The Kura-Araxes name (given by modern archaeologists)
comes from the Kura and Araxes
river valleys where the culture originally developed. The territory they
inhabited are generally thought to
be present day Armenia, Georgia and the Caucasus.
The Kura-Araxes culture or the Early Transcaucasian
culture was a civilization that existed
from 3400 B.C until about 2000 B.C. The earliest evidence for this culture is found around the Ararat Plain and Kura river valleys; it
spread to Georgia by 3000 B.C., and
during the next millennium it proceeded westward to the Erzurum plain,
southwest to Cilicia, and to the
southeast into an area below the Urmia basin and Lake Van, down to the borders of present day Syria. Altogether, the
early Transcaucasian culture, at its greatest
spread, enveloped a vast area approximately 1000 km by 500 km.
The Ararat plain, one of the largest of the Armenian
Plateau, stretches west of the Sevan
basin, at the foothills of the Gegham mountains. In the north the plain
borders on Mount Aragats, and in
the south, on Mount Ararat. The Arax river divides it into two. The southern part is what is today Turkey and the rest is
primarily Armenia and Nakchivan. The
Ararat plain and the Sevan basin have the longest duration of sunshine on the planet Earth--about 2,700 hours per year.