Field Report

Empire in the Everyday: A Preliminary Report on the 2008–2011 Excavations at Tsaghkahovit, Armenia

Serpentine plate from Room G (WSG.12.L.01).
Serpentine plate from Room G (WSG.12.L.01).

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.

See also: Early Complex Societies in Southern Caucasia: A Preliminary Report on the 2002 Investigations by Project ArAGATS on the Tsakahovit Plain, Republic of Armenia

Related Articles: 
excavation    pottery    architecture    Iron Age   

Empire in the Everyday: A Preliminary Report on the 2008–2011 Excavations at Tsaghkahovit, Armenia

By Lori Khatchadourian

American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 118, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 137–169

DOI: 10.3764/aja.118.1.0137

© 2014 Archaeological Institute of America