Talk:Kura–Araxes culture

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Archaeologists really do believe that the Kura-Araxes people probably spread outward, not just their wares. It's been a while since I looked this stuff up, but I remember that the reasoning involved archaeological evidence of invasions into Syria-Palestine, follwed by the appearance of Kura-Araxes-style pottery. Isomorphic 14:55, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

If that were the case, we should be able to identify the "Kura-Araxes" people by a historical name, since the time frame alleged for their "invasion" definitely falls within the time frame of the historical record for Syria-Palestine.
Even archaeologists ought to realize that finding wares such as pottery is not an indication that there was a widespread "Kura-Araxes" empire with a population stretching from Dagestan to Palestine in the year 2200 BC. If there were, it would certainly be known from the historical record. All it indicates, is that the pottery was likely produced in the Araxes valley, and since items are often traded by merchants and other means, they eventually found their way over a wider area.
Most likely, the Aras valley was an early production centre for a certain hand-made pottery that was painted black and red with geometric designs. But, if we are to identify the "Kura-Araxes" people with any historically known group, it would almost certainly be the Mitanni, who did indeed impose a feudal rule over Syria around this time, and who had distinctively "Aryan" names and deities. Incidentally, the oldest traditions of the Iranian peoples also point to the Aras valley, once called Aran - another indication that this is where the Aryan Mitanni first came from. BTW I am working on a new draft for the Mitanni page on my user page, and will probably use some of your info about the "Kura-Araxes" archeology from this page... Thanks! Codex Sinaiticus 16:08, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
This article was a by-product of some research I did last fall. The claim of Kura-Araxes expansion definitely isn't my own; I think it came from one of the scholarly books I was reading, although unfortunately I didn't cite my source so I don't remember which one. I also don't remember if the author drew a connection with any historical records. I would be careful about linking the Mitanni and the Kura-Araxes unless you have a reference that does so; otherwise you're bordering on original research. Isomorphic 17:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
According to our current article on the Mitanni, they were significantly later than the Kura-Araxes culture. I google searched just now and found this paper, which has an extensive section on the Kura-Araxes mentioning the invasions. Isomorphic 17:12, 3 May 2005 (UTC)


Curiously, maps showing the area in classical times tend to show the two rivers as having two separate mouths feeding into the Caspian Sea. Would anyone know how, or when this would have changed? Codex Sinaiticus 00:22, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

It's probably inaccurate mapmaking, not an actual change in the rivers' course. The Romans had a presence along the Black Sea coast, but to them the territory east of that was wild and mysterious. They knew India was over there somewhere, but had very little concept of how far away it was. If I remember correctly, they even thought that the Rioni river eventually wound around and became the Nile. Yes, the Nile in Egypt. Isomorphic 03:54, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
I am assuming that you're referring to Roman (or Greek) maps. I would expect Persian maps of that area to be more accurate. Isomorphic 04:08, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Merging with Kuro-Araxes culture[edit]

See my Kuro-Araxes culture, which is entirely dependent on JP Mallory and the EIEC.

This article is magnificant, and is considerably more recent than the one in EIEC. This article is also superb.

As for the name, Kura-Araxes culture seems the prevelent usage in the learnéd literature.

My main interest is in the culture's influence on the Maykop culture, and in turn how this applies to Indo-European studies. While it is clear there are (apparently) intrusive steppe elements in both Maykop and Kura-Araxes, there has been a (minority view) suggestion that the Anatolian languages could possibly have this as their Urheimat, with the remaining Indo-European stock coming down from Transcausasia into the steppe and a secondary Urheimat. --FourthAve 19:30, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

I think they should be merged, and the relationships you mention discussed.--Wiglaf 21:50, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Mallory writes in EEIC, "Kuro-Araxes Culture", pp. 341-42.

The culture appears to have been an early center of wheeled vehicle production,and exhibits a precocious metallurgical development which strongly influenced surrounding regions. Bronze tools included axes, awls, sickles and knives.

The article has this sentence: "They were able to cold-forge unalloyed copper, but did not engage in smelting and did not use bronze". This has to be clarified, or corrected. Mallory clearly indicates bronze was in use. --FourthAve 22:35, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Nota Bene: 'bronze' is used to describe any alloy of copper. Arsenical bronze is a natural alloy, i.e., found in the same ore as the copper. Tin-copper alloys have to have the two metals brought together, usually from distant sites, as copper and tin occur in different kinds of rock, and these kinds of rock rarely co-occur in nature.

