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Igs, Institute of Geological Sciences, Armenian National Academy of Sciences inqua saccom commission on Stratigraphy and Chronology inqua – seqs section on European Quaternary Stratigraphy Workshop 03 – 10 September, 2016, Armenia

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IGS, Institute of Geological Sciences, Armenian National Academy of Sciences

INQUA - SACCOM Commission on Stratigraphy and Chronology

INQUA – SEQS Section on European Quaternary Stratigraphy

Workshop 03 – 10 September, 2016, Armenia

Quaternary sedimentation and Paleolithic human occupation in Armenia and South Georgia


1st day, – Arrival in Yerevan, accommodation in a hotel

2nd day, Yerevan-Alaverdi-Kobayr- Sanahin-Haghpat- Neghots (accommodation at the base camp of the IGS near Neghots)

(Responsible person: Dr. Kh. Meliksetian, IGS)

  1. Kobayr. 12th-century monastery located in the Kober village within the Lori Marz of Armenia. The ruins of the main church in the monastery contain frescoes depicting Christ and the twelve apostles as well as the Church Fathers and other Christian figures.

  2. Sanahin. Armenian monastery of the 10th century, UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous by unique architectural forms and a number of Khachkars (cross-stones).

  3. Haghpat is a medieval (10th century) Armenian monastery complex in Haghpat, Armenia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  4. Plateau basalts in the canyon of the Debed river. Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene plateau basalt outcrops in the valley of the Debed river (near Alaverdi). The 200–400-m thick basalt lavas outcrop in the South Caucasus region, including the Kars–Erzurum Plateau (northeastern Turkey), the Javakheti Plateau (Georgia–Armenia), and the Lori Plateau (northern Armenia). These fissure-fed, rapidly erupted fluid lavas filled pre-existing river valleys over many tens of kilometers. Considering that its main geological features are remarkably similar to those of many continental flood basalt (CFB) provinces, we believe it is a true, albeit small, CFB province, regardless of tectonic setting (continental collision). It is the smallest and youngest CFB in the world (Sheth et al., 2015). Many regional Paleolithic sites are found on the top of plateau basalts, Karakach, Dmanisi, Kurtan, Bagratashen-1. (Hetu et al., 2015)

3rd day, Neghots – Haghtanak-3 – Dmanisi (Georgia) -Neghots

(Responsible person: B. Gasparyan, IAE NAS, Armenia)

  1. Haghtanak-3. Hagtanak-3 is a multiperiod open-air archaeological site, which contains Iron-Age cemetery, Chalcolithic settlement and Paleolithic habitation phases from Upper to Lower. The most significant are the finds of the pebble tools in the lowermost strata, which may signify hominid presence in the Debed river valley during the early Pleistocene. (Egeland et al. 2011)

  2. Dmanisi. Dmanisi in south Georgia is an early hominine site, fossils are dating back to 1.8 million years, and are now believed to be a subspecies of Homo erectus. (Lordkipanidze et al. 2013)

4th day, Neghots – Odzun-Kurtan-Karakhach-Neghots

(Responsible person: Dr. Trifonov, GIN RAS, Russian Federation)

  1. Odzun. Armenian basilica constructed around the 5th-7th century in the Odzun village of the Lori Province of Armenia. The church represents a well-preserved domed basilica.

  2. Kurtan. Multiperiod archeological site, Uratian fortress (the 8th century BC). Paleolithic part of the site contains the Middle Acheulian artifacts. (Presnyakov et al., 2012, Trifonov et al., 2015)

  3. Karakhach. Early Paleolithic site. The course-grained pyroclastic unit of Karakhach was deposited during the Olduvai subchron (not earlier than 1.9-1.85 Ma) and the earliest Calabrian. The region was occupied by the earliest hominines producing lithic industries of the Early Acheulian aspect. (Presnyakov et al., 2012, Trifonov et al., 2015)

5th day Neghots – Sevkar-Sevan-Nor Geghi-1 – Yerevan (accommodation in a hotel)

(Responsible persons: Dr. A. Karakhanyan, L. Sahakyan, IGS NAS Armenia, Prof. Dominik Faust, Germany, B. Gasparyan, IAE NAS, Armenia)

  1. Sevkar. Wel- dated stratrigraphic succession of unaltered loess deposits, palaeosols, colluvial slope deposits, and volcanic ashes. The chronology of formation of loess-paleosol sequences with volcanic ash corresponds to the Late-Pleistocene-Holocene. (Wolf et al., 2015)

  2. Lake Sevan and Sevanavank monastery. Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the entire Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world. The elevation of the lake is 1900 m. The geology of the lake and its surroundings represent an interesting combination of the Quaternary and Holocene tectonics and volcanism. Sevanavank is a 9th century-monastery complex located on a peninsula at the northwestern shore of Lake Sevan.

  3. Nor Geghi-1. Paleolithic site that marks the Lower to Middle Paleolithic transition (~400,000 to 200,000 years BC). The site contains dated sections of lava flows, volcanic ash and paleosols with tools. (Adler et al., 2014)

6th -7thday. Presentations and discussions

Program to be compiled

8th day – Departure

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