Social Inequality at Köhne Shahar, an Early Bronze Age Settlement in Iranian Azerbaijan
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CitationAlizadeh, Karim. 2015. Social Inequality at Köhne Shahar, an Early Bronze Age Settlement in Iranian Azerbaijan. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractDue to increasing investigations and studies of the Kura-Araxes cultural communities, our information about this enigmatic archaeological culture has increased in many respects. Its interactions and regional variations in terms of cultural materials have been analyzed by many scholars. However, our knowledge about its societal variations is still very limited. We do not yet know much about social dynamics behind its material culture that spread out through vast regions in the Caucasus and the Near East. Indeed, there are some fundamental questions about the Kura-Araxes cultural communities that need further investigation.
To address these questions, I focus on social inequality and its material manifestations through data collected from Köhne Shahar a Kura-Araxes site in the Chaldran area of the Iranian Azerbaijan. This study uses new data collected from one season of survey and three seasons of excavations at Köhne Shahar to examine the material manifestation of social inequality. Excavations at Köhne Shahar have generated data which allows me to present some preliminary conclusions regarding the state of social inequality at the settlement. I concentrate on four major features of the site, stratigraphy and chronology, fortification wall and external threat, specialized craft production, and residential segregation. Results from investigation and analyses of these evidence suggest that external threat and conflict could have played a role in development of political complexity (power inequality) at Köhne Shahar that could have been extended to control over the economy, especially craft production. I further argue that evidence of residential segregation at the site suggest social segmentation and hierarchical ordering within the community of Köhne Shahar. Overall evidence indicates that the site is a special and a complex version of Kura-Araxes Cultural Communities. I further argue that there is a great potential at Köhne Shahar for addressing social complexity and I discuss that further investigations at the site may shed more light on social dynamics in the Kura-Araxes cultural communities.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467508
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