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Page 1

Resources, Power,
and Interregional

Interaction

Page 2

INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS
TO ARCHAEOLOGY

Series Editor: Michael Jochim, University of California, Santa Barbara
Founding Editor: Roy S. Dickens, Jr., Late of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Editorial Board: Lewis R. Binford, Southern Methodist University
Jane E. Buikstra, University of Chicago
Charles M. Hudson, University of Georgia
Stephen A. Kowalewski, University of Georgia
William L. Rathje, University of Arizona
Stanley South, University of South Carolina
Bruce Winterhalder, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Richard A. Yarnell, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST AND MESOAMERICA
Systems of Prehistoric Exchange
Edited by Jonathon E. Ericson and Timothy G. Baugh

APPROACHES TO CULTURE CONTACT
Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Perspectives on Change
Edited by J. Daniel Rogers and Samuel M. Wilson

ECOLOGY AND HUMAN ORGANIZATION ON THE GREAT PLAINS
Douglas B. Bamforth

FROM KOSTENKI TO CLOVIS
Upper Paleolithic-Paleoindian Adaptations
Edited by Olga Soffer and N. D. Praslov

HOLOCENE HUMAN ECOLOGY IN NORTHEASTERN NORTH AMERICA
Edited by George P. Nicholas

HUNTER-GATHERERS
Archaeological and Evolutionary Theory
Robert L. Bettinger

THE INTERPRETATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SPATIAL PATTERNING
Edited by Ellen M. Kroll and T. Douglas Price

THE PLEISTOCENE OLD WORLD: Regional Perspectives
Edited by Olga Soffer

POTTERY FUNCTION
A Use-Alteration Perspective
James M. Skibo

RESOURCES, POWER, AND INTERREGIONAL INTERACTION
Edited by Edward M. Schortman and Patricia A. Urban

SPACE, TIME, AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL LANDSCAPES
Edited by Jacqueline Rossignol and LuAnn Wand snider

Page 130

TRANSCAUCASIAN "PERIPHERY" IN THE BRONZE AGE 123

Euphrates (and its Murad tributary). That is, when one considers the cultural, as
opposed to just natural, ecology of Transcaucasia, its connection with the greater
Mesopotamian world is obvious and direct.

THE TRANSCAUCASIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SEQUENCE

The beginnings of food production, dating back to the Early Holocene, are not yet
well-established. It is likely, however, for both the botanical reasons mentioned above
and the discovery of sites in western Georgia (e.g., the Darkvet rock shelter) and
Daghestan (e.g., the Chokh open-air settlement) in which Neolithic remains are found
stratified above earlier Mesolithic tool-bearing levels that domestication occurred
largely as the process of an internal evolutionary development. Part of the difficulty
for reconstructing the actual sequence of this development relates to the fact that most
of the earliest aceramic lithic assemblages come from deflated and largely destroyed
sites in western Georgia, a subtropical region not conducive to decent archaeological
preservation. Trace-wear analysis of obsidian blades from the site of Anaseuli 1 has
established that they were used as reaping tools, presumably for the harvesting of
wild grasses, a practice that supports an early and probably largely independent
focus for early cereal domestication (Korobkova 1987:43 [illus. 5, 2], 123). Subse-
quently, crude handmade ceramics appear together in western Georgia with typolog-
ically more advanced lithics, primarily made of local flint-a fact possibly suggesting
the decline of the earlier, presumably pan-Transcaucasian obsidian exchange net-
work.

With the exception of a few recently discovered aceramic sites, such as Dmanisi,
with obsidian tools from Kvemo Kartli (southeastern Georgia), the first well-estab-
lished archaeological horizon, the Shulaveri-Shomu culture of Kvemo Kartli and
western Azerbaijan, relates to the Late Neolithic/Early Aneolithic period and is
well-dated by a series of consistent corrected radiocarbon determinations from the
mid-sixth through the first few centuries of the fifth millennia B.C. Shulaveri-Shomu
sites, ranging in extent from ca. 0.5 ha to 4.5 ha, contain a distinctive material culture
assemblage with handmade pottery, clay figurines, and circular mud-brick and pise
superimposed domestic structures with relatively thick cultural deposits. For ex-
ample, at Khramis Didi Gora, 10 building levels were uncovered in a ca. 6-m cultural
deposit. To my knowledge, the Shulaveri-Shomu complex has not yet been docu-
mented outside Transcaucasia, and it seems to represent a local phenomenon, cen-
tered in eastern Georgia and western Azerbaijan.