Quotes from this site

An extremely poor metal inventory has been documented for the early phase of the Kura-Araxes culture
In central Trans-Caucasia, the Kura-Araxes culture is dated mainly to the fourth to first quarter of the third millennium. In broad terms, the period represents the Late Chalcolithic and first phase of the Early Bronze Age
It is a widespread view that the metal from the Caucasian ore deposits together with certain types of metal artifacts were distributed to many regions of the Ancient World from the early stages of metallurgical production. Technological impulses coming primarily from northern Caucasian metallurgical centres were distributed from the river Volga to the Dniepr and even as far as the Carpathian mountains.[17] Trans-Caucasian metal products were widely distributed to the south throughout Anatolia and Syria-Palestine. So much so, that any research on Anatolian metallurgy should integrate the evidence of copper ore and arsenic deposits of the Caucasian region. Trans-Caucasian metal products were widely distributed to the south throughout Anatolia and Syria-Palestine. So much so, that any research on Anatolian metallurgy should integrate the evidence of copper ore and arsenic deposits of the Caucasian region.[18] Caucasian metallic ores and metallurgical traditions appear in the Near East corresponding to the arrival of the Trans-Caucasian population bearing the Kura-Araxes cultural traditions.[19] Migration routes from their Trans-Caucasian homeland took them south, west, south-west and south-east, into southern Palestine, central Anatolia and central Iran.
Elsewhere in the northern part of the Near East, in the second half of the fourth millennium, the same sequence of events took place. Late Uruk period sites were destroyed by Kura-Araxes people who introduced their own red-black, hand-made and burnished pottery. They brought with them a copper metallurgy with high-arsenic content and metal artifacts peculiar to them
Copper artifacts with a high arsenical content, cast in open and two-piece moulds, appeared in the Elâzığ region of Turkey when Kura-Araxes (‘Early Transcaucasian’) groups became culturally dominant there at the beginning of Early Bronze Age.
A similar pot, but with a wider, spherical body and decorated with cord impression was found in the Ukraine, in the Mikhailovka I settlement (on Pidpilna, a tributary of the lower Dniepr) dated to the late fourth millennium. This settlement has affinities on the one hand, with the Maikop culture of northern Caucasia, and on the other, with the Usatovo barrows near Odessa.
Put simply, the Kura-Araxes culture at its point of origin is logically earlier than its manifestations in the Near East.
One could speculate that the infiltration of the Kura-Araxes population into the Near East stimulated Mesopotamian sea commerce in the Arabian Gulf of the Jamdat Nasr period. Their presence may have triggered political disruption in eastern Anatolia, northern Syria and western Iran.
The second phase of the Early Bronze Age of Central Trans-Caucasia witnesses the final stages of Kura-Araxes culture. This phase is represented in the final layers of Level B at Kvatskhelebi-Khizanaant Gora, in the bulk of the Early Bronze Age material from Sachkhere and in the latest burials of Amiranis Gora. The Early Kurgan culture of central Trans-Caucasia also belongs to this time and two groups are distinguishable. The first comprises the kurgans (barrows) of the Martqopi/Ulevari and Samgori valleys (east of Tbilisi) and the earliest among the so-called ’Early Bronze Age kurgans of Trialeti.’ The second and chronologically subsequent group, is represented by the kurgans of the Bedeni plateau (near Trialeti) and the Alazani valley (in Kakheti, the eastern part of east Georgia), as well as by the later kurgans of the early Trialeti and the later group of Martqopi kurgans with pit graves.[51]
This phase appears to be contemporary with the particularly wide diffusion of the Kura-Araxes culture in the Near East. Overall, it should be dated to the first half and the middle of the third millennium. Such a date is substantiated by the typological parallels between the metalwork finds in this phase.

There is more, but I'll stop here. There is a lot of information to absorb, and not all of it fits into the scope of a wikipedia article. --FourthAve 22:58, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

History of Armenia[edit]

