EARLY BRONZE AGE CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT OF SAMTSKHE HIGHLANDS: ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN ADIGENI MUNICIPALITY
This article presents the results of an Adigeni archaeological survey project conducted in the River Kvablian gorge of Samtskhe region (southwest Georgia) in the modern territory of the Adigeni municipality. In general, the microregion is less studied archaeologically. Even so, limited data indicate that the area as a frontier zone between different regions served as a cultural crossroads during multiple stages of prehistory. Consequently, it was expected that such cultural interaction continued in the Bronze Age as well and in this region, two Early Bronze Age cultures would coexist: Kura-Araxes and the so-called Western Georgian culture. With the combination of survey methods 12 Kura-Araxes sites were identified in the study area and as a result, no evidence of “western” influence was attested. This suggests that Adigeni was a Kura-Araxes culture dominating area and clearly defines its cultural environment.
Keywords: Samtskhe-Javakheti; South-West Georgia; Archeological survey; Early Bronze Age; Kura-Araxes culture; Chalcolithic;