The Kura-Araxes culture lasted from roughly 3400 BC - 2000 BC. It began as a humble type of civilization subsisting on some farming and mostly cattle. They original built small, round homes that were often grouped together behind some sort of earth and stone fortifications. Hey, this in the neighborhood of most of the projected Urheimats so they were eventually going to have to deal with those violent Indo-Europeans. You can understand why they built walls.
But, their humble beginnings would give way to a much more lavish lifestyle as the Kura-Araxes people became great traders. They traded with Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. There is even evidence that some offshoots of the Kura-Araxes ended up in the Levant after the fall of the ancient Akkadian Empire. What they had to offer had to pretty good considering some of their artifacts have been found flung between modern Israel and Chechnya in Russia. So what did they bring to the table?
First and foremost they brought pottery. Their pottery was super distinctive. It was black and red with geometric ornamentation all over it. They also produced wheeled-carts which when they weren't hauling awesome pottery to trade all over the Ancient Near East and Eastern Europe were probably being traded themselves. Eventually the Kura-Araxes would take up metallurgy and became pretty good smiths. They worked with copper, gold, silver, tin and bronze, adding metal goods to their already impressive arsenal of trade goods.
We've mentioned the Kura-Araxes before way back on May 6, but I thought since we're studying some disputed regions I'd mention them again. But, we've learned quite a bit about history since May so rather than regurgitating what I wrote earlier I thought I'd add something new. Although we're focusing on the History of Europe it's impossible to look at Europe in complete isolation, especially when you're dealing with either the Mediterranean Cultures or the Caucuses. This is because there was massive cultural exchange between these European Cultures and the Asiatic ones. The Kura-Araxes were intercontinental traders and it might be good to mention some of their Asiatic dealings. As you can see from the map above the Kura-Araxes culture dealt with some heavyweights of the Ancient Near East including the Assyrians, the Hurrians and the Hittites, not to mention all the other unlisted Mesopotamian giants.
|Black pot, geometric designs to adorn it. Evidence or conjecture?|