Why is there a paragraph on the earliest mention of "Armenians" in classical sources? The Kura-Araxes culture is not, as far as I know, considered to be the same as the Armenian people. Isomorphic (talk) 17:06, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Reference is on the page -> Armenians” "Kura-Araxes culture" in Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture or EIEC, edited by James P. Mallory and Douglas Q. Adams, published in 1997 by Fitzroy Dearborn. Please read the bottom few references its the same author James P. Mallory. (talk) 07:39, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Combining the "Armenians" and the "Kura-Araxes culture" entries in the EIEC into a hodge-podge falls under WP:SYN, but fwiiw, we can certainly mention that the KA culture plays a role in the Armenian hypothesis of PIE origins. We can mention this, but detailed exposition belongs in the Armenian hypothesis article. If Ararat arev could get himself to edit honestly, he could build a detailed and good article on the Armenian hypothesis (since that appears to be his hobby-horse), and his time on Wikipedia would at least result in some net effect (as opposed to just wasting everyone elses time with zero effect). --dab (𒁳) 10:43, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

My Proposal[edit]

At the end of the next paragraph (before History):

what do you think ? nikos (talk)

My only concern is that the dates in our Shulaveri-Shomu culture don't seem to match the dates above. Dougweller (talk) 12:11, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
corrected! nikos (talk)

New Updated version:

I try to link these five cultures, so one could follow the timeline. Otherwise we don't have intext citations on each article.

And, please write your comments and improve article if you can. nikos (talk)


Why is there a reference to "Hurrian and Urartian elements" being present in this culture? The Urartians are a much later cultural/ethnic group; even if they're related in some way, there's at least a millennium-sized gap between the end of the Kura-Araxes culture and the earliest recognized beginnings of Urartu. It doesn't make sense to talk about elements of a culture being present a thousand years before that culture even exists. Am I missing something? Isomorphic (talk) 00:20, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

there is a leaf, there is a tree and there is a root.

Because native people in Lake Van, Mount Ararat, Kura River and Aras River were one in origin, speaking in one language. How? see the History of Armenia

According to The Georgian Chronicles and Armenian historian they descending from Togarmah. (ura) nikos (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC).

OK... but if the Kura-Araxes culture and the Urartians are related, the Kura-Araxes came first by a wide margin. It's the Urartians who would have elements of the earlier Kura-Araxes culture, not the other way around. What's in the article now is like saying the [Roman Empire]] had elements of French culture. Isomorphic (talk) 02:38, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, "Urartu" as such, is just the geographic name of people living around the mount Ararat which is between the Kura and Araxes rivers... So, yes you are right. These people and those who lived in Transcaucasus should have common elements. And so the future kingdoms like Urartu or Colchis both descended from one culture, sharing similar but not identical cultural elements. Probably even language. see Hurrians —Preceding unsigned comment added by Berdiau (talkcontribs) 11:29, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Good point, Isomorphic. I, too, am unhappy with the way it is now described in the article. While we can never have certainty about this, either, we can at least make an educated guess at what the linguistic landscape was at the time. It is plausible that the predominant languages spoken in the area were Hurro-Urartian and East Caucasian (= Nakh-Daghestanian) languages as well as an early form of Kartvelian (along with the possibility which is always a given, namely that there were languages now extinct without any attestation or clear trace), and very likely some early form(s) of Indo-European (Proto-Anatolian?) was (were) added to the mix at some point. That's all we can say with reasonable confidence – it's a very probable reconstruction of the prehistoric linguistic landscape. However, ethnic ascriptions, especially self-ascriptions, cannot be reconstructed, and we cannot really give names to the cultures. There may have been a Hurro-Urartian-speaking culture, but that is not the same as a Hurro-Urartian culture, even though it is popularly equated. (Reconstructing typical cultural elements linked to certain linguistic groups is possible but fraught with difficulties.) Even more misguided is the attempt to identify ancient groups as the direct (biological) ancestors of modern groups. That is impossible given the admixture that has taken place in the meanwhile.
It is famously said that almost all Europeans (except perhaps very isolated groups) are descendants of Charlemagne, having him somewhere in their pedigree, which means every European is descended from Germanic-speaking peoples to some extent – at the very least, there are no pure, direct descendants of any ancient ethnic group. That means that no ancient ancestors of the French cannot be identified either – neither the Romans nor the Gauls are "ancient French": the French are a mix of descendants of Romans (and other ancient peoples of Italy), Gauls, Franks and many other ethnic groups. (Let's not forget that many people who identify as French now and have only French as a native language are mainly descended from Alsatians, Lorraine Franconians, Bretons, Normans, Flemish, Basques, Corsicans, Italians, or even Africans or Arabs, without having to trace their pedigree into antiquity.)
Therefore, I'm also unhappy with the speculative idea in the article that the Nakh-speaking peoples of today are somehow descended from Urartian tribes. While I am aware that there has a case been made for an origin of the Nakh languages far to the south of where they now are, in the Ararat plain, and there may have been Urartian(-speaking) groups which changed their language and assimilated into groups speaking an ancient form of Nakh, it is very misleading to portray the modern Nakh-speaking peoples as the descendants of Urartians from 3000 years ago; we have good reasons to assume that the modern Chechens and Ingushetes are descended in far greater measure from people previously indigenous to the area where they live now, who may have spoken Kartvelian, Iranian and West Caucasian or even non-Nakh East Caucasian languages, and among more recent ancestors Turkic languages or even Russian.
In sum, we should be extremely careful with ethnic ascriptions in the prehistorical period. There is all kind of trouble which we call forth by going that route. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:45, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
You leave a lot to respond to. First of all, don't write about "Ingushetes"- the correct name for the people is "Ingush" . I don't see how the page disputes what you are saying- it never says that the Nakh are "pure" descendants of Urartians for example, but rather, the page makes reference to claims rising from a multitude of sources- including alleged linguistic affinity, an interpretation Leonti Mroveli's writings about Urartian remnants "returning to the north", as well as various other writings about "Gargareans" (>Chechen gergara kindred) moving north to escape invasions of their land. As a side note, I can't fathom the notion of various widespread nations in Europe all being descended "in part" from one man (Charlemagne) who died only 1200 years ago (it is possible that among many nations there are a few people there are... but why is that significant at all? Its clearly a stretch to call them all "Germanic in-part" because of that). In any case, you just seem to be nit-picking and arguing with a foe that isn't really there- the page never says that Chechens and Ingush are pure descendents of Urartians, and says that the theory isn't widely accepted in the first place. In fact, the word Nakh is only mentioned in the article a grand total of once, in "with some even calling the Nakh peoples (speakers of one branch of the family) descendants of the 'remnant tribes of the Urartians' although this theory has not gained widespread acceptance." That's only one line, at the bottom of the page, and it maintains neutrality by stating that only "some" authors advance the theory while it isn't "widely accepted". I don't see what your problem is with the page exactly, unless you are just here to debate (which is fine, but the talk page is not a WP:FORUM). --Yalens (talk) 13:50, 13 April 2012 (UTC)


