Chronology (and chronologies) of the kura-araxes culture in the southern caucasus: An integrative approach through bayesian analysis

Annapaola Passerini, Elena Rova, Elisabetta Boaretto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study proposes a re-definition of the absolute chronology for the 4th and 3rd millennium in the Southern Caucasus, with particular regard to the Kura-Araxes culture. An overview of the history of research demonstrates how the fragmentation of archaeological practice has long challenged the completion of a comprehensive chronological study based on both absolute and relative archaeological data. In this work, the two datasets were combined following the principles of Bayesian modelling. Firstly, existing radiocarbon dates were collected and characterised in relation to chrono-cultural phases and associated material assemblages. Secondly, all dates were scrutinised based on archaeological and analytical reliability criteria. Thirdly, the remaining dates were compiled within Bayesian models representative of the chrono-cultural scenario. Results of the modelling process led to the distinction of differing chronological trends within geographically distinct sub-regions of the Southern-Caucasus, as represented by the Kura (North) and Araxes (South) river valleys, which are naturally demarcated by the Lesser Caucasus Range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-138
Number of pages58
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
the completion of this article was made possible through a grant by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (November 2014–May 2015), which allowed the first author to spend a 7-month period at the Weizmann Institute of Science in order to complete her MA thesis. The analysis of the samples collected by the Georgian-Italian Shida Kartli Archaelogical Expedition was funded by the following institutions: Italian Ministry of Education (PRIN 2009 project), Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. This research was also funded by the Max Planck-Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology “Timing of Cultural Changes,” The Exilarch Foundation for the Dangoor Research Accelerator Mass Spectrometer. We would also like to express our thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Gangemi Editore. All rights reserved.


  • Chronology
  • Early bronze age
  • Kura-araxes culture
  • Radiocarbon
  • Southern caucasus


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