Impacts of the Near East and Eurasian Nomads in the South Caucasus and the Representation of Local Elites during the Middle Iron Age

The project investigates the famous burials of Lori Berd in the north of modern-day Armenia. The tombs date to the period 800-550 BC and originate from Etiuni, a nonliterate society in the South Caucasus. This period coincides with conquests of Urartians from the south (starting in the late 9th century BC) and invasions of Eurasian nomadic tribes from the north (starting in the late 8th century BC). Several tombs show a remarkable density of prestige objects and a high level of complexity of burial customs. In particular, special treatment toward horses is manifested in the rich horse gear and horse decorations found during the excavations. The main focus of the thesis lies on the examination of the practices of representation of wealth and (symbolic) power among the local elite of discussed period.

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