The tradition of burying the dead in burial mounds (kurgans), usually consisting of a funerary chamber limited by stone or brick slabs and covered by dirt and gravel, started in the late fifth millennium BCE in the northern Caucasus and then spread south to the rest of the Caucasus regions, eastern Anatolia and northwestern Iran during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The spread of the kurgan tradition, as well as the territorial, political, social, and cultural values embedded in their construction and their symbolic relation to the surrounding landscape are under debate. It is with the purpose of defining the origin, spread and development of the use of kurgans in such a broad region that an International workshop was organized in Florence by CAMNES and CNRS. The workshop aimed at examining chronological issues, cultural dynamics at inter-regional scale, rituals and burial patterns related to these funerary structures. The beliefs and ideologies that possibly connected the "kurgan people" over such a wide geographical area, as well as past and present theoretical frameworks, were also discussed. This volume is thus the result from the contributions that were presented during those two days (29-30 March 2018) of intense confrontation on this topic.
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