Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Open Access Book: The Archaeology and Geography of Ancient Transcaucasian Societies

The Archaeology and Geography of Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, Volume 1.
The Foundations of Research and Regional Survey in the Tsaghkahovit Plain, Armenia

Adam T. Smith, Ruben S. Badalyan, Pavel Avetisyan
With contributions by Alan Greene and Leah Minc
Oriental Institute Publications, Volume 134
Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-1-885923-62-2
Pp. xlvi + 410; 72 figures, 82 plates, 7 tables
Until recently, the South Caucasus was a virtual terra incognita on
Western archaeological maps of southwest Asia. The conspicuous absence
of marked places — of site names, toponyms, and topography — gave the
impression of a region distant, unknown, and vacant. The Joint
American-Armenian Project for the Archaeology and Geography of Ancient
Transcaucasian Societies (Project ArAGATS) was founded in 1998 to
explore this terrain. Our investigations were guided by two overarching
goals: to illuminate the social and political transformations central to
the region’s unique (pre)history and to explore the broader intellectual
implications of collaboration between the rich archaeological traditions
of Armenia (former U.S.S.R.) and the United States.

This volume provides the first encompassing report on the ongoing
studies of Project ArAGATS, detailing the general context of
contemporary archaeological research in the South Caucasus as well as
the specific context of our regional investigations in the Tsaghkahovit
Plain of central Armenia. The book opens with detailed examinations of
the history of archaeology in the South Caucasus, the theoretical
problems that currently orient archaeological research, and a
comprehensive reevaluation of the material bases for regional chronology
and periodization.

The work then provides the complete results of our regional
investigations in the Tsaghkahovit Plain, including the findings of the
first systematic pedestrian survey ever conducted in the Caucasus.
Thanks to the results presented in this volume, and Project ArAGATS’s
ongoing excavations in the area, the Tsaghkahovit Plain is today the
best-known archaeological region in the South Caucasus. The present
volume thus provides archaeologists with both an orientation to the
prehistory of the South Caucasus and the complete findings of the first
phase of Project ArAGATS’s field investigations.

To order the printed book, in North America contact The David Brown Book
Company, PO Box 511, Oakville, CT 06779, Toll Free: 1-800-791-9354, Fax:
860-945-9468, e-mail: In Europe and elsewhere,
contact Oxbow Books, Park End Place, Oxford, OX1 1HN, UK, Tel: (+44) (0)
1865-241-249, Fax: (+44) (0) 1865-794-449, e-mail:

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