10th International Conference on Geomorphology
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Impact of 2.7-ka climatic event on the local inhabitants of the Ararat Plain seen from the Metsamor perspective (S Armenia)

Barbara Woronko1, Krzysztof Jakubiak2, and Mateusz Iskra3
Barbara Woronko et al.
  • 1Warsaw, Faculty of Geology, Warsaw, Poland (bworonko@uw.edu.pl)
  • 2University of Warsaw, Faculty of Archaeology, Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland
  • 3University of Warsaw, Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, Prosta 69, 00-838 Warsaw, Poland

Climate variability may have played a significant role in the rise and collapse and reorganisation of many ancient civilizations. Such changes had a particularly strong impact on the political and cultural development of societies inhabited various parts of the Middle East during the first millennium BC. In this context, the South Caucasus, located on the Middle Eastern border zone, belongs to the most attractive areas for multidisciplinary research in the field of climate geology and archaeology.

Metsamor is a fortified protohistoric settlement located in the bottommost part of the Araxes valley (S Armienia). Results of geological survey coupled with interpretation of archaeological and palynological data collected at the study area, indicated great climate fluctuations which could impact the life of local community. These fluctuations were identified with 2.7 ka climatic event based on the age dating and detailed stratigraphy of sediment at the study site. According to Singha et al. (2019), the interval between ~ 2800 and 2690 yr BP is considered as one of the wettest period in the Near East over the past 4000 years. It was followed by a ~ 125-years period of aridity interval. Transition from wet to dry climate conditions is referred to as a 2.7 or 2.8 ka BP event. From the archaeological perspective, its impact on Metsamor can be found in the record of various processes related to gradual abandonment of the settlement,  and changes in the subsistence economy of its inhabitants. As a consequence, their livelihoods shifted from agriculture to cattle and goat breeding.

This work was supported by the National Science Centre Poland. Grant no. 2018/29/B/HS3/01843.

How to cite: Woronko, B., Jakubiak, K., and Iskra, M.: Impact of 2.7-ka climatic event on the local inhabitants of the Ararat Plain seen from the Metsamor perspective (S Armenia), 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-525, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-525, 2022.