practice around salt lakes and salt domes (e.g. Erdoğu et al. 2003), but without on-site archaeological mining and production features any evidence of exploitation remains debatable. There are actually only two mines that provide clear evidence of prehistoric and ancient mining, the Duzdağı near Nakhchivan (Aliyev 1983; Schachner 2004; Marro et al. 2010) and the Douzlakh salt dome near Chehrābād in Iran (Aali, Stöllner 2015). While the latter is younger in operation date, the salt dome of Duzdağı can be regarded as the oldest rock salt mine in the wider Anatolian, Transcaucasian and Iranian region (Gonon et al., this volume).

25Older research has evidenced stone hammers related to mine tailings and underground mining, in which also organic finds like mats, baskets and wooden timbering have been discovered (Aliyev 1983, p. 82; Bakhshaliyev, Novruzlu 1995, p. 78). The recent research undertaken by a French-Azerbaijani team has carried out a detailed survey that brought to light differences in the find scatter at the salt outcrops; this later induced excavations (from 2012 onwards) that now allow some conclusions (Marro et al. 2010; Gonon et al., this volume). Mining had been practiced at two different, sub-horizontally outcropping layers of rock salt. According to the introductive survey of 2009 it became apparent that exploitation started here at the Late Chalcolithic period but most likely was intensified during the Early Bronze Age. The attribution of various hammer-stones to one of these earlier phases is still difficult, as they were not found in secure contexts. The ceramic find scatter of chaff ware and typical Kura-Araxes ceramics, however, can likely be connected to the stone tools, though it is still unclear to which of these early chronological phases the stone tools belong. The recent excavations indicate that the oldest LC/EBA extractions were much smaller than the Iron Age exploitations. The latter were extended and carried out in large scale quarries and underground chamber-and-pillar mines by help of iron picks, as was readily observed by the older researchers (Aliyev 1983, pp. 83‑84; Gonon et al., this volume) (fig. 8.1).

Fig. 8 – Duzdağı, Nakhchivan, salt mine, site M9 (French-Azerbaijani expedition); 1: Underground chamber with salt pillar and iron pick working trace; 2: Surface near working traces, possibly indicating extraction by help of pointed stone hammers (courtesy of C. Marro and T. Gonon; photo: DBM/RUB, T. Stöllner).

Fig. 8 – Duzdağı, Nakhchivan, salt mine, site M9 (French-Azerbaijani expedition); 1: Underground chamber with salt pillar and iron pick working trace; 2: Surface near working traces, possibly indicating extraction by help of pointed stone hammers (courtesy of C. Marro and T. Gonon; photo: DBM/RUB, T. Stöllner).
  • 12 Comparable stone tools are known from the rock salt mine of St Thomas in Nevada (Weisgerber 2006, (...)

26If earlier prehistoric communities sporadically carried out their extractions and salt collecting while roaming with their flocks through the landscapes may be debated. It is likely that some of the recently discovered fireplaces belong to this phase (Gonon et al., this volume). When this access pattern changed can only be guessed: the variety of stone tools – in particular their specialized pointy shape – may indicate that this step took place probably during the EBA (for a discussion of the tools, see Tamazashvili 2014b). Their pointed ends are especially striking and seem an adoption to the rock salt deposit.12 A round shaped working trace found at site M9 at the entrance of an underground mine that later was extended during the Iron Age indicates their use for splitting larger salt blocks from a work bottom (fig. 8.2).

27According to the find evidence of hammer tools from Kültepe I site (Abibullaev 1982, pl. 14.6‑8) it is likely that some of the mining activities were practiced by those communities from a certain chronological stage onwards. Whether the Kültepe communities also controlled the access to that important deposit can only be guessed. If so, it would indicate a principal change in territorial, social and economic concepts that also would require logistical concepts of how to transport rock salt to consumers. As rock salt cannot be found archaeologically as a trading good, such questions will remain largely hypothetical. It would require more excavations and studies about the finds and their relations from the LC and EBA layers of Kültepe I. What already became clear in older discussions and analyses of Kültepe metals was the richness of its layers in metal finds in general (Schachner 2002, pp. 118‑125, tab. 1‑2). But if this indicates a nodule point in exchange activities of rock salt certainly needs more investigations.

Metal ores

28The natural supply of ores is manifold in ore mountains of the TEMB (“Tethyan Eurasian Metallogenic Belt”) that stretches from West Europe to Central Asia. The Caucasus especially holds a rich polymetallic ore supply (e.g. Moon et al. 2001; Twaltschrelidze 2001). It should be stressed in principle that modern economic assessments do not meet the prehistoric importance of such deposits. Ore-enrichments for instance were different at or near the outcrops/gossan zones where carbonates and oxides dominate. It also may be considered that different metallurgical experience and metal demands left aside some of the mineral contents of a deposit while others were predominately used. This would be typical for instance for volcanogenic massive sulphide ore deposits (VMS) in which various enrichments of sulphides (chalcopyrites, galena, sphalerites) and of oxides (malachites, azurites, oxidised arsenic ores and free gold) can be observed (e.g. Hauptmann et al. 2010). Without a detailed study of the metallurgical chain it is not possible to know which minerals were exploited predominantly; studies of mine tailings – if they are preserved – may help, as unused minerals often can be found there, especially if the ore lodes had been exploited as a whole and separation took place by beneficiation steps afterwards.

29As already mentioned there is not much known about the oldest steps of ore-mining in the Greater as well as the Lesser Caucasus: the older research (Mujiri 1987, 2008; Ivanishvili et al. 2001, summarizing Stöllner et al. 2010, pp. 105‑107) particularly provided evidence about copper-ore exploitation basically from the 3rd to the early 1st millennium BCE. As the dating evidence (fig. 1) is rather imprecise because of the older conventional radiocarbon 14C measurings, there is not much to be deduced from that. We only can conclude that underground copper exploitations started around the middle of the 3rd millennium BCE at the Bashkazara mines in Abkhasia and likely around 2000 BCE at Sagebi at the antimony and copper deposits near Ghebi at Rača (Maisuradze, Gobedschischwili 2001). But most of the mining evidence dates more recently to the middle and the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, such as the copper and antimony mines from Svanetia and Rača (e.g. Saargash see Tschartolani 2001, Chkornaliani, Zopchito). As already Mujiri (1987, 2008) and Tschartolani (2001) and recently Tamazashvili (2014a, 2014b) have described, most of the mining was advanced by help of fire-setting and hammer-work, a method that is well known for many old world mines (e.g. recently for copper, O’Brian 2015).

  • 13 The finds were made in 2007 but could not be understood at the time as they were not directly rela (...)

30Considering this older information, the discovery and dating of Sakdrisi mine to the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE raised another question. When did metal ore mining really start as a formalized mining process, and are there pre-steps of metal ore procurement in the 5th and the earlier 4th millennium BCE? The highly developed techniques of deep mining in Sakdrisi (Gambashidze et al. 2010; Stöllner et al. 2010; Stöllner et al. 2014) raises the question of where and when such techniques might have been developed. Was the technical know-how introduced from abroad or had it been originated locally? One of the best pieces of evidence derives from the mining district of Madneuli/Sakdrisi itself. LC copper-smelting and casting had been proven at the Dzedzvebi plateau for the end of the 5th millennium BCE. There are some possible connections to mining activities in the Abulmulg/Abanoshevi valley opposite of the Dzedzvebi plateau: hammer-stones were found at the bottom of the Postiskedi deposit (Sakdrisi III) (fig. 9). Nearby recent rescue excavation also evidenced LC‑3/4 finds, thus indicating some sort of connection to early 4th millennium BCE.13 This assumption is also supported by archaeometallurgical studies on slags from Dzedzebi IV.3 excavation that date to the end of the 5th millennium. They geochemically best fit to the Bolnisi-Madneuli ore zone despite their (deliberately) elevated levels of silver (Courcier et al., this volume). It is therefore probable that mining for copper and precious metal ores already had begun during the Late Chalcolithic in local communities (fig. 9).

Fig. 9 – Abanoschevi/Abulmulg near Kazreti, Bolnisi district, example of possible LC stone hammers found at the valley bottom nearby later discovered settlement traces (DBM/RUB/GNM, T. Sachvadze, T. Rabsilber, T. Stöllner).

Fig. 9 – Abanoschevi/Abulmulg near Kazreti, Bolnisi district, example of possible LC stone hammers found at the valley bottom nearby later discovered settlement traces (DBM/RUB/GNM, T. Sachvadze, T. Rabsilber, T. Stöllner).
  • 14 Already Selimchanov 1960, p. 78; the Kedabeg region is well known for metal rich Late Bronze to Ea (...)
  • 15 I am thankful to S. Timberlake who made available his report from 2013 that he performed for the l (...)

31Other earlier evidence can be assumed from the abundant copper artefacts and fragments found at the LC levels of Mentesh Tepe and the West-Azerbaijan Kura valley (Courcier, Lyonnet, Guliyev 2012; Courcier 2014). The large series found in LC levels of Mentesh Tepe have been investigated in detail according to their Ni, As, Sb and Ag contents and their lead-isotope ratio. It seems that especially the copper deposits of the Bolnisi-Madneuli, the Armenian Alaverdi-Kapan, the Sevan-Amasian as well the Kedabeg-Dashkesan ore fields would fit the geochemical data. The geochemical argument is more difficult for younger periods such as the Kura-Araxes finds from Mentesh Tepe, as some elements such as arsenic seem deliberately elevated, but in general the same sort of deposits were used. Their distance to Mentesh Tepe is different: while the Bolnisi-Madneuli and the Alaverdi-Kapan zones can be reached only by a walking distance of some days (around 140‑160 km as the crow flies) the deposits of Misdağ (Kedabeg) and Siny-Yar are much nearer (around 40 km). The large VMS deposit of Misdağ where important copper winning in the 19th century and recently gold exploitation took place is an interesting candidate not only for Late Bronze Age but also for older mining14 (fig. 10.1). Recent investigations were undertaken by S. Timberlake and the French-German project. Although modern open-cast exploitation destroyed much of the older workings (of which some seem to belong rather to medieval and younger periods), some evidence is undoubtedly prehistoric. Prehistoric stone tool scatter and a near-surface irregular mine are the best evidences so far (fig. 10.2‑3); some Cu/As metals kept in the local museum likely date to the Kura-Araxes periods and do further support the hypothesis that first exploitations took place from the 4th millennium BCE onwards (fig. 10.4).15

Fig. 10 – Kedabeg/Gadabay (Azerbaijan); 1: open-cast mine (S. Timberlake); 2: irregular prehistoric (?) surface mining traces (T. Stöllner); 3: prehistoric grinding tools (S. Timberlake); 4: LC/EBA metals from the Kedabeg museum (T. Stöllner).

Fig. 10 – Kedabeg/Gadabay (Azerbaijan); 1: open-cast mine (S. Timberlake); 2: irregular prehistoric (?) surface mining traces (T. Stöllner); 3: prehistoric grinding tools (S. Timberlake); 4: LC/EBA metals from the Kedabeg museum (T. Stöllner).

32It is clear that further potential copper-mining areas can be expected but often exact connections are not proven. The region of Kültepe/Nakhcivan was already suspected by the older scholar generation as one of the potential source regions for Cu/As ores and as one potential area for the early invention of enriched copper-arsenic alloy (e.g. Selimchanov 1977, esp. p. 3). Selimchanov mentioned potential copper and arsenic sources near Vayxir and Dari Dağ (Selimchanov 1960, p. 76). Further indications were discovered recently by the French-Azerbaijani team at the LC campsite of Zirinçlik in the form of a casting mould and a hammer-tool finding near Uçan Ağıl. Copper occurrences (e.g. Misdağı 1/2) are known at many places in the Sirab valley (Gailhard et al., this volume). But it is clear that also the mountain ranges south of the Araxes valley can be considered as potential copper-mining areas, as the geological background is similar (Bazin, Hübner 1969, p. 22, fig. 6) and also stone-tool finds are indicative of this scenario (Mazrayeh; Weisgerber 1990, p. 77, fig. 2.2).

33Some words finally have to be added to the earliest evidence of mining in the gold and copper districts around the Lake Sevan in the Armenian highlands. Recent surveys allow new insights into gold deposits as well as the archaeological evidence that especially indicates an intensive (re)settlement of the region during the EBA. Kura-Araxes sites are well known in the Margahovit/Fjoletovo as well as the Sotk region east of the Sevan Lake (Kunze et al. 2011). Although all the surveys could not provide evidence of an EBA or even an older usage of copper and gold deposits from the Alaverdi-Kapan and the Sevan-Amasian orogenic zones, there are some hints. A Kura-Araxes settlement near the copper deposit of Fjoletovo has evidenced stone-tool manufacturing, something that was related to mining activities (Gevorkyan, Palmieri 2001). Some observations can be added from the deposits themselves. The large primary free-gold deposit of Sotk is geologically similar to the Sakdrisi mine and was therefore regarded as a potential gold source (Wolf et al. 2011; Wolf, Kunze 2014). Some older workings and traces can be observed but if they date back to the later 4th and 3rd millennium remains still unknown (Wolf, Kunze 2014, esp. pp. 117‑121).

34However one estimates the evidence of metal ore-mining in the Armenian highlands and when it started, one never should forget that those highland valleys were approached for special purposes from the larger agrarian zones in the surrounding areas (e.g. the Araxes valley and the Ararat plain or Kura valley). Pastoralists and settlers might have carried even metal objects with them. This was assumed for a dagger from Godedzor in the Armenian highlands (for a possible foreign origin of the metal see K. Meliksetian in Palumbi et al., this volume).

Some conclusions: on the earliest phases of mining and metallurgy in the Trans-Caucasus

35The basic aim of this article was to discuss the question of when and how the prehistoric Transcaucasian communities started to transform their landscape, especially the highlands, from a sporadically visited into an intensively managed resource region. This undoubtedly also has to do with the processes that led to permanent approaches and settlements at the Lesser Caucasus highlands between the Kura valley system in the north and the Aras/Araxes river system in the south. This area was the focal point of our discussion, particularly to understanding the dynamics of mobility, social and economic activities between the Late Chalcolithic and the EBA in the Trans-Caucasus and beyond (fig. 11). A question often raised was whether the quest for resources such as metal ores, obsidian or pastoral lands forced Transcaucasian groups to be mobile to a higher degree or even to migrate longer distances to the Upper Euphrates and North Iran in the second half of the 4th millennium. Or could we even understand the identity of the Transcaucasian people as so tightly interwoven to such practices and landscapes that this identity was even expressed by their special and long-lived pottery traditions (the red-black burnished pottery tradition; Palumbi 2009)? However we understand the social, cultural and economic upheavals in the middle of the 4th millennium BCE, it is important to debate especially the processes with a broader and holistic perspective according to their temporal dimensions but also the economic and technical practices of the communities involved. This is even truer during the period some centuries later when dynamic social processes did alter not only the Transcaucasian regions but also the larger world, according to their temporal dimensions but also the economic and technical practices of the communities involved.

Fig. 11 – Archaeological sites of the 4th and 3rd millennium in East Georgia and the Kura Valley in Azerbaijan (based on Japaridze 1992; LC: Late Chalcolithic; KA: Kura-Araxes; MB: Martkopi-Bedeni); 1: Berikldeebi (LC); 2: Sioni (LC, KA); 3: Tsopi (LC, KA); 4: Abanoskhevi/Abulmug, Sakdrisi; Dzedzvebi (LC, KA); 5: Marneuli Imiris gora (LC); 6: Ginchi/Tiuleti (LC, KA); 7: Abanoskhevi (LC, KA); 8: Mentesh Tepe (LC, KA, MB); 9: Boyuk Kesik (LC); 10: Soyuq Bulaq (LC); 11: Poylu (LC); 12: Babadervish (LC); 13: Gudabertka, Tsikhia gora (KA); 14: Kvazkhelebi/Kvazkhela (KA); 15: Gantiadi/Dmanisi (KA); 16: Khisanaant gora (Urbnisi) (KA); 17: Bestasheni (KA); 18: Samshvilde (KA); 19: Tiselis seri (KA) (Tadzrizi); 20: Slatili/Duscheti; 21: Koda (KA); 22: Hasansu (KA‑Azer); 23: Parvani, Khulgumo (MB); 24: Bedeni (MB); 25: Baraleti (MB); 26: Martkopi (MB); 27: Ananauri (MB); 28: Tsiteliskaro (MB); 29: Gori (Kheltubani, MB); 30: Tedotsminda (MB); 31: Zilcha (MB); 32: Anaga (MB); 33: Irgantshai (MB); 34: Sadakhlo (MB); 35: Sagaredsho/Ninotsminda (MB); 36: Dedoplis Tskaro/Tsiteli Sabatlo (MB); 37: Korinta/Tshkinvali (MB); 38: Alazani (MB); 39: Tserovani (Mzcheta) (MB); 40: Tsitelisgorebi/Uianovka (MB); 41: Znori (MB).

Fig. 11 – Archaeological sites of the 4th and 3rd millennium in East Georgia and the Kura Valley in Azerbaijan (based on Japaridze 1992; LC: Late Chalcolithic; KA: Kura-Araxes; MB: Martkopi-Bedeni); 1: Berikldeebi (LC); 2: Sioni (LC, KA); 3: Tsopi (LC, KA); 4: Abanoskhevi/Abulmug, Sakdrisi; Dzedzvebi (LC, KA); 5: Marneuli Imiris gora (LC); 6: Ginchi/Tiuleti (LC, KA); 7: Abanoskhevi (LC, KA); 8: Mentesh Tepe (LC, KA, MB); 9: Boyuk Kesik (LC); 10: Soyuq Bulaq (LC); 11: Poylu (LC); 12: Babadervish (LC); 13: Gudabertka, Tsikhia gora (KA); 14: Kvazkhelebi/Kvazkhela (KA); 15: Gantiadi/Dmanisi (KA); 16: Khisanaant gora (Urbnisi) (KA); 17: Bestasheni (KA); 18: Samshvilde (KA); 19: Tiselis seri (KA) (Tadzrizi); 20: Slatili/Duscheti; 21: Koda (KA); 22: Hasansu (KA‑Azer); 23: Parvani, Khulgumo (MB); 24: Bedeni (MB); 25: Baraleti (MB); 26: Martkopi (MB); 27: Ananauri (MB); 28: Tsiteliskaro (MB); 29: Gori (Kheltubani, MB); 30: Tedotsminda (MB); 31: Zilcha (MB); 32: Anaga (MB); 33: Irgantshai (MB); 34: Sadakhlo (MB); 35: Sagaredsho/Ninotsminda (MB); 36: Dedoplis Tskaro/Tsiteli Sabatlo (MB); 37: Korinta/Tshkinvali (MB); 38: Alazani (MB); 39: Tserovani (Mzcheta) (MB); 40: Tsitelisgorebi/Uianovka (MB); 41: Znori (MB).

