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French archaeologists investigate Kura-Araxes culture in northwestern Iran

TEHRAN, Sept. 13 (Mehr News Agency) -- A team of Iranian and French archaeologists recently visited northwestern Iran to search for evidence of the Kura-Araxes culture in the region, an expert of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) announced on Tuesday.

Karim Alizadeh said that the team led by French archaeologist Catherine Marro visited the Bazargan, Chaldiran, and Jolfa regions and the plains of Khoy and Marand in West Azerbaijan Province.

The Kura-Araxes culture was an important Chalcolithic (copper-stone age) and Bronze Age culture that flourished in the Caucasus, eastern Anatolia, and northwestern Iran from about 4000 BC to 2200 BC.

Alizadeh explained that the team studied the regions during their six-day stay to discover the transition from the Chalcolothic era to the Early and Middle Bronze Age, a precocious metallurgical development which strongly influenced surrounding regions.

"They are also determined to study the route of the nomads to determine whether the Kura-Araxes nomads used the Iranian regions for their summer and winter migrations or not," he noted.

Alizedeh said that the project will be continued in West Azerbaijan next year if an agreement is signed between the CHTO Research Center and the French National Center for Scientific Research, known by its French initials CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).

The territory the Kura-Araxes people inhabited is located in modern Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran. They built mud-brick houses, originally round, but later developing into a square design. The economy was based on farming and livestock-raising. They grew grain and various orchard crops and are known to have used implements to make flour. They raised cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, and in its later phases, horses.

Their pottery was distinctive. It was painted black and red, using geometric designs for ornamentation. Examples have been found as far south as Syria and Palestine, and as far north as Dagestan and Chechnya. The spread of this pottery, along with archaeological evidence of invasions, suggests that the Kura-Araxes people may have spread outward from their original homes and most certainly had extensive trade contacts. The ceramic finds of the Kura-Araxes culture appear in a wide area that spreads from eastern Georgia, eastern Anatolia, western Iran, and the Amuq valley to the Levant. In north Syria, the Kura-Araxes ware is also found.

Their metal goods were widely distributed, recorded in the Volga, Dnieper and Don-Donets systems in the north, into Syria and Palestine in the south, and west into Anatolia.

... Payvand News - 9/13/05 ... --

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