NSC Project

November 2018 was especially lucky for Armenian-Polish Archaeological Mission in Metsamor. At the middle of that month National Scientific Centre granted financial support to the project proposal “ From a catastrophe to a catastrophe. Functioning of provincial Transcaucasian town and means of subsistence of its residents under the political and cultural dominance of the Kingdom of Urartu. Multidisciplinary research in the lower town of Metsamor” led by Krzysztof Jakubiak- the director of polish part of the mission. Thanks to this support, Archaeological Mission in Metsamor move into a new level of its development that has been initiated already in 2013. The project financed by National Scientific Centre is remarkably ambitious and dynamic scientific venture aiming on multifaceted research of the ancient settlement from the area of South Caucasus. It is also the first attempt to combine various methods of modern archaeological research in case of Iron age settlement from the territory of present-day Armenia. Apart of typical archaeological fieldworks the project includes anthropological, zooarchaeological, archaeobotanical, palynological, pedological,  geoarchaeological, geophysical and petrographical analysis of uncovered objects or samples.

There are eight main challenges standing before the project. Some of them are connected with re-evaluation of already acquired knowledge trough using of modern archaeological tools and techniques, while the rest are completely new inquiries.

The list includes:

-The study of changes in the architectural structures of the northern part of the settlement between pre-Urartian and Urartian period (10th-7th century BC)

-Determination of the site absolute chronology and its stratigraphic sequence.

-Study of the range and classification of crop and plant use in the settlement economy.

-Tracing of local pottery evolution between 12th and 6th century BC including chemical composition, places of origin of paste used for the vessels manufacturing in Metsamor

-Determination of the settlement inhabitants’ origins in the pre-Urartian and Urartian period.

-Study of the range and types of breeding with determination of Metsamor inhabitants’ diet in the pre-Urartian and Urartian periods.

-Verification of the pottery sequences between 12th and 6th century BC.

The team involving in the project apart of two archaeologists comprise of geologist, anthropologist, paleobotanist and zooarchaeologists supported by students and volunteers.

Successful of the stated tasks requires three seasons of excavations (7th, 8th and 9th season) that originally have been commenced on: autumn 2019, spring 2020 and autumn 2020. However difficult pandemic and political situation in Armenia halted two seasons planned for 2020, thus eight and ninth season were postpone to the late summer/early autumn 2021 and late spring 2022 accordingly.