Subsequently during the fifth millennium B.C., there seems to have developed a
series of regional cultures distributed across Transcaucasia but particularly well-
documented in the south in Nakhicevan (e.g., Kyul' Tepe I) and in eastern Azerbaijan
(e.g., Chalagan Depe, Alikemek Tepesi) along small rivers flowing down from the
Little Caucasus ranges toward the Araxes or Kura rivers. It is during this period that
one finds the first unequivocal evidence for relations to the greater Mesopotamian
world and possibly for contacts across the Caucasus to the north. Isolated but un-
mistakably Halafian sherds have been found, first at Kyul' Tepe I in Nakhicevan (see
Munchaev 1975:97, Fig. 8; Abibullaev 1982); at a site currently being excavated in the
Agdam region of eastern Azerbaijan-Leila-depe, the principal investigator, 1. Nari-
manov (1985), has identified Late Ubaid-related materials similar to those uncovered

Page 131

124 PHILIP L. KOHL

by the Soviet mission to northern Iraq at Yarim Tepe III. Another late fifth to early
fourth millennia B.C site in southeastern Azerbaijan, Alikemek Tepesi, contains
painted pottery analogous to wares known from Iranian Azerbaijan, as well as a very
impressive assemblage of bone tools; most interestingly, hundreds of horse scapulae
from two, presumably domesticated species were found in one tool-production zone
(Munchaev 1982:135). The horses apparently were introduced into the area frorrl
the Ukraine or south Russian steppes where they were indigenous and have been
documented in earlier archaeological contexts (Anthony 1986; Telegin 1986). Large
canine tooth pendants, similar to those known from the northern Caucasus, and
numerous flat shell beads, apparently produced at the site, also were found at Alike-
mek Tepesi.

These localized Late Aeneolithic cultures are followed by the appearance of what
is known in the Soviet literature (e.g., Kushnareva and Chubinishvili 1970) as the
Kura-Araxes or, in the Western literature after Burney (Burney and Lang 1971), the
Transcaucasian, culture. The density of settlement is impressive; literally, hundreds
of Kura-Araxes sites have been discovered throughout all areas of Transcaucasia
(except westernmost Georgia); Daghestan and the Chechen-Ingush autonomous re-
publics of the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Anatolia, and northwestern Iran at least
as far south as Godin Tepe near Kermanshah (for the most complete-though still
partial-listing of Kura-Araxes sites and a detailed discussion of Kura-Araxes cer-
amics and chronological subdivisions, see Sagona 1984). The later phenomenon
known as the Khirbet-Kerak culture or ware of Syria and Palestine extends the
distribution of Kura-Araxes-related materials far to the southwest and has led to
speculations associating the widespread distribution of Kura-Araxes remains with
the early diffusion of Rurrian-speaking peoples across roughly the same area. Con-
nections, in other words, extend far to the south of Transcaucasia, and, given the
demonstrated presence of actual Kura-Araxes settlements in eastern Anatolia and
western Iran, may suggest the actual movement of peoples north to south probably
at the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third millennia B.C During the Early
Bronze period of Transcaucasia, nothing really suggests the movement of materials
or peoples in the opposite direction.

Regional variations in Kura-Araxes culture exist both within Transcaucasia and
the northeastern Caucasus and the materials may be subdivided into three or four
chronological phases stretching over a broad period, ca. 3600+ B.C to ca. 2300 B.C (as
determined from a few corrected radiocarbon dates and the interpolation of Kura-
Araxes materials between earlier and later relatively well-dated archaeological hori-
zons). Nevertheless, the uniformity of material remains, including diagnostic and
easily recognized black- and brown-burnished ceramics, highly distinctive portable
and stationary ceramic hearths or supports (podstavki) for objects over the hearth,
metal tools, standardized architectural features, and the like, is still striking and
difficult to interpret or type in cultural evolutionary terms.

What is lacking relative to other roughly contemporaneous complex archaeolog-
ical phenomena, such as the riverine civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the
Indus valley or the proto-urban cultures of the Iranian plateau and Central Asia, is
clear evidence for a hierarchy of settlements, including cities, and documentation for
a stratified or sharply ranked social order. During the Kura-Araxes period, there were
indisputable developments in the material forces of production, such as the construc-
tion of agricultural terraces (up to 25 m long and 10 m wide at Amiranis-gora, for

Page 260

258

Hinterlands, 140, 141,238
Historical causality, 4, 5

Identity formation, 68, 175, 179, 183, 185-186,
229-230,236,239-240,243,247-248. See
also Ethnicity

Imbabura Province, 195, 198
Inca, 198, 200, 214, 242
Information transfer, 236-237, 247
Interaction sphere, 8
Interaction studies, 3, 4, 235
Interregional interaction, 3, 118, 133, 139,

153-155, 157, 175, 194
intensity of, 236

Jalisco, 221
Jornada, 141, 142, 144, 145

Kinnan Basin, 21, 27-28, 35
Kongo, 241, 242
Kura-Araxes culture, 122, 124-125
Kurgans, 122, 126, 127, 134

Labor
control, 241-246
distribution, 247
organization, 19, 31, 32

La Chimba, 210, 213
Late Period (Ecuador), 202-203
Late Period-Cara culture, 193
Lubsow graves, 182-185, 242
Luxury goods. See Preciosities

Macuilxochitl, 57, 65
genealogy of, 57, 58

Maikop culture, 122
Meggers, Betty, 8-9
Mesoamerica, 52, 236, 247
Mesopotamia, 36-37, 38, 47, 123, 125, 133,

