This paper presents research drawing on results from two expeditions working at the Samtavro Cemetery in Caucasian Iberia (modern Georgia) from 1976 until 2010. Samtavro was a prominent and enduring feature of the local landscape. The earliest graves are dated to the Middle Bronze Age, with heavier usage attested during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, and later during the Hellenistic, Roman imperial and Late Antique periods. The focus here is on burials from the first century BCE until the 6th century CE, spanning Iberian conversion to Christianity in 337 CE. Samtavro is noteworthy in that it reveals to us the life of the Iberian kingdom’s non-elite. Moreover, the mortuary rituals evident at the cemetery display a syncretic and dynamic cultural environment, and one which varies in some striking ways from the dominant narrative pertaining to Iberia’s cultural and religious practices.
Presenter: Dr Aleksandra Michalewicz, Honorary Fellow, The University of Melbourne
Date: 2pm, Friday 19 May 2017
Venue: Room 625, Menzies Building, Monash University, Clayton
Contact: Jessie Birkett-Rees firstname.lastname@example.org