Aparan III

Southern Caucasus
Geographical Area: 
1,860.00 m

Hill overlooking Kasakh gorge, west bank of the Kasakh river (reservoir lake of Aparan), upper terrace of the river.

R. Badalyan and P. Avetisyan

The site is located in the plain of Aparan in central Armenia, on the west bank of the Kasakh River. The Aparan plain is covered by Upper Pliocene-Pleistocene fluvial, lacustrine, proluvial and glacial sediments. Aparan III occupies the upper terrace of the river and a hill built of tufo-lavas, volcanic slags, alluvial pebbles, clay and sandy soil originating from the volcanic Aragats massif. A limited excavation was conducted at the site, revealing a single domestic pit, representing a single phase of occupation. This pit provided a large number of restorable vessels. Ceramic typology and radiocarbon dating place the site in the late fourth to the early third millennium BCE, corresponding to the earlier Kura-Araxes phase in this region (Early Bronze I, Elar-Aragats group, c. 3500-2900 cal BC.
Typologically, the Aparan assemblage consists of burnished bowls, goblets, decorated jars/kraters, 'karas' pithoi;, and flat lids. Decorations consisted of post-firing scratched patterns and in one case, of raised bossed lines. Most vessels showed a thick and well-burnished slip on the exterior. Open vessels showed a smoothed but not intensively burnished interior. The surface of the vessels was fired to an uneven reddish-yellow or reddish-brown color, and in some cases to a mottled red-black or completely black exterior color. Post-breakage exposure to fire can be observed on several vessels; this tends to change their color from black to red.
Thirteen burnished vessels from Aparan III were petrographically sampled and analyzed. Seven potential raw material samples were collected at the site.

Noteworthy Non-pottery Finds: 
Storage Location: 
History Museum of Armenia (Yerevan)

Badalyan R., and Avetisyan P. 2007. Bronze and Early Iron Age Archaeological Sites in Armenia. B.A.R. International Series 1697.Oxford, Archaeopress.

Iserlis, et al. 2010.

Regional Map: