New insights into desert kites in Armenia: The fringes of the Ararat Depression

Dani Nadel, Guy Bar-Oz, Dan Malkinson, Polina Spivak, Dafna Langgut, Naomi Porat, Anna Khechoyan, Amnon Nachmias, Eli Crater-Gershtein, Amir Katinaa, Gal Bermatov-Paz, Samvel Nahapetyan, Boris Gasparyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Armenian kites are the northernmost known kites in south-west Asia. In contrast to those in the deserts further south, their research has only recently begun. The Armenian kites are situated at high elevations, mostly between 900 and 1500 m above mean sea level, in steppic conditions where Artemisia is at present the dominant shrub on the landscape. In our ongoing project we excavated three V-shaped kites and one enclosure kite. The two kinds are similar in construction details, but they differ in size and location: the former run down into gullies, while the latter were placed on the plateau. Six OSL ages suggest terminal Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age construction dates, while geomorphological considerations and surface artefacts suggest earlier dates. A preliminary palynological study suggests a gradual increase in grazing-resistant vegetation since the mid-Holocene, probably reflecting human impact on the natural vegetation through the herding of grazing animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-143
Number of pages24
JournalArabian Archaeology and Epigraphy
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Architecture
  • Armenia
  • Desert kites
  • OSL dates
  • Vegetation change

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