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Technical and Social Innovations in the Caucasus: between the Eurasian Steppe and the Earliest Cities in the 4th and 3rd millennia BC

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ARCHCAUCASUS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ARCHCAUCASUS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ARCHCAUCASUS" about.

pottery    reputation    migration    innovation    wagon    ams    200    laser    dynamic    objects    ideal    ablation    14c    light    gene    eurasia    breeds    pool    mill    transfer    north    spread    edge    genom    woolly    instead    urban    alloys    contribution    sheep    predominant    hypotheses    computer    metal    metallurgy    region    isotopes    created    wheels    changed    regions    humans    400    300    domestication    examined    leads    narrative    shed    sides    possibly    adna    mass    combination    first    innovations    date    horse    configuration    building    elucidating    excavations    emerged    prehistory    3rd    multidisciplinary    century    wheel    investigation    space    tomography    chronology    spectrometry    strontium    4th    migrations    alternative    civilisations    caucasus    vibrant    techniques    cutting    copper    silver    re    steppe    massive    artefacts    east    settlements    mesopotamia    axial    centres    background    analytical    19th    burials    bc    analysed    potter    complementary    time    stemmed    linking    until    basic    chance    linked    achievements    formed    peripheries    basis   

Project "ARCHCAUCASUS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PODBIELSKIALLEE 69/71
city: BERLIN
postcode: 14195

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 2˙487˙875 €
 EC max contribution 2˙487˙875 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-07-01   to  2024-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

This project leads to one of the most dynamic regions in prehistory: the Caucasus of the 4th and early 3rd mill. BC. During this vibrant time, basic innovations emerged, which were crucial until the 19th century: wheel and wagon, copper alloys, the potter’s wheel, new breeds of woolly sheep, domestication of the horse, and others. At the same time, massive migrations from the East European steppe during the early 3rd mill. BC changed the European gene pool. The project challenges the still predominant narrative that all technical achievements stemmed from urban centres in Mesopotamia. New studies have created space for alternative hypotheses: possibly it was not the development of new techniques, but instead their adaptation from different ‘peripheries’ and their re-combination and re-configuration that formed the basis for the success of these ‘civilisations’. The Caucasus, linking Mesopotamia to the Eurasia and Europe, is for the first time in the focus of a study on innovation transfer. The study will make a major contribution by investigation of four axial innovations: wheel and wagon, metal alloys, silver metallurgy and woolly sheep. 40 wheels will be analysed by computer tomography and strontium isotopes. Some 300 copper alloys artefacts and 200 silver objects will be examined using mass spectrometry with laser ablation. 400 aDNA genom-wide analyses of humans from burials in the North Caucasus will offer the unique chance of elucidating the role of migrations for the spread of innovations. The pottery in the region, often linked to Mesopotamia, will be studied under technical aspects and is a complementary path to shed light on migration and the transfer of knowledge. Excavations in settlements will allow building up a chronology using 400 AMS 14C analyses. The project is multidisciplinary, making use of the most up-to-date analytical methods. Our long experience and reputation on both sides of the Caucasus is the ideal background for cutting-edge research.

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The information about "ARCHCAUCASUS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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