245
Metallurgical province, 134
Metallurgy, 121, 126, 127, 128, 132, 134
Mexica. See Aztec
Miahuatlan, 62, 75-76, 86

valley, 79, 86, 94, 99, 107
Mimbres, 147, 149
Minisystem, 45
Mixtec, 54, 68
Mixteca Alta, 59, 60
Mixteca-Puebla

culture, 64, 65-66
style, 56

Mode of production
capitalist, 31, 32, 35, 40
lineage, 241
tributary, 31, 32, 33, 34, 53

Mogollon. See Jornada
Monopoly, 241-242, 244
Monte Alban, 47, 56, 58-59, 87, 88

1,61,94,97
II, 61, 87, 97, 99
III, 61, 82, 85, 87, 101-102, 105-106
IV, 57, 59, 61, 106-107
V, 57, 61-62, 82, 85, 107, 110-111

Moteuczoma, 64

Nayarit, 221
Neolithic, 121, 123, 131
Nesting, 47
Networks, 75, 235-238, 240, 246

Oaxaca, 47, 51, 75, 247

Paradigm, 3, 235
Peer polities, 236

INDEX

Periphery, 18, 21, 23, 24, 34, 35, 45-46, 47, 76,
112,118,133,140,143,244-245,246,247

technological superiority of, 118, 134
Pochteca, 22, 67
Pichincha Province, 195, 198
Political economy, 19, 40

Aztec, 23
broad-spectrum, 32, 46
dendritic, 18, 20-21, 25, 26, 28, 34, 37, 40
narrow-spectrum, 32, 34

Political ideology, 153-155, 157,239
Political fragmentation, 106, 110, 112-113,

241
Population estimates, 78-79

Cara region, 201-202
Jalisco and Nayarit, 223
Oaxaca, 80, 82, 93, 94, 97, 99, 101, 106

Postclassic (Mesoamerica), 54, 75
Precapitalist, 67
Preciosities, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 32,

35, 38, 46, 53, 85, 126, 143, 154, 177, 179,
182-183,202,210,239,242,246

Prec1assic (Mesoamerica), 236. See also For-
mative

Prestige good, 153, 236, 247. See also Pre-
ciosities

ranking, 153, 154
Primate center, 20, 26, 27, 29
Principalities, 56-57
Pueblo, 140, 149

Page 261

INDEX

Querecheros, 140

Raised fields, 201, 207
Ramp mounds, 203, 205, 207, 211
Roman Empire, 30-31, 36, 39, 176, 238, 247
Rome, 30, 36
Rosario Phase, 93, 94

San Jose Mogote, 87, 94
San Jose Phase, 91, 94
Santa Cruz Ixtepec-Cuilapan. See Cuilapan
Semiperiphery, 45-46, 65, 66, 119, 133
Settlement

hierarchy, 124-125
patterns, 78, 80, 146
systems, "empty" spaces in, 139, 247

Socapamba, 205, 206, 208, 209, 210
Social system, 45, 52, 53, 67
Sociopolitical change, 3, 235, 240
Southwest, U.s., 47, 139
Spain, Colonial period, 24-25, 33, 36, 38, 39
Status display, 183-186
Steward, Julian, 9-10
Surplus, economic, 153

Tacitus, 177, 178, 181, 185
Tarascans,67
Tenochtitlan, 22, 23, 28, 36, 38, 39, 68
Teuchitl<ln tradition, 223
Tehuantepec, 60, 61, 62, 64, 66, 75
Teotihuacan, 58-59, 67, 221, 227, 228, 229
Tierras Largas Phase, 91
Tlacolula, 58, 80, 107
Trade, 25, 78, 144-145, 153-155, 175, 178, 236.

See also Exchange
Aztec, 22-23
meaning of, 175
on the Roman frontier, 176
scarcity, 242

Trade, ecumene, 53. See also World economy

Transcaucasia, 47, 117
defined, 118-119

259

Transcaucasian culture. See Kura-Araxes cul-
ture

Transport mode, 19,37
Travel

and empty spaces, 144-145
meaning of, 158

Trialeti culture, 126, 127
Tribute, 21, 22, 23, 26, 31, 39, 238, 243, 244
Tula, 54, 66
Turan culture, 131, 132
Tututepec, 59-60, 61, 63, 66, 67, 75-76
Turkestan, Western, 118-119, 129

defined, 129-131

Ubaid, 123, 125
Underdevelopment, 46, 47, 247
Urartians, 128, 134, 135
Uruk,125

Wallerstein, Immanuel, 17, 18, 45, 51, 118,
142,247

Warfare, 56, 63, 76, 99, 102, 110, 128, 129,
176, 189-190, 198, 200, 214, 243, 244,
245,

Wealth finance, 153
Westwick, 180-181, 242
White, Leslie, 8-9
World economy, 45, 53, 62, 66, 67,133-134,

143,229
World empire, 45, 53, 67
World system, 45, 66, 67, 145

Mesoamerica as, 17
model, 41, 118, 133
precapitalist, 18
theory, 17-18,45,52, 118,247

Zaachila, 56, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64
Zapotec, 54, 68

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