The Caucasus is perhaps best described as a mosaic of peoples ancient and modern intertwined across a complex, often inaccessible geography that has made it a crossroads linking not only east and west but equally north and south. Part of the Silk Route, the region has long been the object of imperialistic ambition, and there are few empires of Europe and Asia that have not included a slice of the Caucasus within their marches. The Caucasian map of today owes as much to the upheavals and invasions of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire as it does to eighty years of Soviet rule and the pipeline lobby. The fact that the area today is considered internationally to hold a significance far greater than its size and population at first glance would merit, is therefore unsurprising.