The Pre-history of the Armenian People*
Predystoriia armianskogo naroda
 Prior to a discussion of the first events in the history of the Armenian Highland which are attested by written sources, it is advisable to investigate the most ancient ethnic situation in this territory as it is known to us.
Biological succession signifies a direct physical descent from one certain group of forefathers, and is expressed in the transmission of definite biological (racial) features, which usually allow us to trace d1stinctive physical anthropological components in the formation of a given ethnic unit. It goes without saying that not a single contemporary nation can be anthropologically homogeneous. The racial type or types which dominate in any given ethnic unit are, to the investigator, important indirect indices of which ethnic groups participated, in the biological sense, in the formation of that unit in the past. However the racial type manifests itself mostly in the external appearance of the men and women in question and seldom plays a socio-historical role. Boundaries of the spreading of anthropological types hardly ever coincide with boundaries of ethnic cultural units or of language areas.
Linguistic succession points to a historical connection between a given ethnic unit and the ethnic groups which were native speakers of this language (or its predecessor) at the earlier stages of  history. But this connection is not necessarily a direct one. The spreading of languages from one group to other groups which are ethnically, culturally, and anthropologically unrelated is historically a very common phenomenon. Moreover it can be said that the spreading of a language to a new territory only very rarely attests a truly massive spreading there of that language's original speakers themselves after they have supplanted the territory's former inhabitants. At least that was the case in antiquity. Usually such an expansion of a linguistic area indicates only that the mass of local inhabitants of mixed ethnic composition have adopted the language of a newly arrived ethnic group, which for one of various historical reasons has played a socially leading role at some specific stage. But this in no way always means that the first speakers of this language had numerical superiority as well. Just as often the reverse situation is encountered. Thus a contemporary ethnic unit (nation) may in many instances continue primarily the culture of one group of forefathers, who constituted the majority, while in respect to its language it may be the successor of an ethnic group which had constituted a minority among its biological forefathers. The situation with respect to biological succession is mostly the reverse, and contemporary anthropological types common among a given nation will on the whole continue the external features of the biological forefathers who constituted the majority, even if it was the minority which handed down their language to the later descendants. Thus [is the situation] unless the aborigines had been totally ousted.
Finally, the most diffuse and indefinite concept is cultural succession, including so-called national character. However when some ethnic unit changes its language under the influence of certain historical factors, not only the features of biological succession, but also those of material and spiritual culture will usually show that we have before us the same unit as before, even though the unit has changed its language. It is true that the picture here is in constant flux, owing to mutual influences and the borrowing of cultural inventions, and even due to fashion, which passes across ethnic frontiers. But taking the factors of cultural succession into consideration will save us from the temptation of beginning the socio-historical and cultural history of a nation anew merely because the nation has changed its language. If, for example, an ethnic unit has already achieved the level of class civilization, we may expect that its institutions, once developed, shall be preserved and will develop further, in spite of a change in the language. It is possible to consider the history of a country as beginning anew  only when it is possible to prove that the replacing of the language in a given instance is due to the resettling of a territory by a new ethnic group. Moreover it is imperative that the new group should be on another socio-economic level, and that it should completely, or to a significant degree, supplant or annihilate the earlier population.
Regarding the most ancient history of the Armenian Highland, we actually know almost nothing about the spiritual culture of the local population in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C., and extremely little about it in the 1st millennium B.C. Archeological cultures, d1stinguished primarily on the basis of changing types of pottery and other artifacts, are conditioned in their composition by a great number of concrete local factors, by no means always ethnic ones, and cannot simply be equated with the units of ethnic classification.
These preliminary remarks are indispensable for a correct understanding of the problem which lies before us.
The archeological data about the material culture of the inhabitants of the Armenian Highland and of the territories in1mediately adjoining them in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. have been elucidated earlier by other scholars; we will touch on them briefly below, but this book deals mainly with other aspects of the ethnogenetic problem.
The amount of available data is clearly insufficient to afford a judgment, on the basis of physical anthropological materials alone, about the history of ethnic groupings in the territory under study.
In that early period, as far as we mow, the tribes and peoples in the mountain regions of central and eastern Asia Minor (including the Black Sea coastline), in the mountain regions of the Armenian Highland, and in Iranian Azerbaijan spoke languages of at least three, and more likely, four language groups.
Apparently the Hatti inhabited central Anatolia (Cappadocia) to the northeast of the bend of the Halys (modern Kizil-Irmak) in the 3rd millennium B.C. By the beginning of the 2nd millennium B.C. they had already been, for the most part, absorbed by the Hittites, whom we shall discuss below.
The research of G. A. Melikisvili (5) and G. G. Giorgadze (6) makes it plausible that a close kinship might have existed between Hattic and the language of the Kaska, a group of tribes which inhabited northeastern Anatolia and the south coast of the Black Sea (Pontus) during the 2nd millennium B.C. Their territory stretched from the mouth of the Halys (Kizil-Irmak), or a point to the west of it, to the upper Euphrates west of present-day Erzincan, including the valley of the rivers Iris (Yesil-Irmak) and Lycus (Wolf River, Gaylget, Kelkit). Unfortunately we have too few place and personal names to afford a trustworthy judgment about the language or languages of the Kaska.
Assyrian sources at the end of the 2nd millennium B.C. refer, in connection with the Kaska, also to the tribes of the Apeshlaians and the Urumeans. We shall discuss the Urumeans below. As far as the Apeshlaians are concerned, their tribe name, just as that of the Kaska, may be interpreted as belonging to the Abkhazo-Adyghian languages (7). Of course this still does not prove finally that the Kaska and the Apeshlaians really belonged to the Abkhazo-Adyghian language group. In the first place, the similarity of names may be a purely accidental coincidence, and in the second place, the history of languages shows that identical ethnic names are not infrequently applied by neighboring groups to tribes which are not even related by language, but which possess a similar culture (8).
The archaeology of Pontus and Colchis in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. has still been insufficiently studied, with the exception of the findings in Ochamchire, which reveal a culture of the 3rd millennium B.C. quite different from the cultures prevailing in neighboring areas (*2).
It can be plausibly assumed that in the 3rd and probably 2nd millennia B.C. everywhere from the central and western part of the Northern Caucasus and Transcaucasia, across the eastern coast of the Black Sea, Colchis, and the southern coast of the Black Sea (Pontus) to the Halys (Kizil-Irmak), tribes lived which either  belonged directly to the Northwestern Caucasian (Abkhazo-Adyghian) language group, or which spoke languages related to Abkhazo-Adyghian, and in some regions of the Caucasus and Transcaucasia there probably were tribes which spoke Kartvelian.
It is more difficult to determine the northern and eastern boundaries of the Hurrian-speaking population. Extant written sources are too insufficient to elucidate the ethnic picture to the north of the Armenian Taurus Mountains in the 2nd millennium B.C. It is true that we have at our disposal place names and tribe names from the territory to the south of a line which runs approximately through Erzincan to the point where today the  borders of Turkey, Iran, and Iraq meet, but a linguistic analysis of these names has not been made. Furthermore such place names (toponyms) and tribe names (ethnonyms) are very unreliable as criteria for determining a population's linguistic and ethnic affinity. The meaning of the names is unknown, and therefore there can be no guarantee that any suggested etymologies from this or that language are not based on irregular sound similarities. Cases often occur in history when toponyms belong not to the language spoken in the locality in question at the time under study, but to some much earlier language (13). Some deductions about probable ethnic composition of the population of the Armenian Highland in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. can be made from the data of a later time --the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. In this period the Hurrian people no longer occupied a continuous area. They maintained only residential enclaves in the mountain valleys and in a few other regions of the territory bordering on the Armenian Highland in a half-circle from the west and south: in the valley of the Upper Euphrates (14) and possibly the Choroh (15) in the Sasun Mountains (16) probably in the valley of the Kentrites (modern Bohtansu) (17), and possibly in the mountains to the west and southwest of Lake Urmia (18).
