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:: year 5, Issue 16 (9-2021) ::
Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2021, 5(16): 7-28 Back to browse issues page
Cultural Interactions Between the Northwestern Iran and the South Caucasus in the Chalcolithic Period
Ali Karimikiya1, Reza Rezaloo2, Akbar Abedi3, Ardeshir Javanmardzadhe4
1- Ph.D. Candidate in Archaeology, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.
2- Professor, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran. , rwza.rezaloo@yahoo.com
3- Associate Professor, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Applied Arts, Tabriz University of Islamic Arts, Tabriz, Iran.
4- Assistant Professor, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.
Abstract:   (1407 Views)
Abstract
Northwestern Iran and the South Caucasus have relatively favorable environmental conditions for the formation of ancient settlements. These include the Urmia Lake basin and the Aras shores in northwestern Iran, and the Kura River, the Mil-Moghan (mountainous areas) in the South Caucasus region. The archaeological evidences and recent researches in two geographical areas illustrate the cultural shares and similarities of the period. The main purpose of this article is to introduce the areas and pottery traditions and to identify the sequence of chronology in the areas of study. The following questions will be raised in order to achieve cultural interactions in the geographical area studied in the Chalcolithic Period: How is the condition of chronology sequence in the two cultural domains? The main hypothesis in this regard is the existence of approximately the same chronology (the beginning and the end of the Chalcolithicperiod) in the two geographical locations. How do the layers of settlement and the sequences of residence from the Neolithic to the Chalcolithic Periodin ancient sites indicate the theme of cultural continuity and transition? The present article is written by descriptive-analytical method. As a final result, it can be pointed to the similarities and differences of the archaeological data, including thepottery features, architectural structures, burials, etc. By studying the areas such as Dalma Tepe, Jolfa’s Kul Tepe, Khoy’s Davagöz, etc. in northwest of Iran and Leila Tepe, Galayeri, Puylu Tepe, Boyuk Kəsik, Soyuq Bulagh, Brikil Dibi, Kawtskhevy, Tekhvot have been obtained in the South Caucasus region and chronologically covers the millennium from 5000 BC to 3700/3600 BC. 
Keywords: Chalcolithic, Northwestern Iran, South Caucasus, Cultural Interactions, Chronology.

Introduction
The northwest of Iran and the Caucasus have long been a prominent site for archaeological studies due to their proximity to important cultural sites such as Anatolia, Zagros, Mesopotamia and Central Asia. Most of the ancient sites both in the Caucasus region and in the northwestern Iran, which were inhabited by the Chalcolithic period, were also inhabited during the Neolithic period, suggesting that the human and animal habitat conditions and the environmental conditions are favorable. The following questions will be raised in order to achieve the cultural interactions in the geographical area under study in the Chalcolithic Period: 1. What is the status of the chronologysequence in the two cultural areas? The main hypothesis in this regard is the existence of a same chronology (beginning and end of the Chalcolithic Period) at two geographical points. 2. How do the layers of settlement and settlement sequences from the Neolithic to the Chalcolithic Periodsindicate ancient sites, cultural status, and the cultural continuity and transition themes? Most of the ancient sites both in the Caucasus region and in the northwestern Iran, which were inhabited by the Copper-Stone period, were also inhabited during the Neolithic period, indicating the existence of afavorablehabitat and environmental conditions for both human and animal. Although there are also single-period enclosures among them.

Discussion
In recent years, one of the most significant issues in introducing and studying the Chalcolithic culture of northwestern Iran havebeen the ambiguity and darkness in the timing chronology of the Chalcolithic Period of this region. Because, this period was introduced after the late Neolithic period, was identified in areas such as Haji Firouz, Hassanlu, Yaniq Tepe, etc., with a break of almost a thousand years. Dr Abedi’s recent years’ excavations atJolfa’s Kul Tepe and Khoy’sDəvə Göz have eliminated the gap in the timing of the Chalcolithic Period of northwestern Iran (Azarbaijan). The archaeological studies are divided in twostages; and its early stage dates back to the 19th century and is known as the Eneolit cultural period. The archaeologists in the North Caucasus geographical area of have identified two culturaltypes of Kura-Arax and Maikop in the Chalcolithic Period, hence, the two Kura and Araxrivers in the Caucasus Basin are named as the Mesopotamia of Caucasus.
One of the most important cultural data of the Chalcolithic Period is the rectangular architectural structures which are made of white raw clay. Inside the structure, large crumbs, food storage wells and numerous stoves, along with the data such as mortar, and grindstone, and burned remnants of grains such as barley, wheat and lentils have been obtained. The burial variety ofthe Chalcolithic Period is more diverse than the Neolithic period. The most repeated type of burial in the Chalcolithic Period is the pits burial, but more recently therehave also been found two other burial types such as burial in earthenware, and kurganburial.

Conclusion
One of the most important issues of Chalcolithic culture in the South Caucasus is anunbroken continuation of the Chalcolithic Period after the Neolithic period. This continuation can be seen in Mentesh Tepe, Aratashen, