ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Aynur Özfırat

Keywords: Tumuli, Eastern Anatolia, Yüksek Yaylası, 2nd-Millennium B.C.E


Tumuli were encountered in the course of a field survey in the Kars area. Though the existence of burial mounds in the village of Küçük Çatma (Maly Pergit) in the province of Kars was already known, no information has heretofore been available on the distribution of barrows in northeastern Anatolia. The first locale in which tumuli were encountered was Suluçem, which yielded six in all. The most promising of these barrows , whose mounds are composed of a mixture of rock and soil, are those designated numbers IV and VI. At the foot of the central tumulus (no. IV) are situated some smaller barrows. Some painted artifacts were recovered from a pit dug by grave robbers. Tumulus VI, suffering the effects of major depradation by grave robbers, has been reduced to the state of an open quarry. Photographs taken at this time reveal the existence of painted pottery and a stone sarcophogus containing a single skeleton. In terms of both structure and ceramics, the Suluçem barrows exhibit similarities to the Tazekent and Sevan-Üzerlik cultures concentrated in Azerbaijan and Armenia. The second area was Nurettin, which boasts one large mound indicating the former existence of a settlement site and three barrows (nos. I-III). The local villagers have robbed Tumulus II has been robbed by the local villagers and from the pit they dug on the northeast side of the peak painted pottery was recovered. Appearing on the south slope is an area irregular in plan, carved out of the soil which has become rocklike. A few painted potsherds were recovered from the mound of excavated soil located before the entrance. The Nurettin ceramics display an exact parallel to material from Northwestern Iran and conform to the Van-Urmiye culture. The barrows examined appear to belong to the Middle Bronze Age, that is, the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. The unexpected occurrence of tumuli in northern Transcaucasia in the mid-3rd millennium B.C.E. suggests that this was the result of migration from the north, where this tradition possesses a deeply rooted past. The type of burial custom associated with tumuli seems to have been disseminated throughout the whole of Transcaucasia and Northeastern Anatolia in the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C.E. The Suluçem and Nurettin tumuli appear to be related to this second stage of dissemination.