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Lesser Caucasus

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Lesser Caucasus
Aragats mount in Armenia
Highest point
PeakAragats [1]
Elevation4,090 m (13,420 ft)
Length600 km (370 mi) NW-SE
Satellite image, the snowy mountains to the south are the Lesser Caucasus
Range coordinates41°N 44°E / 41°N 44°E / 41; 44Coordinates: 41°N 44°E / 41°N 44°E / 41; 44
Parent rangeCaucasus Mountains
Borders onGreater Caucasus

Lesser Caucasus (Armenian: Փոքր Կովկաս Pʿokʿr Kovkas, Azerbaijani: Kiçik Qafqaz Dağları, Georgian: მცირე კავკასიონი, Russian: Малый Кавказ, Persian: Arankuh, Turkish: Küçük Kafkasya, sometimes translated as "Caucasus Minor") is second of the two main mountain ranges of Caucasus mountains, of length about 600 km (370 mi). The western portion of the Lesser Caucasus overlaps and converges with the high plateau of Eastern Anatolia, in the far northeast of Turkey.

It runs parallel to the Greater Caucasus, at a distance averaging about 100 km (62 mi) south from Likhi Range (Georgia) and limits the Armenian Highland from the North and North-East.

It is connected to the Greater Caucasus by the Likhi Range (Georgia) and separated from it by the Kolkhida Lowland (Georgia) in the West and Kura-Aras Lowland (Azerbaijan) (by Kura River) in the East.

The highest peak is Aragats, 4,090 m (13,420 ft).[1]

The borders between Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan run through the range, although its crest does not usually define the border.

Component ranges

The Lesser Caucasus mountain system does not have a single continuous mountain range. It consists of four main parts:

  1. Aran-kuh (mountains of Talysh and Karadag) which runs from Caspian sea to the Araxes river in Iran and Azerbaijan.
  2. Caucasus Minor, mountains located from Meghri (the border of Armenia with Iran) to the plateau of Ashotsk,Javakhetia and Somkhetia (the border of Armenia with Georgia)most of which in Antiquity and Medieval was called Siunia Caucasiana (Geography of Ravenna, V-th century, Western Roman empire).
  3. Adjara-Trialeti basin ranges, (also called Moskhis mountains), in south-western Georgia, passing from Javahetia to the border of Adjaria with Turkey
  4. The mountains of Lazistan and Pontica in Turkey, also called the Tchorokh mountains.

Naming controversy

The range was historically called Anticaucasus or Anti-Caucasus (Greek: Αντι-Καύκασος, Russian: Антикавка́з, Анти-Кавка́з). This usage is commonly found in older sources.[2][3][4] Current usage tends towards using the name Lesser Caucasus, but Anticaucasus can still be found in modern texts.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b "Mount Aragats | mountain, Armenia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  2. ^ The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. [Cambridge] University Press. 1911.
  3. ^ Reclus, Onésime (1892). A Bird's-eye View of the World. Ticknor.
  4. ^ The Encyclopaedia Britannica ...: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and General Literature ... in Thirty Volumes with New American Supplement. Werner Company. 1902.
  5. ^ Sharma, h s (1981). Perspective In Geomorphology Volume I.
  6. ^ Maisuradze, G.M. (1989-08-15). "Anthropogene of the anticaucasus". Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology - PALAEOGEOGR PALAEOCLIMATOL. 72: 53–62. doi:10.1016/0031-0182(89)90131-4.