This contribution presents new evidence on a specific kind of prehistoric sacred landscape, a high-altitude monumental sanctuary characterized by the presence of megalithic stelae decorated with animal relief. The contribution is based on the case-study of Karmir Sar, a recently discovered Chalcolithic and Bronze Age site located on the south slope of Mount Aragats (Armenia), at 2850 m a.s.l. Archaeological investigations demonstrate that, in the ancient South Caucasus, vertical zonality in landscape use conditioned all cultural developments and constituted an integrated system—a chain, each link of which was dominant during particular periods. An important link in this chain were transhumant pastoralists, who each summer moved—as they still do—with their flocks from lowlands to high-altitude pastures. High-altitudes plateaus also functioned as ritual landscapes. Karmir Sar is an extraordinary example of such high-altitude sacred sites. the site is a vast meadow with at least ten monumental stelae (vishaps or ‘dragon stones’) scattered over an area of c. 40 ha, the highest thus far known concentration of such monuments at a single site. Its archaeological investigation adds important data to our knowledge about the early social processes in the region. This article discusses the site in its wider prehistoric context, and presents the results of the excavation at and around the vishap ‘Karmir Sar 10’. We also discuss the longue durée of the vishap phenomenon, taking into account a persisting ‘sacredness’ reflected in place names, medieval texts and local folk traditions.
GILIBERT, Alessandra [Writing – Original Draft Preparation] (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Titolo:||Karmir Sar. New evidence on dragon-stones and ritual landscapes on Mount Aragats, Armenia.|
|Titolo del libro:||Context and Connection. Essays on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honour of Antonio Sagona.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|