Within this half-circle, to the north of the Armenian Taurus Mountains, was located, probably already in the 2nd millennium B.C., the ethnic area of the Urartians, a people which spoke a language close to the Hurrian (19) and who possessed a culture in many respects close to that of the Hurrians (20). Therefore it is possible that these groups can be considered as belonging at that time to an ethnically homogeneous mass, even though they already constituted different tribes or groups of tribes. Those tribes of this ethnic mass which lived to the south of the Armenian Taurus Mountains and in the valley of the Upper Euphrates became Hurrians, while those who lived further to the northeast, i.e., on the upper reaches of the Upper Zab River, next to Lake Van, and further north in the direction of the Araxes Valley, became Urartians.
Further still to the north, in central and eastern Transcaucasia, we can assume the existence of a third group of tribes, possibly related to both the Hurrians and to the Urartians, which we shall conventionally designate as the "Etio" (21).
The tribes which left us the remarkable burials of Trialeti, Kirovakan, and Lchashen, dating from the 2nd millennium B.C., which point to strong cultural ties with the Hurrian world, belonged most probably to this group (22). However, the term Etio (Etiuni) appears for the first time only in Urartian texts dating from the 8th century B.C.
 The probability that in the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C. the Hurro- Urartian ethnic mass occupied all of the territory from the hilly plains of Northern Mesopotamia to central Transcaucasia is even more strengthened because in recent years it has been shown that linguistic ties can be traced between the Hurro-Urartian languages and the Northeastern Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestan) group, particularly, in vocabulary, with their Nakhian subgroup, whose representatives live today in the central regions of the Greater Caucasus, principally on its northern slopes (the Chechens, the Ingush, and, on the southern slopes, the Batsbians), as well as with their Lezghian subgroup in its southeast; and in grammar, with the Ando-Avarian subgroup in the northeast of the Caucasus. Thus, Hurro-Urartian also constitutes a subgroup of Nakh-Daghestan (23).
The "Kur-Araxes Early Bronze" culture, which was first discovered by E. A. Bayburtyan at the site of Shengavit near Erevan and defined as a particular culture by B. A. Kuftin, has, in recent years, attracted great attention in the USSR and abroad (27). At present the limits of its area of expansion have been defined as running in the northeast beynnd the Greater Caucasus, into Chechnya and north Daghestan (here the Kur-Araxes sites seem to be later than some of those found in Transcaucasia). The eastern border of the area is for the time being considered as running along a line from central Daghestan (Kayakent) across the Nakhichevan Autonomous S.S.R (Kultepe) to the western bank of Lake Urmia (Goytepe). In addition, the area of the Kur-Araxes Early Bronze culture encompasses all of central Transcaucasia as well as the regions of Lake Van and the upper reaches of the Tigris (according to the data of C. Burney). The westernmost sites of this culture are apparently Karaz, near Karin-Erzurum on the Upper Euphrates, and some sites on the upper reaches of the Halys (Kizil-Irmak). It seems that the Kur-Araxes culture did not penetrate to Pontus and Colchis, but its area includes southwestern and eastern Georgia (Inner Kartli) (28) and Southern Ossetia, and perhaps even Northern Ossetia. Objects of this culture are also found in Asia Minor to the west of the Euphrates and the upper reaches of the Halys River.
[10 ]But it is of the greatest interest that a similar culture, called here Khirbet-Kerak, suddenly appears in the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. in Syria (Amuq II and I, Hamath) and Palestine (Beth-Shean, Khirbet-Kerak, et al.) (*6). In Transcaucasia the Kur-Araxes culture, according to estimates based, inter alia, on radiocarbon analysis, dates from the 29th to the 21st centuries B.C.; we may consider Transcaucasia as the probable center of its expansion (29).
Thus the area of the Kur-Araxes culture closely corresponds to the area of the Hurro-Urartian language group as defined according to historico-linguistic data. At the same time it would be a simplification to merely identify these two areas. The Hurrian settlements of Northern Mesopotamia and the areas beyond the Tigris have not to date yielded any relics of the Kur-Araxes culture. On the other hand we have no grounds to assume that, for example, the forefathers of the Chechens or the northern Daghestanis were speakers of the Hurro-Urartian languages (in spite of the probable kinship between their languages and Hurro-Urartian), even though their territory was included into the Kur-Araxes area (in the broadest sense of the concept).
