Public Lecture: Ancient and Modern Identity and Adaptation: the case of the Kura Araxes cultural tradition.

Mitchell Rothmann,  professor and chair of the Anthropology Department of Widener University, USA, member of American Research Institute of the South Caucasus will be delivering a public lecture in Yerevan, Armenia

Date: April 30, 201

Time: 6:30-8:00 pm

Venue: American University of Armenia MB Small Auditorium
Address: 40 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan, Armenia

This lecture will explore the archaeologists’ task in trying to identify ancient culture and cultural traditions.
Kura Araxes Cultures of the Early Bronze Age. The 4th into the 3rd millennium BC in the Middle East and Eurasia was one of the most dynamic in world history. In southern Mesopotamia the foundations of the modern world were laid: life in cities, rule through authority and by bureaucrats, social differentiation, mass production, and “international” trade to bring raw materials and goods lacking in the south for production and for signifying the new statuses of a state society. In the highland zones where these raw materials and technologies were coming from change was also occurring. However, it was change of a different kind. The emergence of the Kura Araxes saw the development of new local adaptations and a distinct cultural tradition marked by a type of burnished, handmade pottery and a ritual of the hearth. This tradition, dominant in the south Caucasus, spread southwest across the Taurus Mountains and south into the South Levant, southeast into the Zagros Mountains, and north across the Caucasus. As Adam Smith, wrote in 2005, we have little idea of what the Kura Araxes really is and little sense of what Kura Araxes Communities were like. This lecture discusses these questions from an anthropological archaeologist’s point of view.