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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The aim of this article is to highlight the social and cultural developments that took place in the Southern Caucasus during the Early Bronze Age. Between 3500 and 2500 BC ca., new pottery, architectural and metallurgical traditions, known collectively as Kura-Araxes, new settlement forms in the mountain regions and new funerary customs emerged. Examining these changes, the article draws a picture of the organization of the Early Bronze Age communities in the Southern Caucasus societies centering primarily on the household and horizontal kinship relationships. We argue that this model was radically different from those of the vertically organized societies of Southern Mesopotamia and Northern Caucasus. Finally, the paper focuses on the changing role of metals towards the mid-third millennium BC and that, by causing radical social transformations, also brought to an end the Kura-Araxes traditions.

Keywords: Caucasus, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran, Early Bronze Age, Chalcolithic, Kura-Araxes, Uruk, Majkop, Kurgans

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