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Черноморский научно-исследовательский центр

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Abstract


GEORGIANS, ZANS (MEGRELIANS AND THE LAZ) AND SVANS IN THE CYCLES OF INTEGRATION AND DISINTEGRATION IN THE CAUCASUS
Being autochthonous (indigenous) peoples of Caucaus, Georgians, Zans (Mingrelians and the Laz) and Svans are very closely ethno-culturally and politically related but ultimately different peoples (or “ethnic groups”). These peoples whose past can be traced back to the pre-historic period have passed through numerous cycles of socio-political integration and disintegration mainly under the leadership of the Georgians. Geopolitics of Caucasus, which has been one of the leading multiethnic regions of Eurasia and a neighbouring territory to the classical civilization centers like Anatolia and Mesopotamia, has left determining impacts on the transformation of these three peoples. This article aims to provide a socio-political analysis of the deeply interwiened histories of Georgians, Zans and Svans since distant past until today. A more detailed study of the lesser examined histories and socio-political structures of these peoples would contribute to a better understanding and solution of the conflicts in the Caucasus. An analysis of Georgia’s ethnopolitical structure beyond “Kartvelianness” would also help to develop explanatory scenarios about some developments especially during crisis times in this country in the future. <

Keywords
Caucasus, Georgians, Mingrelians, Laz, Svans


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