The Italian Archaeological Mission in the Caucasus has been active with its projects since 2013. It currently works in Armenia and Georgia to reveal the reign of Urartu.


The Armenian plateau, during the first quarter of the first millennium BC, was occupied by the reign of Urartu, a complex state with very peculiar characteristics, which appears to have been the result of the fusion of indigenous cultural traditions which were superimposed elements derived from the Mesopotamian political systems , clearly deduced from the contemporary Neoassirian empire. In Armenia, the collapse of Urartu led to the birth of a series of local dynasties and domains who were strongly influenced by the “Media” culture and then subdued by the Achaemenid Empire.

Currently, two survey projects are active in the Kotayk and Vayots Dzor regions, both of which are barely investigated, especially as far as the Iron Age archeology is concerned. As part of these research activities, archaeological excavations are included at Tsovinar fortresses (2014- 2015), Solak 1 (2013- in progress) and the Yelpin necropolis (2016).

  • Kotayk Survey Project (KSP) (2013- in progress) includes the survey of the northern Kotayk region and the excavation of the Iron Age fortress of Solak 1.

Directors: Roberto Dan (ISMEO), A. Petrosian (IAE NAS RA)

  • Vayots Dzor Project (VDP) (2016- in progress) includes the survey of the Vayots Dzor region and the excavation of some sites to clarify the stratigraphic sequence.

Directors: Boris Gasparyan (IAE NAS RA) e Roberto Dan (ISMEO)

  • Tsovinar Excavation Project (TEP) (2014- 2015) focused at the excavation of the Urartian fortress of Tsovinar.

Directors: Roberto Dan (ISMEO), Miqayel Badalyan 


The Archaeological Mission in Georgia was founded in 2016 by an initiative of Prof. Vakhtang Licheli (AAG) and Dr. Roberto Dan (ISMEO). The project is aimed at the study of archaeological evidence located in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, in the southern borders of today’s Georgia, an area little studied by the remarkable archaeological potential.

Directors:  Prof. Vakhtang Licheli (AAG), Roberto Dan (ISMEO)

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