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Late Bronze/Early Iron Age Fortresses of the Ararat and Shirak Plains, Armenia: Typological Considerations1

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Walled fortresses set atop rock outcrops and hills are the dominant settlement type documented in archaeological investigations of late second/early first millennium B.C. southern Transcaucasia. These sites arose as centers of the emerging complex polities in the region, marking not only the expansion of social inequalities but the formalization of a governmental apparatus. However, there have been few systematic attempts to understand the morphology of Late Bronze/Early Iron Age fortresses and assess dimensions of formal variation. This article proposes a typology of these early southern Transcaucasian fortresses based upon qualitative dimensions of a corpus of fortress sites from the Ararat and Shirak plains of the Republic of Armenia. Variation in these qualitative dimensions is then assessed in reference to quantitative elements of settlement.

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