Publications récentes (2)

Vegetation and plan exploitation at Mentesh Tepe (Azerbaijan), 6th-3rd millennium BC initial results of archaeobotanical study


Quaternary International, 2015(In Press)

Alexia Decaix, Erwan Messager, Margareta Tengberg, Reinder Neef, Bertille Lyonnet, Farhad Guliyev.



The study of several types of botanical remains from the site of Mentesh Tepe, Azerbaijan has provided the first data on the vegetation cover and the exploitation and use of plant resources from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age in this part of the Kura River Basin. Riparian woodlands constitute the main fuel source throughout the occupational sequence. However, wood was also exploited in relatively open woodlands characterised by the presence of a dozen shrub and tree species, among them oak, hornbeam, buckthorn, wayfaring-tree, maple and lime. Most seed and fruit remains correspond either to crops, such as cereals (barley, wheat) and pulses (lentil, grass pea), or to weeds and ruderal plants. The analysis of phytoliths shows that cereals were treated (de-husked) on-site. Very few fruits were found in the botanical record.



Base Level changes, river avulsions and Holocen human settlement dynamics in the Caspian Sea area (middle Kura valley, South Caucasus)


Quaternary International, 2015(In Press)

Vincent Ollivier, Michel Fontugne, Bertille Lyonnet, Christine Chataigner



Geomorphological, geochronological and geoarchaeological analysis focusing on six tributaries of the Kura River provide valuable data concerning sedimentation rhythmicity and Holocene human settlement distribution at a regional scale. Seven new radiocarbon dates from the upstream part of these hydrosystems complemented the existing radiocarbon dataset (n = 32) obtained downstream. These data seem to indicate that upstream hydrosystems also reacted to marine regressions by powerful riverbed incisions and to transgression phases by thick valley infillings from at least as early as the Upper Pleistocene. The retroactive morphogenic effects were also perceived in intra-mountainous areas far from the Caspian shoreline. The land use patterns of the Caucasian societies dwelling in the valley of the Kura hydrosystem were affected by temporary river avulsions resulting in silty fans over the high terraces during the Neolithic–Chalcolithic periods. These river avulsions seem to be governed by local climate and base level changes linked to fluctuations of the Caspian Sea level over time. This is spatially and diachronically evidenced in settlement distribution, with almost exclusive localization on perched silty fans and river runoff from the key period of Neolithic development in the region. These new data must be considered in future geoarchaeological analyses concerning the Caspian Sea Basin and will contribute to the enhancement of the relative Caspian Sea level curve for the past 40 ka.



Gadachrili Gora: Architecture and organization of a Neolithic settlement in the middle Kura Valley (6th millennium BC, Georgia)


Quaternary International, 2015(In Press)

Caroline Hamon, Mindia Jalabadze, Tata Agapishvili, Emmanuel Baudouin, Irakli Koridze, Erwan Messager



The mechanisms responsible for the emergence of a farming economy in Transcaucasia have been the subject of much debate since the 1970’s. This debate has focused particularly on the role played by Near-Eastern influences in the development of the Shulaveri-Shomu culture, which emerged in the Kura Basin at the end of the 7th millennium BC. Recently, archaeological investigations have been conducted by a Georgian-French team in Gadachrili Gora, one of four “Shulaveri group” tells located on a tributary of the Chrami River in the Kvemo-Kartli plain of Georgia. Dating evidence clearly places the first levels of this tell in an early phase of the development of the culture, between 5920 and 5720 Cal BC. These investigations provide new evidence regarding the processes of neolithisation, especially in terms of settlement organization and the architectural techniques used at the time. Several occupation levels feature connected circular units, of various sizes, together with “courtyards”, which were used as circulation – or waste disposal areas. The density and organization of these structures display different patterns for the two distinct levels of occupation preserved. Evidence from the deepest occupation levels suggests a high density of occupation in the settlement, with complex episodes of destruction and rebuilding. Several building techniques were used, including different types of bricks laid in various patterns depending on wall types. In addition, there is evidence for the use of the “bauge” construction technique, which was unknown in the region until now. Parallels established with the construction techniques of Northern Iran and Mesopotamia contribute to the discussion regarding the processes underlying the emergence of the Shulaveri culture. Moreover, the high number of storage structures and the discovery of organized built spaces dedicated to storage raise many questions about the status of the site, the organization of agricultural practices, and the relationship of these populations to the hydrographic network within the area.

Citer ce billet
Modwene Poulmarc'h (2015, 2 juin). Publications récentes (2). AncientCaucasus. Consulté le 15 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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