Vera Kovalevskaia

Institute of Archaeology, RAS, Moscow (

Key words: Caucasus, Near East, North Pontic area, genogeography, gene pool, mapping, migrations.

The Caucasus is a historical-cultural area of the great linguistic, anthropological, ethnic and natural diversity that for millennia had constant links with the Eastern Mediterranean, the Near East and the North Pontic region. The orientation of cultural relations had been changing from period to period. The study is based primarily on the archaeological record interpreted with the aid of certain extraarrchaeological sources. Genogeography is a completely new source of historical information enabling us to trace human migrations from the spread of genes. The introduction of computer genogeographic mapping enhanced the potentialities of archaeological studies. The methods of spline and weighted average interpolation make it possible to create quantitative models of distribution of different phenomena and compare them. Correlation of genogeographic and archaeological maps has shown that almost all cultural phenomena are reflected in the distribution of groups of genes of the local population. The maps of the main components show us the factors underlying the distribution of genes and artefacts. In the 5th – 1st millennia BC the Caucasus was between the beetle and the block. On the one hand, mobile herding groups from the North Caucasian steppes had participated in the ethnocultural life of the Caucasus. On the other hand, owing to the aridization of the climate, migrations from the Near East to Transcaucasia were taking place in the 5th‑4th millennia BC. Thus Southern Transcaucasia became a part of the Near Eastern world.