36The earliest evidence of mining raw materials can be deduced back to the later 5th and the early 4th millennium BCE. In many aspects the Late Chalcolithic “beginnings”, e.g. the intensification of highland pastoralism as well as the more focused approach to mineral resources, are based on the Late Neolithic Shulaveri-Shomutepe communities whose settlements already can be found alongside the Kura-valley system and at the Ararat plain (e.g. Hansen et al. 2013, fig. 35.1; Courcier 2014, fig. 22.4). Many aspects make it undoubtedly clear that these phases of raw material procurements were running ahead of the LC and EBA procurement activities that seem enlarged and more standardised, especially when regarding the increase of metals now consumed and found in graves and also settlements. There were differences especially when regarding the metallurgical traditions and the consumption of metals in general, but it had been broadly discussed recently that several innovation steps can be discussed for the Sioni and the Leilatepe tradition of the Later Chalcolithic phases (e.g. Courcier 2014; Helwing 2012; Akhundov 2014). For that period it can still be observed that focal points of metallurgical practice were based at the large valleys and at the entrances to the highlands (e.g. Kültepe/Ovçular Tepesi/Zirinçlik; Alkhantepe/Leilatepe; Mentesh Tepe/Boyuk Kesik; Dzedzvebi). This undoubtedly does indicate a direct access strategy to ore deposits at the mountains during those periods. And this fits also the animal husbandry data, which either provide evidence of summer and winter pasture economy and the increasing importance of sheep and goat as typical flock (see above). The data about the acquisition of obsidians show that geographical location was important for choosing the acquisition strategy. While sites with abundant possibilities for supply often acquired from various sources (not always the nearest possibilities), others concentrated on a single source, particularly when the next source was outside the daily reach. There are anomalous LC assemblages like this from Mentesh Tepe that prove a special relation via the lateral mountain valleys and the summits of the Lesser Caucasus to the Armenian highlands and their obsidian deposits (see above). This pattern can probably be explained by pastoral transhumance and some exchange with groups in the highlands. Pastoral practice was likely also responsible for the distribution of the highly desired rock salt from Duzdağı. The mine was most likely connected with transhumance routes from the Araxes/Aras valley towards the mountains via the Sirab valley. Similar to the small quantities of copper (e.g. at Vayxir and Mizdağ) (Gailhard et al. 2017), salt might also have been collected rather than mined at the beginning. There is still no evidence of a specialized mining process at the salt mine. Concluding the data from the Late Chalcolithic, it seems that the routes to the mountains were established during those centuries, for instance by summer-winter transhumance patterns that also included the procurement of other raw materials as well. The processes were more interrelated with a multifaceted strategy within the highlands.

37Towards the beginning of the EBA Kura-Araxes groups there was a striking social-economic change that especially was linked with more and permanent settlements in the highlands and related mountain valleys. It is obvious that Kura-Araxes sites were established in high altitude but also in highland regions in general (for the Kura valley, see Stöllner 2016, p. 224, fig. 10, 11), which logically had its consequences. The amount of more sedentary animals such as pigs and partly also cattle was again increasing in most of the regional EBA settlements (tab. 2/fig. 5). Although sheep and goats remained the most important domestic animals, they were still being kept in specialized pastures outside the villages, as the kill-off pattern of the animals in some of the KA settlements proves (Berthon et al., this volume). Although such herding techniques already were known in the later Chalcolithic (Berthon et al., this volume; Palumbi et al., this volume), it may seem that the Kura-Araxes communities continued and adopted this husbandry system. But mobility changed to a more regional or even local phenomenon, especially in regions where settlements were located near summer pastures, ore and obsidian deposits, and of tracks and ways to and over the highlands. There was even the establishment of some territorial control via resources. The sudden rise of deliberately alloyed arsenical bronzes at the end of the 4th millennium BCE is conspicuous for this shift of strategies, especially when regarding the need for technical knowledge and the need for control of two different types of ores. The same is true for a highly developed gold mining centre at Sakdrisi and Dzedzvebi (Stöllner et al. 2010; Stöllner, Gambashidze 2011; Stöllner et al. 2014; Stöllner et al., this volume). There is a direct link to the surrounding ore-sources and especially to the Kachagiani (Sakdrisi) hillock that was exploited by the dwellers from Dzedzvebi. However, those communities conceptualized their control over such a probably famous gold source, their need was now a more or less permanent one. Although transhumant groups were still active in providing mineral resources, professional skills and the need of technical concision forced the groups to specialize in their different economic life practices. Such increasing specialisation of parts of the society certainly did force people and communities to find ways to harmonize the visual aspects of material culture (for instance the long lasting RBBW pottery tradition) or to invent other forms of social interactions. In a recent article S. Batiuk (2013) stressed the importance of feasting and wine-cultivation as an internally efficacious mental construct of Kura-Araxes communities. This would have allowed the ETC groups to keep their identity even in remote and foreign regional circumstances. Special techniques, coloured metal items as well as long blades (see for instance Thomalsky, this volume) might have been other components of this specialized lifestyle that became visible in burial rites especially around 3000 BCE.

Bibliographie

Aali, Stöllner 2015: A. Aali, T. Stöllner (dir.), The archaeology of the salt miners. Interdisciplinary research 2010‑2014, published in Metalla (Bochum) 21/1‑2, 2014 (2015), pp. 1‑141 (Persian: pp. 143‑216).

Abedi et al. 2013: A. Abedi, H.K. Shahedi, C. Chataignier, N. Eskandari, M. Kazemipour, A. Piromohammadi, J. Hosseinzadeh, “Excavation at Kul Tepe (Hadishahr), north-western Iran, 2010: first preliminary report”, Ancient Near Eastern Studies 51, 2013, pp. 33‑165.

Abibullaev 1982: O.A. Abibullaev, Eneolit I Bronzana te Nachiçevanskoj ASSR, Baku, 1982.

Akhundov 2007: T. Akhundov, “Sites de migrants venus du Proche-Orient en Transcaucasie”, in B. Lyonnet (dir.), Les cultures du Caucase (VIe‑IIIe millénaires avant notre ère). Leurs relations avec le Proche-Orient, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2007, pp. 95‑122.

Akhundov 2014: T. Akhundov, “At the beginning of Caucasian metallurgy”, in G. Narimanishvili (dir.), Problems of Early Metal Age archaeology of Caucasus and Anatolia. Proceedings of the International Conference (November 19‑23, 2014), Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2014, pp. 11‑16.

Algaze 1989: G. Algaze, “The Uruk expansion: cross-cultural exchange in Early Mesopotamian civilisation”, Current Anthropology 30/5, 1989, pp. 571‑608.

Algaze 1993: G. Algaze, The Uruk world system. The dynamics of expansion of Early Mesopotamian civilisation, Chicago/London, University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Algaze 2008: G. Algaze, Ancient Mesopotamia at the dawn of civilisation. The evolution of a urban landscape, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2008, pp. 68‑73.

Algaze 2013: G. Algaze, “The end of prehistory and the Uruk period”, in H. Crawford (dir.), The Sumerian World, London/New York, The Routledge Worlds, 2013, pp. 68‑94.

Aliyev 1983: V. Aliyev, “Nachçıvanın gedim duz medenleri”, Azarbajan SSR Elmler Akademjasırın Haberleri 4, 1983, pp. 79‑87.

Badalyan 2010: R. Badalyan, “Obsidian in the southern Caucasus. The use of raw materials in the Neolithic to Early Iron Ages”, in S. Hansen, A. Hauptmann, I. Motzenbäcker, E. Pernicka (dir.), Von Majkop bis Trialeti. Gewinnung und Verbreitung von Metallen und Obsidian in Kaukasien im 4.‑2. Jt. v. Chr., Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2010, pp. 27‑38.

Badalyan, Avetisyan 2007: R. Badalyan, P. Avetisyan, Bronze Age and Early Iron Age archaeological sites in Armenia. I. Mt Aragats and its surrounding area, BAR International Series 1697, Oxford/Lyon, Archaeopress, 2007.

Badalyan et al. 2010: R. Badalyan, A. Harutyunyan, C. Chataigner, F. Le Mort, J.‑E. Brochier, A. Balasescu, V. Radu, R. Hovsepyan, “The settlement of Aknashen-Khatunarkh, a Neolithic site in the Ararat Plain (Armenia): excavation results 2004‑2009”, TÜBA‑AR 13, 2010, pp. 185‑218.

Bakhshaliyev, Novruzlu 1995: V. Bakhshaliyev, E. Novruzlu, Nachçıvanın ve babek bögesinin Archeologiji Abideleri, Baku, 1995.

Bartosiewicz 2010: L. Bartosiewicz, “Herding in Period VI A. Development and changes from Period VII”, in M. Frangipane (dir.), Economic centralisation in formative states. The archaeological reconstruction of the economic system in 4th millennium Arslantepe, Studi di Preistoria Orientale (SPO) 3, Rome, “Sapienza” Università di Roma/Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità, 2010, pp. 119‑148.

Batiuk 2013: S. Batiuk, “The fruits of migration. Understanding the ‘longue dureé’ and the socio-economic relations of the Early Transcaucasian culture”, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32/4, 2013, pp. 449‑477.

Bazin, Hübner 1969: D. Bazin, H. Hübner, Copper deposits in Iran, Geological Survey of Iran. Report 13, Tehran, 1969.