The question of the character, degree, and even of the very presence of kinship between the three groups of Caucasian languages (Abkhazo-Adyghian, Kartvelian, and Nakh-Daghestan) has not yet been solved, and scholars differ in opinion as to whether these three groups should be considered as separate families or as branches of a single family (*7). Of the Ancient Oriental languages, as we have seen, Hattic may belong to the Abkhazo-Adyghian group, while Hurro-Urartian is probably a part of the Nakh-Daghestan group. Both of these language groups have very little in common with the Kartvelian group except for borrowings, and also a few purely  structural or areal features. The existence of a Common Caucasian language, if any, must be dated to a time extremely far back in time: as early as in the 3d millennium B.C. Hurro-Urartian, Hattic, and the Proto-Kartvelian language (31), as well as several Nakh-Daghestan proto-languages (32), must not only have existed as completely separate linguistic entities, but they must have already borne very little similarity to each other, and must have even disintegrated. The former idea that the culture of the Kur-Araxes Early Bronze might be identified with the culture of a common Caucasian proto- nation seems to be a gross simplification. However there is no doubt that (at least in the northern parts of the area) the Kur- Araxes culture extended beyond the confines of the Hurro-Urartian linguistic area to include areas inhabited by speakers of other Caucasian languages, or at any rate, of some of these. Meanwhile the question of precisely which archeological cultures (or their subdivisions) are directly connected with tribes that spoke the Proto- Georgian language remains completely unclear.
The ethnic affiliation of the Maikop culture of the Northern Caucasus also remains unclear (*8).
The southern (38) (and presumably also the western) part of the peninsula and the Taurus Mountains were occupied by the tribes of the Luwians, whose dialects belonged to one subgroup of the Anatolian languages. To the same subgroup belonged the language of the Palaians, who dwelt in the central northern part of Asia Minor (later Paphlagonia) (39) .
To the other subgroup belonged first and foremost the Hittites. The term Hittite came into use among scholars at a period when the ethnic situation in Asia Minor in the 2nd millennium B.C. was still unknown. At present it is clear that the kingdom in which the Hittites ruled was called after its capital (the city Hatti or, in  Hittite, Hattusas; in the scholarly literature this kingdom is called "the Hittite Empire"). However this was not the name of its official language (apparently it was called "Nesite"); the term "Hittite" was originally the Biblical form of the terms "Hatti" and "Hattic," a name of the non-Indo-European language of the indigenous population of the city of Hatti. But the terms "Hittites" and "the Hittite language" as applied to the "Nesites" and the "Nesite language" have entered into scholarly usage too firmly to change them now. Therefore in order to distinguish the indigenous inhabitants of Hatti, who spoke a Caucasian language, from the people that ruled the Hittite Empire and spoke a northwestern Anatolian, Indo-European language, we call the first "Hatti" and the second "Hittites."
In order to understand what follows, it is important to bear in mind that what the neighboring peoples subsequently designated as "Hittites" (Hatti, Hate) are not a single specific ethnic unit, but the entire population of the former Hittite Empire, and, even more broadly, of all the regions between the Euphrates and the Mediterranean, including Asia Minor, Syria, and even Palestine.
Biologically and culturally we cannot consider the Hittites simply as Indo-European newcomers. There is no doubt that the main mass of the people consisted of the Hatti (and other aborigines?), who had lost their former languages and who had begun to speak "Hittite" (Nesite) (40). The territory within the bend of the Halys (Kizil-Irmak) in the central part of Asia Minor, and directly to the south of the Halys to present day Kayseri (Caesarea Mazaca), should be considered as the habitat of the Hittites.
The dialects of the Anatolian tribes who dwelt to the west of the Hittites and Luwians in the 2nd millennium B.C. are unknown to us. However when the Anatolian languages were forced out of central Asia Minor late in the 2nd or early in the 1st millennium by the subsequent Phrygian wave of newcomers, they were preserved in the west, southwest, and in the south of the peninsula. The preserved languages, for which alphabetic writing systems were used, belong to the Luwian subgroup (except for the central western language, Lydian, which stands nearer to Hittite) (41).
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