|Geographical range||South Caucasus, Armenian Highlands|
|Dates||c. 6000 BC — c. 4000 BC|
|Major sites||Shaumiani, Shomu-tepe|
|Followed by||Kura–Araxes culture, Trialeti culture|
Shulaveri-Shomu culture (Georgian: შულავერი-შომუთეფეს კულტურა) is a Late Neolithic/Eneolithic culture that existed on the territory of present-day Georgia, Colchis, Azerbaijan and the Armenian Highlands. The culture is dated to mid-6th or early-5th millennia BC and is thought to be one of the earliest known Neolithic cultures and Colchis.
The name 'Shulaveri-Shomu' comes from the town of Shulaveri, in the Republic of Georgia, known since 1925 as Shaumiani (there's also a modern railroad station and village of Shulaveri nearby), and Shomu-Tepe, in the Agstafa District of Azerbaijan. The distance between these two sites is only about 70km.
Shulaveri culture predates the Kura-Araxes culture which flourished in this area around 4000–2200 BC. Later on, in the middle Bronze Age period (c. 3000–1500 BC), the Trialeti culture emerged. Sioni culture of Eastern Georgia possibly represents a transition from the Shulaveri to the Kura-Arax cultural complex.
In c. 6000–4200 BC, the Shulaveri-Shomu and other Neolithic/Chalcolithic cultures of the Southern Caucasus were using local obsidian for tools; were raising animals such as cattle and pigs; and growing crops, including grapes.
The earliest evidence of domesticated grapes in the world has been found in the general "Shulaveri area", near the site of Shulaveri gora, in Marneuli Municipality, in southeastern Republic of Georgia. Specifically, the most recent evidence comes from Gadachrili gora, near the village of Imiri in the same region; carbon-dating points to the date of about 6000 BC.
Many of the characteristic traits of the Shulaverian material culture (circular mudbrick architecture, pottery decorated by plastic design, anthropomorphic female figurines, obsidian industry with an emphasis on production of long prismatic blades) are believed to have their origin in the Near Eastern Neolithic (Hassuna, Halaf).
- Trialeti culture
- Archaeology of Azerbaijan
- Prehistoric Armenia
- Prehistoric Georgia
- Kura-Araxes culture
- Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archeology - Page 512 by Barbara Ann Kipfer
- Kushnareva, K. Kh. 1997. The Southern Caucasus in Prehistory: Stages of Cultural and Socioeconomic Development from the Eighth to the Second Millennium B.C. University Museum Monograph 99. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Museum.
- Kiguradze, T. and Menabde, M. 2004. The Neolithic of Georgia. In: Sagona, A. (ed.), A View from the Highlands: Archaeological Studies in Honour of Charles Burney. Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement 12. Leuven: Peeters. Pp. 345-398.
- Nana Rusishvili, The grapevine Culture in Georgia on Basis of Palaeobotanical Data. “Mteny” Association, 2010
- Peter Boisseau, How wine-making spread through the ancient world: U of T archaeologist. June 17, 2015 - news.utoronto.ca
- Kiguradze, T. (2001). "Caucasian Neolithic". In Ember, Melvin; Peregrine, Peter Neal. Encyclopedia of Prehistory. 4 : Europe. New York, Boston, Dordrecht, London, Moscow: Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers. pp. 55–76. ISBN 0306462559.
- Hamon, Caroline; Jalabadze, Mindia; Agapishvili, Tata; Baudouin, Emmanuel; Koridze, Irakli; Messager, Erwann (2016). "Gadachrili Gora: Architecture and organisation of a Neolithic settlement in the middle Kura Valley (6th millennium BC, Georgia)". Quaternary International. 395: 154–169. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.01.055. ISSN 1040-6182.