Kura-Araxes cultureKura–Araxes culture — The right writing is with ndash; it is a disjunction, not a conjunction. --Omnipaedista (talk) 02:58, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Spread to Georgia by 3000 BC[edit]

That is incorrect. The earliest radiocarbon date from Kura–Araxes cultural site of Georgia is 3654±402 B.C1 (3rd building from Amiranis Gora, Georgia.) and it has not probably been spread form Ararat plain, so that would be good if someone could correct it.

1. Kavtaradze, G. L. The Chronology of the Aeneolithic - Bronze Age Cultures of Georgia in the Light of New Data. Tbilisi 1981. 73 pp.sorry was not able to add to reference list --NikaPilot (talk) 21:25, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

is anybody gonna answer? or should I change it now?--NikaPilot (talk) 15:57, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Okay, I'll wait one more month and than I'll change it (NikaPilot (talk) 16:02, 20 June 2013 (UTC))

Georgia is highly doubtfull to be the origin of this culture. Thus I think all national templates should be removed. Stanislav Grigoriev thinks that it cames from West. And may have links even with Balkans. No need to link this culture to any existing nations today. We should consider Near Eastern cultures as in Europe. Matenagir (talk) 12:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Armenian name[edit]

I would like the Armenian name to be added too, I don't know why there is only the Georgian name. Also I don't know why is there a page with this kind of name მტკვარ-არაქსის კულტურა.-- (talk) 20:28, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Add it yourself, I doubt anyone will oppose it. --Yalens (talk) 22:36, 2 December 2012 (UTC)


" They raised cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, and in its later phases, horses (introduced around 3000 BCE, probably by Indo-European speaking tribes from the North).[8]" The first mentioning of horses in the referenced book refers to the Koban-Culture only, NOT to the K-A-C. And the relation to the "Indo-European speaking tribes from the North" seem to be freely added by the writer of this wiki-article. If not substantiated, the sentence has to be cancelled. HJJHolm (talk) 06:17, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

National templates should be removed[edit]

I think all national templates should be removed from this article. The Kura-Arax extended on vast territories so by this logic Turkey and Iran should be also added. There is nothing certain about linguistics of this culture. Most certainly it doesn't relate to any existing language groups. So please remove them all.

Matenagir (talk) 13:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)