ძვ.წ. 3-2 ათასწლეულების ლითონის ჭურჭელი სამხრეთ კავკასიასა და მის მიღმა წინააზიურ სივრცეში: კულტურული ტრადიციეების გაზიარება

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Date
2022
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ივანე ჯავახიშვილის სახელობის თბილისის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის გამომცემლობა
Abstract
Metal Vessel which appears a valuable and specific field in toreutics, has an essential importance for understanding of the intercultural communications between the Near Eastern World and its most northern periphery – South Caucasus. Intensity of distribution of the metal vessels in various regions at the different phase of the ancient prehistoric era was not equal and sometimes had an enough diverse manifestation. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that appearance of this valuable patterns was begun not earlier than the start of the Bronze Age. The various fashions of metal vessel’s representation, earlier and better than in other cases, were recorded in Near East and beyond it in Caucasian region. Though, it should be mentioned that, in general, their distribution currently localized on an especially wide space between the Carpathian and the West Altai. In the last one their producing starting relatively later. Naturally, that among the diverse typological groups of the metal vessels was expectable, and in fact certainly were existed, few common shapes. It is clear that metal vessel’s wider distribution might be considered as a result of distribution of mode, idea and knowledge from the different civilized regions of the Near East toward the close and more far distance directions. Consequently, it doesn’t arise any surprise of scholars that among the regions where evidently is visible the Near Eastern style vessels was its most northern periphery - South Caucasus. Beside this, it should be emphasized that diffusion of the certain types of metal vessels at the different stages was spread as well in Carpathia and Danube areas. Currently, in presented article we’ll discuss about the differentiated typological groups, their stylistic variety, peculiarity of the technical methods that was used by the craftsmen and the scales of spreading of the metal vessel assemblages. As concerns the considered here artifacts their chronological date ranging only the Early- and Middle Bronze Ages and not total four thousand years of the whole Bronze-Early Iron era, i.e., from the IV to mid I millenniums BC. The reason why we limited only with the above mentioned two phases of the Bronze Age is the especially solid quantity of the toreutics in the Late Bronze Age which evidently requires the serious and longtime research. Therefore, we embraced only with Early and Middle Bronze Age metal vessel assemblages. Concerning the metal vessel’s production of the mentioned chronological periods we would like to note following important points: a) nevertheless that toreurics appears a prestigious material which sure were not an easier accessible product for all-social groups of society and especially for the common people, in burials there are represented numerous fascinating items of it. Their number is also rapidly increasing last years; b) enough solid number of discoveries of the metal vessels which were undoubtedly valuable material, clearly indicate in favor of tendency of intensive gathering of wealthy by the high social level of society. It reflects the increase number of producing the toreutics which means that elite of the certain cultures were taking special care to strength their power by getting the more richness. c) the result of it appears more intensive producing of prestigious artifacts, in general, among which one of the distinguishable were the metal vessels. d) ultimate, all this proves about the high economic development and quite deep social structurization of society and final formation of ruling elite who were interested with wealthy and fashionable, prestige patterns closely related to the mode that was offered by the Near Eastern civilized world. e) All these processes which was took place in Middle Bronze Age were directly connected with the activation of intercultural connections. It would be important to note about those fact which related with the problem of the first appearance of metal vessels in Caucasian geo-cultural space. Current archaeological evidences clearly indicate that initial appearance of toreutics in Early Bronze Age related only with North Caucasus and, more specifically, with developed stage of Maykop culture of the beginning of III millennium BC (Korenevskii 2011: pl. 38-71,21-10 ). Contemporary to it South Caucasian Kura-Araxian culture didn’t demonstrate any case of existence of the metal vessels. Explanation of this fact still remains the topic of discussion of many scholars. Currently revealed evidences allow to conclude that all type of toreutics, in general, and, particularly metal vessels, starting to appeared in northern part of this space when for the South Caucasus they remained unknown artifact in Middle Bronze Age. Interested for us patterns of the Maykop culture (or according by some scholars, Maykop-Novosvobodnaya culture) created around 8 groups of different types of metal vessels produced by gold, silver and bronze. They represented by high necked gold and silver vases, relatively low necked vases of the same metals, silver opened mouth vessels of the pot style, silver and bronze low jars, biconical shape horizontally stretched bowls made by gold and silver, low hemispherical bowls, silver, opened mouth, richly ornamented bowls, bronze cauldron with handle and gold vase with special cover and nicely shaped neck (Markovin, Munchaev, 2003: 56,57, pls.12,13,14 ). Problem of formation and quite a sudden appearance of metal vessel production as well as all the numerous rich assemblage of toreutics of the Early bronze Age North Caucasian culture arise many questions of scholars concerning their origination. Currently, many of them are arguing in favor of the influence, even the penetration of some group of population, of the Hattian culture in North Caucasus. With the end of the Maykop culture the above-described artifacts were disappearing from the Caucasian cultural space. Their end was so sudden as their appearance in III millennium BC in North Caucasus. After the famous Maykop culture producing and wide use of metal vessels doesn’t recorded in this region until the Late Bronze Age. Like the Early Bronze Age Kura-Araxes cultural unit, the metal vessels remained also unknown in Bedeni culture, appearance of which in South Caucasus means the essential changes from many points of social and cultural life of the local society. Totally differing situation was revealed only at the II phase of the Middle Bronze Age when the highly flourished Trialeti Culture of Brilliant Kurgans appeared in the South Caucasian space (Kuftin 1941:79-99; Puturidze 2017:214,215). Beginning of this culture presage the start of metal vessel’s producing and, in general, flourishment of the high artistic craft. Appearance of many tens’ fashionable, high artistic and nicely modeled metal vessels indicate in favor of rapid development of craftsmanship, establishing the interconnection with the Near Eastern civilizations and socio-economical strength of this culture. Nevertheless, of the archaeologist’s scholarly activities it is still debatable what kind of events arise such an unexpected start of producing the metal vessels when there was not recorded any local background for it. Rich assemblage of metal vessels found in giant kurgans Kvemo Kartli and Armenia and represented by the various type stylistically different items, demonstrate the top level of development of this field of craft. Their typological systematization and detail scheme still require to be done by the specialists. After a long period of discovery of the first burial site in Tsalka region, Trialeti culture accumulate an impressive number of fascinating artifacts of the artistic craft. Barrows of this widely distributed cultural unit suggests the following diverse types of artifacts (Kuftin 1941: 83-100, Tabs.LXXXVII-XCIII; Gogadze 1972: 69-79; Japaridze 2006: 342, 346-347) of interested material, such as: ritual silver goblets richly decorated with numerous Near Eastern images, silver vessel with gold applications on the rim and bottom and richly ornamented by the flora-faunistic images, cylindrical vessels with one decorated handle and plain surface, biconical silver vessels with a plain surface and low, elaborately modeled base, hemispherical undecorated bowls, with the decorated handle and plain surface, gold cup, ornamented by lion’s bas-relief images, small size gold bowl with a plain surface but top elaborately modeled shape, fascinating gold beaker, decorated with filigree, granulation and inlays by semi-fine stones, middle size gold vessel with geometrically ornamented surface, bronze ‘basket-shape” vessel with handle, bronze cauldrons, considered for the preparing the burial meal and etc. All these, specially considered in presented article, patterns supposing that were created at the time-interval of 21-18 centuries BC and appears an elaborate pattern of high artistic craft which sometimes find a close analogue among the Near Eastern sites but in other case evidently are of local cultural tradition. It is evident that they are differing from many points and create stylistically various groups, sometimes especially richly decorated and in other cases with a plain surface, but all of them are distinguishable items by their elaborated shape. Famous experts of this sphere noted that the Trialetian valuable assemblages are unique and gold working of this culture was one of the top developed artistic craft in ancient Old World (Rubinson 2013: 12-25; Maxwell-Hyslop 1971:74-81). Summing all, it seems to me quite evident that precious metal vessels from the developed (II) stage of the Middle Bronze Age mark a turning point concerning such kinds of innovations. Their appearance in the South Caucasus was sudden, unexpected, and not proceeded by any local tradition of metal vessel’s producing. Supposing, that influences that comes from the certain Near Eastern cultures and activation of intercultural relations (trade-exchange, cultural) should be considered as stimulate factor in complicate process of their formation.
Description
ეძღვნება პროფ. გოჩა ჯაფარიძის ხსოვნას (1942 – 2020)/ Dedicated to Memory of Prof. Gocha Japaridze (1942 – 2020)
Keywords
წინა აზია, ლითონის ჭურჭელი, ტიპი, პრეისტორიული ეპოქა, კულტურული გავლენები, Near East, metal vessels, type, prehistoric era, cultural traditions
Citation
აღმოსავლეთმცოდნეობა, 11, თბილისი, 2022, გვ.: 179-195/ Oriental Studies, 11, Tbilisi, 2022, pp.: 179-195
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