Medieval worldbuilding and cosmopolitics: Armenia on the Silk Road

Author(s): Kathryn Franklin; Astghik Babajanyan

Year: 2017


This paper presents observations from recent seasons of research in the Vayoc Dzor region of southern Armenia, in the context of a long-term and multi-sited program of investigations into the intersections of locally situated highland social phenomena within the broader Silk Road cultural ecumene during the late medieval period (AD 12th-15th centuries). This ongoing project builds on an understanding of late medieval Armenian participation in and co-production of the worlds of the Silk Road, developed from excavations and epigraphic research sited in transit and monumental spaces of the highlands. The current research deepens a distributed focus on material worlds produced and imagined at rural village sites in addition to, and conversant with, urban medieval life. The most recent two seasons of work have centered on Armenia’s Southern Silk Road Heritage Corridor, a dense web of archaeological palimpsest landscapes ranging over the regions of Vayoc Dzor and Syunik. This paper will explore the potentials of new datasets produced through survey in Vayoc Dzor and excavations at the site of Arpa, and the implications of these datasets for innovative spatial, material and historical understandings of medieval Armenia and the situatedness of the medieval Caucasus within a practice-based Silk Road cultural ecumene.

Cite this Record

Medieval worldbuilding and cosmopolitics: Armenia on the Silk Road. Kathryn Franklin, Astghik Babajanyan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430442)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14488