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The Emergence and Formation of a Proto-Urban Civilization in Azerbaijan: Certain Issues in the Transition to Class Society

https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.2.064-071

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Abstract

The objective of this article is to clarify certain important issues relating to early urban culture. The complexity of the task stems from the absence of early written sources. This is why the study draws on archaeological materials. It especially focuses on the incipient proto-urban sites—the sources of the proto-urban culture. Certain Bronze Age settlements in Azerbaijan meet the criteria of the early urban civilization. On the basis of the facts cited here, hypotheses about the factors underlying the emergence of proto-urban centers (the harbingers of the first class societies) are put forward. The main features of proto-urban settlements are surface area, structure, fortifications, population size, and population density. The evolution of crafts in such centers is reconstructed along with other aspects. It is argued for the first time that nearly all cultural values typical of the advanced ancient Near Eastern centers were borrowed by South Caucasians. Monumental Late Bronze Age burial mounds of Karabakh are viewed in the context of proto-urban evolution. The idea that elite burials were connected with early urban centers is based on the fact that only powerful chiefs of large tribal unions and early class societies could afford monumental burials on such a scale.

About the Author

H. F. Jafarov
Azerbaijan State University of Economics
Azerbaijan
Istiglaliyyat 6, Baku, AZ1001


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For citation:


Jafarov H.F. The Emergence and Formation of a Proto-Urban Civilization in Azerbaijan: Certain Issues in the Transition to Class Society. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2021;49(2):64-71. https://doi.org/10.17746/1563-0110.2021.49.2.064-071

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)