Berthon 2014: R. Berthon, “Past, current, and future contribution of zooarchaeology to the knowledge of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures in South Caucasus”, Studies in Caucasian Archaeology 2, 2014, pp. 4‑30.

Berthon et al. 2013: R. Berthon, A. Decaix, Z.E. Kovács, W. Van Neer, M. Tengberg, G. Willcox, T. Cucchi, “A bioarchaeological investigation of three late Chalcolithic pits at Ovçular Tepesi (Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan)”, Journal of Environmental Archaeology 18, 2013, pp. 191‑200.

Biagi et al. 2017: P. Biagi, R. Nisbet, B. Gratuze, “Obsidian mines and their characterization: New aspects of the exploitation of the obsidian sources of Mt. Chikiani (Koyun Dağ) in the Lesser Caucasus of Georgia”, The Quarry 12, 2017, pp. 2‑24.

Blackmann et al. 1998: J. Blackmann, R. Badalyan, Z. Kikodze, P. Kohl, “Chemical characterization of Caucasian obsidian geological sources”, in M.‑C. Cauvin, A. Gourgaud, B. Gratuze, N. Arnaud, G. Poupeau, J.‑L. Poidevin, C. Chataigner (dir.), L’obsidienne au Proche et Moyen-Orient: du volcan à l’outil, BAR International Series 738, Oxford, Archaeopress, 1998, pp. 205‑231.

Bökönyi 1983: S. Bökönyi, “Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze animal remains from Arslantepe (Malatya), Turkey: a preliminary report”, Origini 12/2, 1983, pp. 581‑598.

Burney, Lang 1971: C. Burney, D.M. Lang, The peoples of the hills. Ancient Ararat and Caucasus, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971.

Butterlin 2003: P. Butterlin, Les temps proto-urbains de Mésopotamie, contact et acculturation à l’époque dite d’Uruk en Mésopotamie, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2003.

Cauvin et al. 1998: M.‑C. Cauvin, A. Gourgaud, B. Gratuze, N. Arnaud, G. Poupeau, J.‑L. Poidevin, C. Chataigner (dir.), L’obsidienne au Proche et Moyen-Orient: du volcan à l’outil, BAR International Series 738, Oxford, Archaeopress, 1998.

Chataigner, Barge 2010: C. Chataigner, O. Barge, “GIS (Geographic Information System) and obsidian procurement analysis: pathway modelisation in space and time”, in S. Hansen, A. Hauptmann, I. Motzenbäcker, E. Pernicka (dir.), Von Majkop bis Trialeti. Gewinnung und Verbreitung von Metallen und Obsidian in Kaukasien im 4.‑2. Jt. v. Chr., Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2010, pp. 1‑14.

Chataigner et al. 2010: C. Chataigner, P. Avetisyan, G. Palumbi, H. Uerpman, “Godedzor, a Late-Ubaid-related settlement in southern Caucasus”, in R. Carter, G. Philip (dir.), The Ubaid and beyond. Exploring the transmission of culture in the developed prehistoric societies of the Middle East, Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications, 2010, pp. 377‑394.

Chataigner, Gratuze 2014a: C. Chataigner, B. Gratuze, “New data on the exploitation of obsidian (Armenia, Georgia) and eastern Turkey. Part 1: source characterization”, Archaeometry 56/1, 2014, pp. 25‑47.

Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b: C. Chataigner, B. Gratuze, “New data on the exploitation of obsidian (Armenia, Georgia) and eastern Turkey. Part 2: obsidian procurement from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Late Bronze Age”, Archaeometry 56/1, 2014, pp. 48‑69.

Chataigner, Işikli, Çil 2013: C. Chataigner, M. Işikli, V. Çil, “Obsidian sources in the regions of Erzurum and Kars (NE Turkey): new data”, Archaeometry 56/3, 2013, pp. 351‑374.

Chernykh 1992: E.N. Chernykh, Ancient metallurgy in the USSR, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Courcier 2007: A. Courcier, “La métallurgie dans les pays du Caucase au Chalcolithique et au début de l’âge du Bronze: bilan des études et perspectives nouvelles”, in B. Lyonnet (dir.), Les cultures du Caucase (VIe‑IIIe millénaires avant notre ère). Leurs relations avec le Proche-Orient, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2007, pp. 199‑232.

Courcier 2012: A. Courcier, “The metallurgical evidence at Mentesh Tepe: preliminary results of archaeometallurgical analyses”, in B. Lyonnet, F. Guliyev, B. Helwing, T. Aliyev, S. Hansen, G. Mirtskhulava, Ancient Kura 2010-2011: the first two seasons of joint field work in the southern Caucasus, published in Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran und Turan 44, 2012, pp. 109‑112.

Courcier 2014: A. Courcier, “Ancient metallurgy in the Caucasus from the sixth to the third millennium BCE”, in B. Roberts, C. Thornton (dir.), Archaeometallurgy in global perspective. Methods and syntheses, New York, Springer, 2014, pp. 133‑159.

Courcier, Lyonnet, Guliyev 2012: A. Courcier, B. Lyonnet, F. Guliyev, “Metallurgy during the Middle Chalcolithic Period in the southern Caucasus. Insight through recent discoveries at Mentesh Tepe, Azerbaijan”, in P. Jett, B. McCarthy, J.G. Douglas (dir.), Scientific research on Ancient Asian metallurgy. Proceedings of the Fifth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art, London, Oxbow Books, 2012, pp. 205‑224.

Crabtree 2011: P. Crabtree, “The animal remains from Godin Period IV”, in H. Gopnik, M.S. Rothman (dir.), On the high road: the history of Godin Tepe, Iran, New York, Mazda Publishers, 2011, p. 178.

Cribb 1991: R. Cribb, Nomads in archaeology, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Erdoğu et al. 2003: B. Erdoğu, M. Özbaşaran, R. Erdoğu, J. Chapman, “Prehistoric salt exploitation in Tuz Gölü, Central Anatolia: preliminary investigations”, Anatolia Antiqua 11, 2003, pp. 11‑19.

Fazeli, Valipour, Azizi Kharanaghi 2013: N.H. Fazeli, H.R. Valipour, M.H. Azizi Kharanaghi, “The Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age in the Qazvin and Tehran plains: a chronological perspective”, in C.A. Petrie (dir.), Ancient Iran and its neighbours: local developments and long-range interactions in the 4th millennium BC, British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monograph Series 3, Oxford, Oxbow Books, 2013, pp. 107‑129.

Fazeli, Wong, Potts 2005: N.H. Fazeli, E. Wong, D.T. Potts, “The Qazvin Plain revisited: a reappraisal of the chronology of north-western Central Plateau, Iran in the 6th to the 4th millennium BC”, Ancient Near Eastern Studies 42, 2005, pp. 3‑82.

Frangipane 2014: M. Frangipane, “After collapse: continuity and disruption in the settlement by Kura-Araxes linked pastoral groups at Arslantepe, Malatya (Turkey). New data”, Paléorient 40/2, 2014, pp. 169‑182.

Frangipane 2016: M. Frangipane, “The origins of administrative practices and their developments in Greater Mesopotamia. The evidence from Arslantepe”, Archéo-Nil 26, 2016, pp. 9‑33.

Gailhard et al. 2017: N. Gailhard, M. Bode, A. Hauptmann, V. Bakhshaliyev, C. Marro, “Archaeometallurgical investigations in Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan). What does the evidence from Late Chalcolithic Ovçular Tepesi tell us about the beginning of extractive metallurgy?”, Journal of Field Archaeology 42/6, 2017, pp. 530‑550.

Gambashidze et al. 2001: I. Gambashidze, A. Hauptmann, R. Slotta, Ü. Yalçin, Georgien. Schätze aus dem Land des Goldenen Vlies, Katalog der Ausstellung (Bochum, Veröffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum 100), Bochum, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2001.

Gambashidze et al. 2010: I. Gambashidze, G. Mindiashvili, G. Gogotshuri, K. Kachiani, I. Dshaparidze, Ancient metallurgy and mining in Georgia in the 6th to 3rd millennium BC, Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2010 (in Georgian).

Gambashidze, Stöllner 2016: I. Gambashidze, T. Stöllner, The gold of Sakdrisi. Man’s first gold mining enterprise, Rahden, Leidorf, 2016.

Garfinkel et al. 2014: Y. Garfinkel, F. Klimscha, S. Shalev, D. Rosenberg, “The beginning of metallurgy in the southern Levant: a late 6th millennium cal. BC copper awl from Tel Tsaf, Israel”, PLoS ONE 9/3, 2014, e92591, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0092591 (accessed 26/03/2014).

Gevorkyan, Palmieri 2001: A. Gevorkyan, A. Palmieri, “Fioletovo”, in A. Kalantaryan, S. Harutiunyan (dir.), Kul’tura drevney Armenii (Die Kultur Altarmeniens) 2, Yerevan, Izdadtel’stvo Akademii Nauk Armenskoi SSR, 2001, pp. 11‑13.

Ghorbani 2010: M. Ghorbani, “Provenance of obsidian tools from northwestern Iran using X-Ray fluorescence analysis and neutron activation analysis”, International Association for Obsidian Studies 43, 2010, pp. 14‑26.

Hansen 2011: S. Hansen, “Technische und soziale Innovationen in der zweiten Hälfte des 4. Jahrtausends v. Chr.”, in S. Hansen, J. Müller (dir.), Sozialarchäologische Perspektiven. Gesellschaftlicher Wandel 5000‑1500 v. Chr. zwischen Atlantik und Kaukasus. Internationale Tagung 15.‑18. Oktober 2007 in Kiel, published in Arch. Eurasien 24, 2011, pp. 153‑191.

Hansen 2016: S. Hansen, “Beads of gold and silver in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC”, in G. Körlin, M. Prange, T. Stöllner, Ü. Yalçın (dir.), From bright ores to shiny metals. Festschrift for Andreas Hauptmann on the occasion of 40 years research in archaeometallurgy and archaeometry, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 29, 2016, pp. 37‑48.

Hansen et al. 2013: S. Hansen, G. Mirtskhulava, K. Bastert-Lamprichs, “Neolithic settlements of the 6th millennium BC in the southern Caucasus”, in O.P. Nieuwenhuyse, R. Bernbeck, P.M.M.G. Akkermans, J. Rogasch (dir.), Interpreting the Late Neolithic of Upper Mesopotamia, Turnhout, Brepols, 2013, pp. 387‑396.

Hauptmann et al. 2002: A. Hauptmann, S. Schmitt-Strecker, F. Begemann, A. Palmieri, “Chemical composition and lead isotopy of metal objects from the ‘royal tomb’ and other related finds at Arslantepe, eastern Anatolia”, Paléorient 28/2, 2002, pp. 43‑70.

Hauptmann et al. 2010: A. Hauptmann, C. Bendall, G. Brey, I. Japaridze, I. Gambashidze, S. Klein, M. Prange, T. Stöllner, “Gold in Georgien. Analytische Untersuchungen an Goldartefakten und an Naturgold aus dem Kaukasus und dem Transkaukasus”, in S. Hansen, A. Hauptmann, I. Motzenbäcker, E. Pernicka (dir.), Von Majkop bis Trialeti. Gewinnung und Verbreitung von Metallen und Obsidian in Kaukasien im 4.‑2. Jt. v. Chr., Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2010, pp. 139‑160.

Helwing 2010: B. Helwing, “The small finds from Arisman”, in A. Vatandoust, H. Parzinger, B. Helwing (dir.), Early mining and metallurgy on the western Central Iranian Plateau. Report on the first five years of research of the joint Iranian-German research project, published in Archäologie in Iran und Turan 9, 2010, pp. 254‑327.

Helwing 2012: B. Helwing, “Late Chalcolithic craft traditions at the north-eastern ‘periphery’”, Origini 35, 2012, pp. 201‑220.

Ingold 2000: T. Ingold, The perception of the environment: essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill, London, Routledge, 2000.

Ivanishvili et al. 2001: G. Inanishvili, G.G. Gobedishvili, B. Majsuradze, T. Mudshiri, S. Tshartolani, Istorii gorno-metalurgicheskogo proizvodstva Kolchidy, 2001 (unpublished).

Ivanova 2012: M. Ivanova, “Kaukasus und Orient. Die Entstehung des ‘Maikop-Phänomens’ im 4. Jahrtausend v. Chr”, Praehistorische Zeitschrift 87, 2012, pp. 1‑28.

Japaridze 1992: O. Japaridze, Sarkadvelos arquelogia II. Eneolit-adre brinjoas khana (Archaeology of Georgia II. Äneolithikum und Frühbronzezeit), Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 1992.

Japaridze 2013: O. Japaridze, Brinjaos industriis istoriisatvis udzveles Sakartveloshi (On the history of Bronze industry in old Georgia), Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2013.

Javakhishvili 1998: A. Javakhishvili, “Ausgrabungen in Berikldeebi (Šida Kartli)”, Georgica 21, 1998, pp. 7‑20.

Karapetyan et al. 2010: S.G. Karapetyan, R.T. Jrbashyan, A.K. Mnatsakanyan, K.G. Shirinian, “Obsidian sources in Armenia. The geological background”, in S. Hansen, A. Hauptmann, I. Motzenbäcker, E. Pernicka (dir.), Von Majkop bis Trialeti. Gewinnung und Verbreitung von Metallen und Obsidian in Kaukasien im 4.‑2. Jt. v. Chr., Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2010, p. 15‑25.

Kavtaradze 2001: G.L. Kavtaradze, “Die frühesten Metallobjekte in Zentral-Transkaukasien”, in I. Gambashidze, A. Hauptmann, R. Slotta, Ü. Yalçin, Georgien. Schätze aus dem Land des Goldenen Vlies, Katalog der Ausstellung (Bochum, Veröffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum 100), Bochum, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2001, pp. 136‑141.

Khademi Nadooshan et al. 2013: F. Khademi Nadooshan, A. Abedi, M.D. Glascock, N. Eskanderi, M. Khazaee, “Provenance of prehistoric obsidian artefacts from Kül Tepe, northwestern Iran using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis”, Journal of Archaeological Science 40, 2013, pp. 1956‑1965.

Knipper, Khain 1980: A.L. Knipper, E.V. Khain, “Structural position of ophiolites of the Caucasus”, Ofioliti 2, 1980, pp. 297‑313.

Kohl 2007: P. Kohl, The making of Bronze Age Eurasia, New York, Cambridge World Archaeology, 2007.

Kohl 2009: P. Kohl, “Origins, homelands and migrations: situating the Kura-Araxes Early Transcaucasian ‘culture’ within the history of Bronze Age Eurasia”, Tel Aviv 36, 2009, pp. 241‑265.

Kopytoff 1988: I. Kopytoff, “The cultural biography of things: commoditization as process”, in A. Appadurai (dir.), The social life of things. Commodities in cultural perspective, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 64‑91.

Kroll 2002: S. Kroll, “Metalle und Metallurgie in Nordwest-Iran und Armenien im Chalkolithikum und in der Frühen Bronzezeit”, in Ü. Yalçın (dir.), Anatolian Metal II, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 15, 2002, pp. 131‑135.

Kunze et al. 2011: R. Kunze, A. Bobokyan, K. Meliksetian, E. Pernicka, D. Wolf, “Archäologische Untersuchungen zur Umgebung der Goldgruben in Armenien mit Schwerpunkt Sotk, Provinz Gegharkunik”, in H. Meller, P. Avetisyan (dir.), Archäologie in Armenien 1, Veröff. Landesamt Denkmalpflege u. Archäologie aus Sachsen-Anhalt 64, Halle (Saale), Beier und Beran, 2011, pp. 17‑49.

Kushnareva 1997: K. Kushnareva, The southern Caucasus in Prehistory. Stages of cultural and socioeconomic development from the eight to the second millennium BC, Pennsylvania University Museum Monograph 99, Philadelphia, 1997.

Lyonnet 2007: B. Lyonnet, “La culture de Maïkop, la Transcaucasie, l’Anatolie orientale et le Proche-Orient: relations et chronologie”, in B. Lyonnet (dir.), Les cultures du Caucase (VIe‑IIIe millénaires avant notre ère). Leurs relations avec le Proche-Orient, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2007, pp. 133‑161.

Lyonnet et al. 2008: B. Lyonnet, T. Akhundov, K. Almamedov, L. Bouquet, A. Courcier, B. Jellilov, F. Huseynov, S. Loute, Z. Makharadze, S. Reynard, “Late Chalcolithic kurgans in Transcaucasia. The cemetery of Soyuq Bulaq (Azerbaijan)”, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran und Turan 40, 2008, pp. 27‑44.

Lyonnet et al. 2012: B. Lyonnet, F. Guliyev, B. Helwing, T. Aliyev, S. Hansen, G. Mirtskhulava, “Ancient Kura 2010-2011: the first two seasons of joint field work in the southern Caucasus”, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran und Turan 44, 2012, pp. 1‑190.

Lutz 2013: M. Lutz, Carl von Siemens 1829‑1906. Ein Leben zwischen Familie und Weltfirma, Munich, C.H. Beck, 2013.

Maggi, Pearce 2005: R. Maggi, M. Pearce, “Mid fourth-millennium copper mining in Liguria, north-west Italy: the earliest known copper mines in western Europe”, Antiquity 79, 2005, pp. 66‑77.

Maisuradze, Gobedschischwili 2001: B. Maisuradze, G. Gobedschischwili, “Alter Bergbau in Ratscha”, in I. Gambashidze, A. Hauptmann, R. Slotta, Ü. Yalçin, Georgien. Schätze aus dem Land des Goldenen Vlies, Katalog der Ausstellung (Bochum, Veröffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum 100), Bochum, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2001, pp. 130‑135.

Majidzadeh 1979: Y. Majidzadeh, “An early prehistoric coppersmith workshop at Tepe Ghabristan”, in Akten des VII. Internationalen Kongresses für Iranische Kunst und Archäologie (Munich, 1976), Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran Ergänzungsband 6, Berlin, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, 1979, pp. 82‑92.

Makhmudov et al. 1987: A.I. Makhmudov, A.S. Piriyev, S.N. Bagirova, T.T. Ismail-Zade, I.M. Malumyan, T.A. Adilov, “Novye mineraly medno-porfirovykh rud Kedabekskogo rayona Malogo Kavkaza”, Doklady. Akademija Nauk Azerbajdzhanskoj SSR. Petrologija 43/11, 1987, pp. 66‑71.

Marro 2007: C. Marro, “Upper-Mesopotamia and Transcaucasis in the Late Chalcolithic period (4000‑3500 BC)”, in B. Lyonnet (dir.), Les cultures du Caucase (VIe‑IIIe millénaires avant notre ère). Leurs relations avec le Proche-Orient, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2007, pp. 77‑94.

Marro 2010: C. Marro, “Where did Late Chalcolithic Chaff-Faced Ware originate? Cultural dynamics in Anatolia and Transcaucasia at the dawn of urban civilisation (ca 4500‑3500 BC)”, Paléorient 36/2, 2010, pp. 35‑55.

