Nairi Lands: The Identity of the Local Communities of Eastern Anatolia, South Caucasus and Periphery During the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age. A Reassessment of the Material Culture and the Socio-Economic Landscape [Hardback]

Guido Guarducci (Author)

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ISBN: 9781789252781 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2019 | Language: English 272p, H280 x W220 (mm) b/w and colour

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Nairi Lands


This study analyses the social and symbolic value of the material culture, in particular the pottery production and the architecture, and the social structure of the local communities of a broad area encompassing Eastern Anatolia, the South Caucasus and North-western Iran during the last phase of the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. This broad area is known from the Assyrian texts as ‘Nairi lands’. The second part of the study, furnishes a reassessment of pottery production characteristics and theories, as well as of the socio-economic structure and issues, tied to the sedentary and mobile local communities of the Nairi lands.

The study brings into focus the characteristics, the extension and the distribution of Grooved pottery, along with other pottery typologies, by providing an accompanying online catalogue with detailed descriptions and high-resolution images of the pots and sherds obtained from public and private institutions in Turkey and Armenia. Moreover, the socio-political organisation and subsistence economy issues are addressed in order to advance a possible reconstruction of the social structure of the Nairi lands communities. Particular attention is devoted to the pastoral nomad component and the role played within the Nairi phenomenon. The study includes a very large corpus of text images and high-resolution color images of the pottery of the area under examination, gathered by the author in order to offer a reliable tool and compendium.

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Part I. Introduction
1. Research introduction
1.1 The Nairi lands. Questions and issues
1.2 Objectives of the study
1.3 Approaches, methodologies and resources
1.4 Structure of the study
Part II. Theoretical Framework
2. Identity, ethnicity and culture
2.1 Identity
2.2 Ethnicity
2.3 Culture
2.4 Significance and use in the study
3. The concept of community
3.1 Approaches and aspects
Part III. Geographical and Historical Framework
4. An environmental survey of the Nairi lands
4.1 Core: Eastern Anatolia (Turkey)
4.2 Periphery: South Caucasus
4.3 Outer Periphery: North-western Iran
5. The Late Bronze–Early Iron Age historical framework
5.1 Collapse and regeneration of the Near Eastern socio-economic landscape
6. The Anatolian geopolitical landscape according to the Assyrian texts
6.1 The Late Bronze Age
6.2 The Early Iron Age
Part IV. The Nairi Lands Core: The Archaeological Evidence from Eastern Anatolia
7. Archaeological evidence
7.1 North EAR
7.2 South-east EAR
7.3 South-west EAR
7.4 East SEAR
7.5 West SEAR
Part V. The Nairi Lands Periphery: The Archaeological Evidence from the South Caucasus
8. Archaeological evidence
8.1 Archaeological investigations in Armenia and the South Caucasus
8.2 Armenia
8.3 Nakichevan and Azerbaijan
8.4 Georgia
Part VI. The Nairi Lands Outer Periphery: The Archaeological Evidence from North-Western Iran and Secondary Connections
9. Archaeological evidence
9.1 Archaeological investigations and issues in North-western Iran
9.2 North-western Iran
9.3 Secondary connections outside the Nairi lands
Part VII. Reassessment of the Nairi Lands Material Culture and Socio-Economic Landscape
10. Nairi Ware: The Nairi lands pottery productions
10.1 Issues and theories
10.2 Techno-morphological analysis
10.3 Reassessment
11. The Nairi lands socio-economic landscape: Between mobile and sedentary lifestyle
11.1 Merging ethnicities and social groups
11.2 The Settlement Area
11.3 The Encampment Area
11.4 The Fort Area
11.5 Convergent dimorphism
Part VIII. Final Considerations
12. The Nairi lands communities’ identity
12.1 Commonalities and distinguishing features
12.2 Identity as cultural affinity and community
12.3 The Nairi Ware social and symbolic function
12.4 Conclusions and future directions
Appendix: Pottery sherds analyses
Guido Guarducci, Vincenzo Palleschi, Marco Lezzerini, Stefano Pagnotta, Gianni Gallello, Emanuela Grifoni, Stefano Legnaioli, Giulia Lorenzetti and Giusi Sorrentino
Online catalogue
Nairi Lands contexts and architecture
South Caucasus
Secondary connections
Nairi Ware pottery
South Caucasus
Secondary connections

Reviews & Quotes

"[This volume] is undoubtedly useful in that it draws together a large amount of published material and would therefore make an excellent starting point for further study of the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in the region. Additionally, the work is valuable for its extensive archaeometric analysis of pottery that potentially provides a base for further studies and interpretation as more ceramics from other sites across the region are approached in similar ways."
Geoffrey D. Summers
Journal of Near Eastern Studies (04/10/2022)

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