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Metal production on Late Bronze-Early Iron Age Fortified Hilltops in the South Caucasus, c. 1500-600 BC

Author(s): Nathaniel Erb-Satullo

Year: 2016

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One of the challenges facing the study of technological change and craft production during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age in the Near East is a lack of information about the spatial and social contexts in which metal production occurred. A new program of survey and excavation aims to explore these issues in an ore-rich transitional zone between lowland and highland areas of the South Caucasus.

Fortified hilltop settlements dot lowland valleys as they narrow and rise towards the highlands. Surface survey identified traces of metal production at several of these hilltop sites. In 2015, excavations began at Mtsvane Gora, where surface survey in 2014 revealed metallurgical slag and Late Bronze-Early Iron ceramics in close proximity to a large wall encircling the site. Test excavations confirmed the associations apparent in surface collections, uncovering metal working implements and debris inside the walled area. These discoveries reveal the site's potential for assessing the relationship between craft production and other segments of society. In addition, the location of Mtsvane Gora on a major interregional route offers the possibility to examine links between technological change and the movement of people and materials through regular patterns of transhumance.

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Metal production on Late Bronze-Early Iron Age Fortified Hilltops in the South Caucasus, c. 1500-600 BC. Nathaniel Erb-Satullo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404551)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America