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A bejeweled gold cup from Trialeti. National Museum of Georgia, Tbilisi.

The Trialeti culture (Georgian: თრიალეთის კულტურა), named after Trialeti region of Georgia, is attributed to the first part of the 2nd millennium BC.[1] In the late 3rd millennium BC, settlements of the Kura-Araxes culture began to be replaced by early Trialeti culture sites.[2] The Trialeti culture was a second culture to appear in Georgia, after the Shulaveri-Shomu culture which existed from 6000 to 4000 BC.[3] The Trialeti culture shows close ties with the highly developed cultures of the ancient world, particularly with the Aegean,[4] but also with cultures to the south,[5] such as probably the Sumerians and their Akkadian conquerors.

The site at Trialeti was originally excavated in 1936–1940 in advance of a hydroelectric scheme, when forty-six barrows were uncovered. A further six barrows were uncovered in 1959–1962.[6]

The Trialeti culture was known for its particular form of burial.[7] The elite were interred in large, very rich burials under earth and stone mounds, which sometimes contained four-wheeled carts.[7] Also there were many gold objects found in the graves.[4] These gold objects were similar to those found in Iran and Iraq.[3] They also worked tin and arsenic.[8] This form of burial in a tumulus or "kurgan", along with wheeled vehicles, is the same as that of the Kurgan culture which has been associated with the speakers of Proto-Indo-European. In fact, the black burnished pottery of especially early Trialeti kurgans is similar to Kura-Araxes pottery.[9] In a historical context, their impressive accumulation of wealth in burial kurgans, like that of other associated and nearby cultures with similar burial practices, is particularly noteworthy.[10] This practice was probably a result of influence from the older civilizations to the south in the Fertile Crescent.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Munchaev 1994, p. 16; cf., Kushnareva and Chubinishvili 1963, pp. 16 ff.
  2. ^ The Making of Bronze Age Eurasia - Page 266 by Philip L. Kohl
  3. ^ a b The Alekseev Manuscript - Chapter VII - Part II: Bronze Age in Eurasia
  4. ^ a b Trialeti culture
  5. ^ Edens, Christoper (Aug–Nov 1995). "Transcaucasia at the End of the Early Bronze Age". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (The American Schools of Oriental Research). 299/300 (The Archaeology of Empire in Ancient Anatolia): p. 60, pp. 53–64. 
  6. ^ The Peoples of the Hills: Ancient Ararat and Caucasus. Charles Burney and David Marshall Lang p 90- 96.
  7. ^ a b Burial in the Trialeti culture
  8. ^ Edens. p. 56.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Edens. p. 58.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Edens. p. 59.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Edens. p. see generally.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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