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    Local canyons, global views: results of the Vayots Dzor Silk Road Survey Project based on the 2015 – 2019 seasons

    Babajanyan, A. and Franklin, Kate (2021) Local canyons, global views: results of the Vayots Dzor Silk Road Survey Project based on the 2015 – 2019 seasons. In: Avetisyan, P. and Bobokhyan, A. (eds.) Archaeology of Armenia in Regional Context. Proceedings of the International Conference dedicated to the 60th Anniversary of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography. Yerevan, Armenia: National Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, pp. 397-412. ISBN 9789939886046.

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    This paper presents a summary of the ongoing research of the Armenian-American collaborative ''Vayots Dzor Silk Road Survey'' (VDSRS), and its goals, methods and results from the past five years.The aim of our investigations is to reconstruct the medieval archaeological landscape in Vayots Dzor region in the broader cultural and historical context of the “Silk Roads”, over a pivotal period running from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The targeted area of our research is the road networks which extended along the Arpa and Yeghegis rivers and their tributaries. The physical remains of archaeological sites and architectural buildings make up the medieval archaeological landscape of Vayots Dzor, which was actively integrated into the material and cultural exchanges, entailed within the phenomenon of the Silk Road. Across the 2015 – 2019 seasons VDSRS has carried out an integrated study in the broad area from Chiva village to Vardahovit and from Gnishik to the Selim pass, recording and mapping multifarious archaeological sites (settlements, fortresses, caravanserais, bridges, monastic complexes, chapels, khachkars (i.e. cross-stones), cemeteries) located both along the primary routes and within tributary valleys. The core of our research is based on the combination of three main groups of methods: a) fieldwork, including site-based surveys and excavations generating spatial and material data, b) study of literary and epigraphic sources, c) study of travel notes, archival materials and ethnographic data, as well as related literature. The VDSRS is also focused on the study of daily life in the local communities which lived along the route, and questions how local people were linked with external worlds in all directions. As we will explore, our research program provides a picture of the Vayots Dzor region as a local world; at the same time, we will explore how due to the political strategies of the Orbelyans the region was involved in the greater Silk Road system. Ultimately, our ongoing work moves between explorations of how medieval inhabitants of Vayots Dzor experienced the world, and reflections on the continuing importance of the medieval landscape of Vayots Dzor in negotiations of Armenian memory, identity, and world politics.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: July 9-11, 2019 in Yerevan
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): historical archaeology, Armenia, Vayots Dzor region, medieval landscape, Silk routes network, VDSRS project.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Kate Franklin
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 12:00
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:11

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    • Local canyons, global views: results of the Vayots Dzor Silk Road Survey Project based on the 2015 – 2019 seasons. (deposited 16 Nov 2021 12:00) [Currently Displayed]


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