Marro, Bakhshaliyev, Ashurov 2011: C. Marro, V. Bakhshaliyev, S. Ashurov, “Excavations of Ovçular Tepesi (Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan). Second preliminary report: the 2009‑2010 seasons”, Anatolia Antiqua 19, 2011, pp. 53‑100.

Marro et al. 2010: C. Marro, V. Bakhshaliyev, S. Sanz, N. Aliyev, “Archaeological investigations on the salt mine of Duzdağı (Nakhchivan, Azerbaidjan)”, TÜBA‑AR 13, 2010, pp. 229‑244.

Matthews 2000: R. Matthews, “Fourth and third millennia chronologies: the view from Tell Brak, North-East Syria”, in C. Marro, H. Hauptmann (dir.), Chronologie des pays du Caucase et de l’Euphrate aux IVe‑IIIe millénaires, Varia Anatolica XI, Paris, De Boccard, 2000, pp. 65‑72.

Meliksetian et al. 2011: K. Meliksetian, S. Kraus, E. Pernicka, P. Avetissyan, S. Devejian, L. Petrosya, “Metallurgy of Prehistoric Armenia”, in Ü. Yalcin (dir.), Anatolian Metal V, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 24, 2011, pp. 201‑211.

Meliksetyan, Pernicka 2010: C. Meliksetyan, E. Pernicka, “Geochemical characterization of Armenian Early Bronze Age metal artifacts and their relation to copper ore”, in S. Hansen, A. Hauptmann, I. Motzenbäcker, E. Pernicka (dir.), Von Majkop bis Trialeti. Gewinnung und Verbreitung von Metallen und Obsidian in Kaukasien im 4.‑2. Jt. v. Chr., Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2010, pp. 41‑58.

Messager et al. 2015: E. Messager, E. Herrscher, L. Martin, E. Kvavadze, I. Martkoplishvili, C. Delhon, K. Kakhiani, G. Bedianashvili, G. Sagona, L. Bitadze, M. Poulmarc’h, A. Guy, D. Lordkipanidze, “Archaeobotanical and isotopic evidence of Early Bronze Age farming activities and diet in the mountainous environment of the South Caucasus: a pilot study of Chobareti site (Samtskhee Javakheti region)”, Journal of Archaeological Science 53, 2015, pp. 214‑226.

Moon et al. 2001: C.J. Moon, G. Gotsiridze, V. Gugushvili, M. Kekelia, R. Migineishvili, Z. Othkhmezuri, N. Özgür, “Comparison of mineral deposits between Georgian and Turkish sectors of the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt”, in A. Piestrzynski (dir.), Mineral deposits at the beginning of the 21st century. Proc. 6th Biennial SGA Meeting, Krakow/Rotterdam, Balkema, 2001, pp. 309‑312.

Mujiri 1987: T.P. Mujiri, “Vyjavlenie pamjatnikov gornorudnogo proizvodstva Gruzii epochi pozdnej bronzy-rannego scheleza”, report Institute Gornoj mechaniki Im. G.A. Zulukidze, Tbilisi, 1987 (unpublished).

Mujiri 2008: T.P. Mujiri, Gornorudnoe proizbostvo b drevnej Gruzii. Mine Workings in Ancient Georgia, Studies of the Society of Assyriologists, Biblicists and Caucasiologists 7, Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2008.

Munchaev 1975: R.M. Munchaev, Kavkaz na zare bronzovogo veke, Neolit, Eneolit, Rannaja Bronza, Moscow, Nauka, 1975.

Museyibli 2007: N. Museyibli, Böyük Kəsik. Eneolit dövrü yaşayış məskəni, Baku, 2007.

Nebieridze 2010: L. Nebieridze, The Tsopi Chalcolithic Culture, Studies of the Society of Assyiologists, Biblical Studies and Caucasiologists 6, Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2010 (in Georgian).

Niknami, Amirkhiz, Glascock 2010: K.A. Niknami, A.C. Amirkhiz, M.D. Glascock, “Provenance studies of Chalcolithic obsidian artefacts from near Lake Urmiah, northwestern Iran using WDXRF analysis”, Archaeometry 52, 2010, pp. 19‑30.

O’Brian 2015: W. O’Brian, Prehistoric copper mining in Europe. 5500‑500 BC, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.

Palmieri et al. 1999: A. Palmieri, M. Frangipane, A. Hauptmann, K. Hess, “Early metallurgy at Arslantepe during the Late Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age IA‑IB periods”, in A. Hauptmann, E. Pernicka, T. Rehren, Ü. Yalçın (dir.), The beginnings of metallurgy, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 9, 1999, pp. 141‑148.

Palumbi 2007: G. Palumbi, “From collective burials to symbols of power. The translation of role and meanings of the stone-lined cist burial tradition from southern Caucasus to the Euphrates valley”, Scienze dell’Antichità 14, 2007, pp. 17‑44.

Palumbi 2009: G. Palumbi, The red and black. Social and cultural interaction between the Upper Euphrates and the southern Caucasus communities in the fourth and third millennium BC, Studi di Preistoria Orientale 2, Rome, Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell’Antichità, 2009.

Palumbi, Chataigner 2014: G. Palumbi, C. Chataignier, “The Kura-Araxes culture from the Caucasus to Iran, Anatolia and the Levant: between unity and diversity. A synthesis”, Paléorient 40/2, 2014, pp. 247‑260.

Palumbi et al. 2014: G. Palumbi, B. Gratuze, A. Harutyunyan, C. Chataigner, “Obsidian-tempered pottery in the southern Caucasus: a new approach to obsidian as a ceramic-temper”, Journal of Archaeological Science 44, 2014, pp. 43‑54.

Piro 2008: J. Piro, “Pastoral economies in Transcaucasian communities from the mid 4th to the 3rd millennium BC”, Actes des huitièmes Rencontres internationales d’archéozoologie de l’Asie du Sud-Ouest et des régions adjacentes, Lyon, MOM Éditions, 2008, pp. 451‑463.

Piro 2009: J. Piro, Pastoralism in the Early Transcaucasian culture: the faunal remains from Sos Höyük, phil. diss., Department of Anthropology, New York, Microform Edition, 2009.

Piro, Crabtree 2017: J. Piro, P.J. Crabtree, “Zooarchaeological evidence for pastoralism in the Early Transcaucasian culture”, in M. Mashkour, M. Beech (dir.), Archaeozoology of the Near East 9. In honour of Hans-Peter Uerpmann and François Poplin, Oxford, Oxbow Books, 2017, pp. 273‑285.

Rehren, Boscher, Pernicka 2012: T. Rehren, L. Boscher, E. Pernicka, “Large scale smelting of speiss and arsenical copper at Early Bronze Age Arisman, Iran”, Journal of Archaeological Science 39, 2012, pp. 1717‑1727.

Renfrew, Dixon 1976: C. Renfrew, J.E. Dixon, “Obsidian in western Asia: a review”, in G. de G. Sieveking, I.H. Longworth, K.E. Wilson (dir.), Problems in economic and social archaeology, London, Westview Press, 1976, pp. 137‑150.

Rothman 2001: M. Rothman (dir.), Uruk, Mesopotamia and its neighbors: cross-cultural interaction in the era of state formation, Santa Fe/Oxford, School of American Research Press/James Currey, 2001.

Rova 2014: E. Rova, “The Kura-Araxes culture in the Shida Kartli region of Georgia: an overview”, Paléorient 40/2, 2014, pp. 47‑69.

Rova, Putiridze, Makharadze 2010: E. Rova, M. Putiridze, Z. Makharadze, “The Georgian-Italian Shida Kartli archaeological project: a report on the first two field seasons 2009 and 2010”, Rivista di Archeologia 34, 2010, pp. 6‑30.

Sagona 1984: A. Sagona, The Caucasian Region in the Early Bronze Age, BAR International Series I.3, Oxford, Archaeopress, 1984.

Sagona 1993: A. Sagona, “Settlement and society in late prehistoric Trans-Caucasus”, in M. Frangipane, H. Hauptmann, M. Liverani, P. Matthiae, M. Mellink (dir.), Between the rivers and over the mountains. Archaologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri Dedicata, Rome, “Sapienza” Università di Roma/Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità, 1993, pp. 453‑473.

Schachner 2002: A. Schachner, “Zur Entwicklung der Metallurgie im östlichen Transkaukasien (Azerbaycan und Nahçevan) während des 4. und 3. Jahrtausends v. Chr.”, in Ü. Yalçın (dir.), Anatolian Metal II, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 15, 2002, pp. 115‑130.

Schachner 2004: A. Schachner, “Salzvorkommen und deren historische Nutzung in Iran”, in T. Stöllner, R. Slotta, R. Vatandoust (dir.), Persiens Antike Pracht. Bergbau-Handwerk-Archäologie, Katalog der Ausstellung (Deutsches Bergbau-Museums Bochum 2004‑2005), Bochum, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2004, pp. 518‑525.

Schachner 2005: A. Schachner, “Von Bronze zu Eisen: Die Metallurgie des 2. und frühen 1. Jahrtausends v. Chr. im östlichen Transkaukasus”, in Ü. Yalçın (dir.), Anatolian Metal III, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 18, 2005, pp. 175‑191.

Selimchanov 1960: I.R. Selimchanov, “Spektralanalytische Untersuchungen von Metallfunden des 3. und 2. Jahrtausends aus dem östlichen Transkaukasien-Aserbaidschan”, Archaeologia Austriaca 28, 1960, pp. 71‑79.

Selimchanov 1977: I.R. Selimchanov, “Zur Frage einer Kupfer-Arsen-Zeit”, Germania 55, 1977, pp. 1‑6.

Siracusano, Bartosiewicz 2012: G. Siracusano, L. Bartosiewicz, “Meat consumption and sheep/goat exploitation in centralised and non-centralised economies at Arslantepe, Anatolia”, Origini 34, 2012, pp. 111‑123.

Sørensen 2010: L. Sørensen, “Obsidian from the final neolithic site of Pangali in western Greece. Development of exchange patterns in the Aegean”, in B.V. Eriksen (dir.), Lithic technology in metal using societies. Proceedings of a UISPP Workshop (Lisbon, September 2006), Aarhus, Aarhus University Press, 2010, pp. 183‑201.

Stein 1999: G. Stein, “Material culture and social identity: the evidence for a 4th millennium BC Mesopotamian Uruk colony at Hacinebi. Türkey”, Paléorient 25/1, 1999, pp. 11‑22.

Stöllner 2003: T. Stöllner, “Mining and economy. A discussion of spatial organisations and structures of early raw material exploitation”, in T. Stöllner, G. Körlin, G. Steffens, J. Cierny (dir.), Man and mining. Studies in honour of Gerd Weisgerber, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 16, 2003, pp. 415‑446.

Stöllner 2012: T. Stöllner, “Prähistorischer Steinsalzbergbau: wirtschaftsarchäologische Betrachtung und neue Daten”, in V. Nikolov, K. Bačvarov (dir.), Salt and gold. The role of salt in prehistoric Europe. Proceedings of the International Symposium (Humboldt-Kolleg) in Provadia, Bulgaria 2010, Provadia, Veliko Tarnovo, 2012, pp. 259­‑276.

Stöllner 2015: T. Stöllner, “Humans approach to resources: old world mining between technological innovations, social change and economical structures. A key note lecture”, in A. Hauptmann, D. Modarressi-Tehrani (dir.), Archaeometallurgy in Europe III. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference Deutsches Bergbau-Museum Bochum 2011, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 29, 2015, pp. 63‑82.

Stöllner 2016: T. Stöllner, “The beginnings of social inequality: consumer and producer perspectives from Transcaucasia in the 4th and the 3rd millennia BC”, in M. Bartelheim, B. Horeijs, R. Krauss (dir.), Von Baden bis Troia. Ressourcennutzung, Metallurgie und Wissenstransfer. Eine Jubiläumsschrift für Ernst Pernicka, Rahden, Leidorf, 2016, pp. 209‑234.

Stöllner et al. 2010: T. Stöllner, I. Ġambašiże, A. Hauptmann, G. Mindiašvili, G. Gogočuri, G. Steffens, “Goldbergbau in Südostgeorgien. Neue Forschungen zum frühbronzezeitlichen Bergbau in Georgien”, in S. Hansen, A. Hauptmann, I. Motzenbäcker, E. Pernicka (dir.), Von Majkop bis Trialeti. Gewinnung und Verbreitung von Metallen und Obsidian in Kaukasien im 4.‑2. Jt. v. Chr., Bonn, Rudolf Habelt, 2010, pp. 103‑138.

Stöllner et al. 2014: T. Stöllner, B. Craddock, I. Gambaschidze, G. Gogotchuri, A. Hauptmann, A. Hornschuch, F. Klein, I. Löffler, G. Mindiashwili, B. Murwanidze, S. Senczek, M. Schaich, G. Steffens, K. Tamasashvili, S. Timberlake, “Gold in the Caucasus: new research on gold extraction in the Kura-Araxes Culture of the 4th millennium BC and early 3rd millennium BC. With an appendix of M. Jansen, T. Stöllner, A. Courcier”, in H. Meller, E. Pernicka, R. Risch (dir.), Metalle der Macht. Frühes Gold und Silber, published in Tagungen des Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte Halle 11, 2014, pp. 71‑110.

Stöllner, Gambashidze 2011: T. Stöllner, I. Gambashidze, “Gold in Georgia II. The oldest gold mine in the world”, in Ü. Yalçın (dir.), Anatolian Metal V, published in Der Anschnitt. Beiheft 24, 2011, pp. 187‑199.

Stöllner, Gambashidze 2014: T. Stöllner, I. Gambashidze, “The gold mine of Sakdrisi and the earliest mining and metallurgy in the Transcaucasia and the Kura-Valley system”, in G. Narimanishvili (dir.), Problems of Early Metal Age archaeology of Caucasus and Anatolia. Proceedings of the International Conference (November 19‑23, 2014), Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2014, pp. 102‑124.

Tamazashvili 2014a: K. Tamazashvili, “Bone and antler tools from Sakdrisi gold mine”, in G. Narimanishvili (dir.), Problems of Early Metal Age archaeology of Caucasus and Anatolia. Proceedings of the International Conference (November 19‑23, 2014), Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2014, pp. 153‑167.

Tamazashvili 2014b: K. Tamazashvili, Prehistoric mining implements from Georgia, Tbilisi, Mtsignobari, 2014.

Thornton 2014: C. Thornton, “The emergence of complex metallurgy on the Iranian Plateau”, in B. Roberts, C. Thornton (dir.), Archaeometallurgy in global perspective. Methods and syntheses, New York, Springer, 2014, pp. 665‑696.

Torrence 1986: R. Torrence, Production and exchange of stone tools. Prehistoric obsidian in the Aegean, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Trifonov 1994: V.A. Trifonov, “The Caucasus and the Near East in the Early Bronze Age (fourth & third millennia BC)”, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 13/3, 1994, pp. 357‑360.

Trifonov 1996: V.A. Trifonov, “Popravki k absolyutnoi khronologyi kult’ur epokhi neolita bronzy severnogo Kavkaza”, in Y. Piotrovskii (dir.), Mezhdu Aziei v Evropoi: Kavkaz IV-I tys. do n.e., Saint Petersburg, Gosudarstvennyi Ermitazh, 1996, pp. 43‑49.

Tschartolani 2001: S. Tschartolani, “Alter Bergbau in Swanetien”, in I. Gambashidze, A. Hauptmann, R. Slotta, Ü. Yalçin, Georgien. Schätze aus dem Land des Goldenen Vlies, Katalog der Ausstellung (Bochum, Veröffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum 100), Bochum, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2001, pp. 120‑129.

Twaltschrelidze 2001: A.G. Twaltschrelidze, “Erzlagerstätten in Georgien”, in I. Gambashidze, A. Hauptmann, R. Slotta, Ü. Yalçin, Georgien. Schätze aus dem Land des Goldenen Vlies, Katalog der Ausstellung (Bochum, Veröffentlichungen aus dem Deutschen Bergbau-Museum Bochum 100), Bochum, Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2001, pp. 78‑89.

Valli, Summers 1995: E. Valli, D. Summers, Caravans of the Himalaya, London, Thames & Hudson, 1995.

Weisgerber 1990: G. Weisgerber, “Montanarchäologische Forschungen in Nordwest-Iran 1978”, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 23, 1990, pp. 73‑84.

Weisgerber 2006: G. Weisgerber, “Chuquicamata und anderer indianischer Bergbau vor Kolumbus”, Der Anschnitt 58/1‑2, 2006, pp. 2‑17.

Weller, Figuls 2007: O. Weller, A. Figuls, “Première exploitation de sel gemme en Europe: organisation et enjeux socio-économiques au Néolithique moyen autour de la Muntanya del Sal de Cardona (Catalogne)”, in A. Figuls, O. Weller (dir.), Acts of the 1st International Archaeology meeting about Prehistoric and Protohistoric salt exploitation (Cardona, December 2003), Cardona, Institut de Recerques envers la Cultura, 2007, pp. 219‑239.

Wilkinson et al. 2012: K.N. Wilkinson, B. Gasparian, R. Pinhasi, P. Avetisyan, R. Hovsepyan, D. Zardaryan, G. Areshian, G. Bar-Oz, A. Smith, “Areni‑1 Cave, Armenia. A Chalcolithic-Early Bronze Age settlement and ritual site in the southern Caucasus”, Journal of Field Archaeology 37, 2012, pp. 20‑33.

Wolf et al. 2011: D. Wolf, G. Borg, K. Meliksetian, A. Allenberg, E. Pernicka, A. Hovanissyan, R. Kunze, “Neue Quellen für altes Gold?”, in H. Meller, P. Avetisyan (dir.), Archäologie in Armenien 2. Berichte zu den Kooperationsprojekten 2011 und 2012 sowie ausgewählte Einzelstudien, Veröff. Landesamt Denkmalpflege u. Arch. Sachsen-Anhalt 67, Halle (Saale), Beier und Beran, 2011, pp. 27‑48.

Wolf, Kunze 2014: D. Wolf, R. Kunze, “Gegharkunik. Neue Quellen für altes Gold aus Südkaukasien?”, in H. Meller, E. Pernicka, R. Risch (dir.), Metalle der Macht. Frühes Gold und Silber, published in Tagungen des Landesmuseums für Vorgeschichte Halle 11, 2014, pp. 111‑139.

Notes

1 This recently was questioned by S. Batiuk (2013, pp. 454‑455) especially for ETC groups in rooms of migration in the Upper Euphrates, North Syria and northern Levant, and he regarded them as traders rather than as producers of metals. This is certainly different when looking the evidence of the southern Caucasus in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia and even for the Arslantepe VIB2 (workshop) at the beginning of the 3rd millennium, where even primary smelting of copper is evidenced in the ETC levels (Palmieri et al. 1999).

