The Transcaucasian “Periphery” in the Bronze Age

A Preliminary Formulation
  • Philip L. Kohl
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


Fashionable interpretative models in late twentieth-century American archaeology often resemble earlier constructions that dominated the literature at the beginning of the century (see Schortman and Urban, Chapter 1, this volume). Neo-evolutionary schema that compare and type societies at similar “levels of development” and view them as universally passing through broadly defined, though essentially identical, “stages” of sociocultural complexity consciously recall nineteenth-century unilinear evolutionary models, despite their more nuanced qualifications and insistence upon multilinear paths of development. Criticisms of such neo-evolutionary models also recall the earlier critiques of evolutionism by the Boasians, as well as by so-called modified diffusionists like Childe. Again, the vocabulary today differs—concepts are more refined and subtly expressed—but the basic criticism of evolutionism remains: cultures do not pass through identical evolutionary stages for they are open-ended systems caught up in historical processes larger than themselves that inevitably interrupt, modify, facilitate, impair, or destroy their internal evolutionary development. Consideration of “interregional interaction” necessarily entails, in terms of the older terminology, the treatment of diffusionary processes in which societies or “archeological cultures” become involved in networks of contact, conflict, or exchange that differentially affect all the participant societies.


Iranian Plateau Burial Mound Cultural Deposit Indus Valley Interregional Interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip L. Kohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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