Journal article

Vegetation, Fire and Grazing Dynamics in Mtskheta, Georgia, and their Implications for Human Economic Strategies since 2000 BC

Simon Connor, Claudia Sagona, Andrew Jamieson

Ancient Near Eastern Studies | Peeters Publishers | Published : 2020


The capital of ancient Iberia, Mtskheta, has long occupied a central role in the social, religious and economic life of Western Asia. The town sits at the confluence of two major rivers, the Aragvi and Mtkvari (Kura). Their valleys brought people, trade and cultural influences from surrounding lands for millennia. Mtskheta’s environs are rich in biodiversity, with a patchwork of floodplain forests, oak woodlands, juniper scrub, forest-steppe and grassy steppe vegetation. This paper describes a history of vegetation, fire and grazing preserved in the sediments of Jvari Lake in Mtskheta. Evidence of changing land use is interpreted in the light of the town’s extensive archaeological-historical..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Professor Dr David Lordkipanidze, Director of the Georgian National Museum, for his encouragement and full support of this collaborative project. To the Georgian Patriarchate, the Mtskheta Municipality and the Georgian Ministry of Culture we express our gratitude for granting permission to carry our excavations at Samtavro. Our thanks also go to Dr Zurab Makharadze and David Makhatadze (Georgian National Museum); Vakhtang Nikolaishvili, Gela Giunashvili and Giorgi Manjegaladze (Otar Lordkipanidze Centre for Archaeology Georgian National Museum). We extend our sincere gratitude to the Institute of Paleobiology (Georgian National Museum), Dr Eliso Kvavadze and the Todria-Chichinadze family for their kind support. We would like to acknowledge that this paper was inspired by discussions between Antonio Sagona and Simon Connor, but it did not come to fruition earlier due to Antonio's death in......