2 A nice example of an intensive relation between pastoral activities and mining has been studied at the Ligurian Apennine by R. Maggi and M. Pearce (Maggi, Pearce 2005).

3 It was recently noticed that Transcaucasian or eastern Anatolian obsidian was distributed to the Jordan valley in the southern Levant (Garfinkel et al. 2014; oral contribution by courtesy of F. Klimscha, Berlin/Hannover).

4 For Early Uruk ceramic at Tell Brak and Tepe Gawra, see Matthews 2000, p. 67.

5 Majidzadeh 1979; recently the site was re-evaluated and the workshop most likely dated to Tehran/Qazvin Middle Chalcolithic (Fazeli, Wong, Potts 2005; Fazeli, Valipour, Azizi Kharanaghi 2013, pp. 112-113; for the ensemble see Stöllner et al. 2004, pp. 606‑608, no. 103‑110; for other early 5th millennium evidence, see Thornton 2014, esp. pp. 676‑678, although the exact position of the Tall-I Iblis evidence within the 5th millennium needs a careful re-study of the stratigraphy).

6 The evidence of Alkhantepe could by examined by courtesy of T. Akhundov and A. Hasanova† during a visit in Baku in spring 2014. The relation to litharge found for instance in Arisman is striking.

7 Thanks to the collaboration with the Archaeological Institute of the Azerbaijan Academy of Science (Prof. Dr Majsa Ragimova and Dr Bakhtyar Jalilov) it became possible to analyse some important western Azerbaijan gold artefacts at Bochum and Frankfurt laboratories; the results are in progression but according to the first observations it is clear that the gold of Soyuq Bulaq derived from a alluvial deposit (see Jansen et al., this volume).

8 The crucible 22434 found in pit 36100 at site Dzedzvebi IV.3 has not finally been interpreted. This should await the complete discussion of all the crucibles from Chalcolithic and Kura-Araxes period at the Dzedzvebi site.

9 The level of arsenic is similar at EBA metals in Armenia; most of the metals stem from the 3rd millennium BCE, some from the end of the 4th millennium (Meliksetyan, Pernicka 2010, pp. 40‑58, tab. 2); only a small number derive from the late 5th and early and mid of the 4th millennium BCE (Meliksetian et al. 2011, p. 201).

10 Zooarchaeological data have been used from Dzedzvebi (Berthon et al., this volume, pers. comm.), from Mentesh Tepe (B. Lyonnet, N. Benecke, pers. comm.), from various sites of Georgia, Azerbaijan/Nakhchivan (general: Berthon 2014; Khashuri-Natsagora: Rova, Putiridze, Makharadze 2010; Tsopi: Nebieridze 2010) and from Armenia (Areni I: Wilkinson et al. 2012), and eastern Turkey (Sos Höyük: Piro 2008, 2009; Piro, Crabtree 2017; Arslantepe: Bökönyi 1983; Bartosiewicz 2010; Siracusano, Bartosiewicz 2012).

11 For the geology of the Armenian deposits, see Karapetyan et al. 2010.

12 Comparable stone tools are known from the rock salt mine of St Thomas in Nevada (Weisgerber 2006, fig. 22).

13 The finds were made in 2007 but could not be understood at the time as they were not directly related to one of the deposits at the Postiskedi hillock. More recent rescue investigations were carried out in 2012 by a team of the Georgian National Museum under the direction of Dr Irina Gambashidze, whom I thank for further information. One of the results there was a LC settlement scatter to which the stone tools should be attributed. The later 2013 rescue investigations can point similarly to this direction. Unfortunately, these investigations, led by Prof. W. Licheli, are not available to us.

14 Already Selimchanov 1960, p. 78; the Kedabeg region is well known for metal rich Late Bronze to Early Iron Age graveyards thus indicating also the possibility of a well-developed regional metal production (Schachner 2005, pp. 117‑179, fig. 2; Lutz 2013, pp. 153‑155).

15 I am thankful to S. Timberlake who made available his report from 2013 that he performed for the local Anglo-Asian Mining PLC. The Misdağ mines were visited by our research group in spring 2014 (A. Courcier, I. Gambashidze, B. Jalilov, T. Stöllner, S. Timberlake).

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – The Transcaucasian highlands and their resource zones on the basis of the Chalcolithic to Bronze Age mining (DBM/RUB, T. Stöllner).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 479k
Titre Fig. 2 – Georgia, record of metals and metal alloys between the Neolithic and the end of the 3rd millennium (after the catalogue given in Gambashidze et al. 2010; Stöllner, Gambashidze 2014, fig. 1).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 142k
Titre Fig. 3 – Dzedzvebi, IV.3, smelting and casting set, Ovçular shaft-hole axes, Ghabrestan casting moulds and crucibles (DBM/RUB, H.‑J. Lauffer, M. Schicht).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1000k
Titre Tab. 1/Fig. 4 – Frequency of Cu-As metals between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia (data after Akhundov 2014; Courcier 2012; Courcier 2014; Gailhard et al. 2017; Gambashidze et al. 2010; Meliksetian et al. 2011; Meliksetyan, Pernicka 2010; Museyibli 2007; Palumbi et al., this volume; Schachner 2002 and unpublished data DBM).
Légende Tab. 1
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 85k
Légende Fig. 4
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 151k
Titre Tab. 2/Fig. 5 – Frequency of domestic and wild animal bones (NISP) in settlements between the 5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and eastern Turkey (data after Berthon, this volume; B. Lyonnet, N. Benecke, pers. comm.; Bartosiewicz 2010; Siracusano, Bartosiewicz 2012; Berthon 2014; Bökönyi 1983; Nebieridze 2010; Piro 2008, 2009; Piro, Crabtree 2017; Rova, Putiridze, Makharadze 2010; Wilkinson et al. 2012).
Légende Tab. 2
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 452k
Légende Fig. 5
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 483k
Titre Tab. 3/Fig. 6 – Obsidian procurement of settlements between the 6th/5th and the 3rd millennium BCE in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia (data after Badalyan 2010; Chataigner, Gratuze 2014b; Khademi Nadooshan et al. 2013; Lyonnet et al. 2012).
Légende Tab. 3
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 354k
Légende Fig. 6
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 439k
Titre Fig. 7 – Map of obsidian provenances of prehistoric settlements between the 6th/5th and the 3rd millennium BCE (tab. 3/fig. 6) in relation to obsidian deposits used (DBM, T. Stöllner).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 921k
Titre Fig. 8 – Duzdağı, Nakhchivan, salt mine, site M9 (French-Azerbaijani expedition); 1: Underground chamber with salt pillar and iron pick working trace; 2: Surface near working traces, possibly indicating extraction by help of pointed stone hammers (courtesy of C. Marro and T. Gonon; photo: DBM/RUB, T. Stöllner).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 502k
Titre Fig. 9 – Abanoschevi/Abulmulg near Kazreti, Bolnisi district, example of possible LC stone hammers found at the valley bottom nearby later discovered settlement traces (DBM/RUB/GNM, T. Sachvadze, T. Rabsilber, T. Stöllner).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 800k
Titre Fig. 10 – Kedabeg/Gadabay (Azerbaijan); 1: open-cast mine (S. Timberlake); 2: irregular prehistoric (?) surface mining traces (T. Stöllner); 3: prehistoric grinding tools (S. Timberlake); 4: LC/EBA metals from the Kedabeg museum (T. Stöllner).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 11 – Archaeological sites of the 4th and 3rd millennium in East Georgia and the Kura Valley in Azerbaijan (based on Japaridze 1992; LC: Late Chalcolithic; KA: Kura-Araxes; MB: Martkopi-Bedeni); 1: Berikldeebi (LC); 2: Sioni (LC, KA); 3: Tsopi (LC, KA); 4: Abanoskhevi/Abulmug, Sakdrisi; Dzedzvebi (LC, KA); 5: Marneuli Imiris gora (LC); 6: Ginchi/Tiuleti (LC, KA); 7: Abanoskhevi (LC, KA); 8: Mentesh Tepe (LC, KA, MB); 9: Boyuk Kesik (LC); 10: Soyuq Bulaq (LC); 11: Poylu (LC); 12: Babadervish (LC); 13: Gudabertka, Tsikhia gora (KA); 14: Kvazkhelebi/Kvazkhela (KA); 15: Gantiadi/Dmanisi (KA); 16: Khisanaant gora (Urbnisi) (KA); 17: Bestasheni (KA); 18: Samshvilde (KA); 19: Tiselis seri (KA) (Tadzrizi); 20: Slatili/Duscheti; 21: Koda (KA); 22: Hasansu (KA‑Azer); 23: Parvani, Khulgumo (MB); 24: Bedeni (MB); 25: Baraleti (MB); 26: Martkopi (MB); 27: Ananauri (MB); 28: Tsiteliskaro (MB); 29: Gori (Kheltubani, MB); 30: Tedotsminda (MB); 31: Zilcha (MB); 32: Anaga (MB); 33: Irgantshai (MB); 34: Sadakhlo (MB); 35: Sagaredsho/Ninotsminda (MB); 36: Dedoplis Tskaro/Tsiteli Sabatlo (MB); 37: Korinta/Tshkinvali (MB); 38: Alazani (MB); 39: Tserovani (Mzcheta) (MB); 40: Tsitelisgorebi/Uianovka (MB); 41: Znori (MB).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/12787/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M

Auteur

Acheter

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search