Between 2008 and 2011, the joint American-Armenian project for the Archaeology and Geography of Ancient Transcaucasian Societies (Project ArAGATS) conducted archaeological excavations at the Iron Age settlement of Tsaghkahovit in central-western Armenia. This work built on research begun in 2005 to closely examine the materiality of social and political life in a rural settlement of the Achaemenid Persian empire (ca. 550–330 B.C.E.). Intensive investigations at Tsaghkahovit have revealed the remains of a community clearly enmeshed in select sociopolitical institutions of the empire yet one also committed to reproducing and revising the contours of everyday life on the Armenian highlands on its own terms. The site thus invites consideration of the quotidian material and spatial practices of imperial subjects who both sustained and attenuated the viability of Achaemenid sovereignty in the Armenian satrapy. This article reports on recent excavations and offers preliminary interpretations of the findings.
By Lori Khatchadourian
American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 118, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 137–169
© 2014 Archaeological Institute of America