Morgan’s interpretations

Morgan used logic to try to understand whowas buried in the graves and their relationship with metal, which he had observed, was found almost everywhere. As well as discovering numerous copper, bronze and iron artefacts in the tombs, he also noted a correlation between the location of the necropolises and that of mining deposits: "This burial area [is] at the entrance to the valley containing the [Akhtala] mines. The graves it contained certainly belonged to a population of miners and smelters.”

Morgan was well aware of the importance of metal to the society to which these graves belong. He noted a local knowledge of metal producing and inferred the existence of people specialised in ore extraction, its transformation and craft production. However, it cannot be proven that all the individuals in the necropolises Morgan excavated were metal specialists.

Burying wealth

The graves contained a large number of jewels and weapons. This suggests the group was prepared to part with wealth permanently by burying it in the ground. This presumably reflects the high status of the deceased and the prosperity of the group. They are therefore likely to be prestigious burials rather the graves of miners. The large number of weapons suggests the hierarchical structure of society may have been linked to its militarisation.