Mountain, Steppes, and Barley: GIS Modeling of Human Environmental Interactions In the Armenian Highlands during the Bronze and Iron Ages
Author(s): Amy Cromartie
This poster investigates how Bronze and Iron Age communities around Mount Aragats, in central Armenia, managed their grassland environment through their subsistence strategies. I suggest that these distinct social and political societies not only participated in constructing a landscape of domestic cereal grains, such as barley and wheat, but also were participants in the ecology of this open mountain steppe environment dominated by Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae, and Artemisia. I investigate how the challenges of this volcanic mountain steppe such as microclimates, altitude, slope, and aspect may have influenced planting and grazing on this difficult, but fertile, terrain and contributed to the dependence on resilient cereal crops such as barley. To create these models, I combine regional digital elevation models (DEM), satellite imagery, with archaeobotanical datasets from the multi-period sites of Aparani Berd and Tsaghkahovit. I then use modern climate data and paleoclimate proxies to calculate growing degree days (gdd) for these cereal crops and predict optimal planting locations in relation to these sites. In addition, I consider how the unique social and political structures of these communities influenced these decisions and the impact of these choices on the mountain steppe ecology.
Cite this Record
Mountain, Steppes, and Barley: GIS Modeling of Human Environmental Interactions In the Armenian Highlands during the Bronze and Iron Ages. Amy Cromartie. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442723)
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min long: 34.277; min lat: 13.069 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 42.94 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22269