Research Associate Karen Rubinson presented the inaugural ARISC President's Distinguished Lecture on March 1, 2021.


The President's Distinguished Lecture Series by The American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) highlights the work of prominent scholars who have made significant contributions to the study of the South Caucasus. Karen Rubinson delivered a lecture via zoom on March 1, 2021, "What is a Picture Worth? Horses in the Bronze Age South Caucasus." This lecture is now available for viewing here. Her lecture was inspired by a Middle Bronze painted jar from Nerkin Naver, a cemetery site in what is today Armenia, and looks at the role of horses in the social and economic lives of the peoples of the South Caucasus from the 3rd through the mid-2nd millennium BCE. Please see short description below.

The roles of horses in the lives of peoples in the past have been enthusiastically debated among archaeologists and historians. In this presentation, Dr. Karen S. Rubinson shares a case study offering a window into how horses were viewed and used in the Bronze Age South Caucasus. The springboard for this talk is a 4000-year-old painted ceramic jar decorated with horses excavated at a site in modern Armenia. Dr. Rubinson brings together evidence from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to shed light on the changing relationship of horses and humans over more than 1000 years in the South Caucasus. Dr. Karen S. Rubinson is a Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. She received her Ph.D. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University. She first visited the South Caucasus in 1973 when doing research for her dissertation on the Trialeti cultural tradition.

Find more information on ARISC here.