Saturday, February 27, 2021

Middle Bronze Age developments after Kura-Araxian culture

 Two maps from an Iranian paper (University of Tehran). It describes the post Kur-Araxian situation in North Near East. 

+ The blue is the Steppe influx after 2400 bc. It is somewhat exaggerated. Look the second map. I will discuss it in detail below.

+ The red is the Khabur ware usually associated with Hurrians and old Assyrians. After 2200bc. This region was called Shubir/Subartu in Mesopotamian texts. So it is not surprising that Hurrians and their language were called Subarean in those texts. 

+ The orange is the Syro-Cilician pottery. We have a lot off ancient dna from Alalakh which fits this period. No Steppe/R1b. Most of them were J1/J2. This region was a mixed place of Semites, Hurrians and Anatolians.

+ The green is the Malatya-Elyazig pottery. It develops from the preceding Kur-Arax. It ends at 2000bc. At LBA this region is known as Ishuwa.

+ The purple is the Hittite / Hattic region.

The next map picture in more detail the Blue circle. We have 4 ancient R1b from this region. Three of them Z2103.

Urmia ware, Van-Urmia ware in subsequent regions. 2200-1200 bc. In Van region Kur-Arax coexist with Van-Urmia. Semi-nomadic lifestyle. In Armenia it is known as Karmir Vank'. The apparition of this culture coincide with the Gutian's activity in this region. In Iron Age we have Urartu and Mannaeans in that region, though it is possible that Mannaeans are post Urmia ware development.

In the territory of modern Armenia we have three related cultures overlapping with each other. The Trialeti Vanadzor (Kirovakan) 2200-1600bc, Sevan-Artsakh (Uzerlic) 2000-1500bc and Karmir berd in Araratian plain who's region is exaggerated in this map. It is known only from one site . 

All this cultures have common origin but also have some differences. For example the Trialeti Vanadzor people were erecting Dragon stones while it is not found elsewhere. The neighbouring Urmia ware people also were erecting stones but of different style. 13 antropomorphic stelaes were found in Hakkari region. Most archaelogues link those stelaes with their Steppic parallels.

Btw similar stelaes were found also in Chemurchek culture in NE China usually linked with proto-Tocharians.

Little bit different stelaes were found in Iron Age Artsakh. Made by Urtekhi people.

This represent the situation at MBA. In LBA period (1500-1200bc) the situation changes. Some of this group move to west, reaching Hittite lands. 

We see the emergence of unified Lchashen culture (Etiu) instead of Trialeti-Vanadzor. A new Nuzi ware spreads which is linked with Mitanni.

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