The data you have is pottery, spear points, and pins, as well as their distribution in the village buildings and tomb. You need to classify each category. Pick the most important attributes that define differences in each. Then see where they appear in the buildings. What conclusions can you draw? Does the tomb tell you anything?

ANTH 216 Exercise 1: Typology and the Kura-Araxes at Arslantepe

In the early 3rd millennium BC, farmers and herders associated with a cultural tradition called Kura-Araxes, because it originated in the mountains and valleys between the Kura and Araxes rivers in the South Caucasus migrated west.  One site to which they migrated was Arslantepe in the west (see map below).  In the previous 4th millennium BC the site was a center of trade throughout the region.  It had a temple/ palace complex with large storage rooms.  This major center was abandoned at the end of the 4th millennium BC.  A small walled village replaced the city (see excavated part of the village below).  Excavators uncovered buildings and a a tomb full of rich remains of ceramics, metal swords and pots, etc.

The question at hand is how did the populations at 3rd millennium BC Arslantepe interact.  Were they separate populations?  Did they remain separate or integrate?


The data you have is pottery, spear points, and pins, as well as their distribution in the village buildings and tomb.  You need to classify each category.  Pick the most important attributes that define differences in each.  Then see where they appear in the buildings.  What conclusions can you draw?  Does the tomb tell you anything?

Decorative women’s pins for clothing


You have three categories of artifacts: pottery vessels A-O (and cooking pots P1 and 2), Spear points SA-SE, and decorative pins to hold together women’s clothes.

For each category, you need to figure out types in terms of the questions of which population is which and how they interact. Which types typify which group (ultimately you will need to see where they are found in each building and what that implies about the people and their relationships).

Summarize answers on a separate sheet, following, which you will upload to My Assignments by 2 pm on 15 February.

ANTH 216 Exercise 1:





Ceramics (A-O, cooking pots P1and P2):


What attribute 1 may divided them into functional types?


Which pots belong in each type?



Describe those functions!

What is attribute 2 that may separate them into two types associated with different populations?


Which examples from A-P1/2 fit together into each type?

Spear points


Is there an important attribute that divides them into separate types?  What is that?

Which ones fit into each type?

Clothing Pins (PA-PE)

What attributes may divide them into separate types?  How many?


Which pins fit in which type?



The Meaning of the Patterns


Now you have to use those types to answer your question.  If you did the typology correctly the meanings should be pretty clear.


Which types are found together in particular buildings?


Are they always found together in the same way?  If not, what might that mean?


What do you know about the relations of these two groups from the distribution of ceramic, spear, and pin types?


What is your conclusion about the relationships of people at Arslantepe?


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