What is it about?

The highland plains of western Iran have been investigated with varying intensity. The Sarfirouzabad Plain located in the south of Kermanshah province, although visited perfunctorily, has not previously been studied systematically, despite attractive ecological and environmental conditions. In 2009, a team from Tehran University conducted a systematic and intensive field survey in the region to identify Bronze Age settlements and to assess their location in relation to ecological, environmental and cultural factors that may have impacted their distribution on the plain. The surveyed area was walked in transects at 20-metre intervals and resulted in the identification of 332 archaeological sites from different cultural periods, which added much to the limited knowledge about the history of this region. Twenty-four of these settlement sites belong to the Middle and Late Bronze Age horizons. This study uses GIS to map the distribution of archaeological materials and construct spatial models to determine the significance of the distribution patterns of the Bronze Age sites.

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Why is it important?

Unlike the western highlands, the lowland societies of Iran were experiencing complex political, economic, cultural and social processes that prompted significant achievements in urban development. To be precise, two completely different cultural systems existed alongside, one represented by nomadic or agricultural communities of the highland Zagros and the other was the urbanised societies of the lowlanders of the south. The article aims to answer two questions: Firstly, to what extent were the Godin III settlement patterns re-shaped by environmental or cultural factors? Secondly, how did the culture and policies of the Mesopotamian lowlanders influence the emergence and eventually the patterns of the Middle and Late Bronze Age settlements in the Sarfirouzabad Plain?

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This page is a summary of: Farmers, Herders or Tradesmen?, Acta Archaeologica, April 2019, Brill, DOI: 10.1111/16000390-09001009.
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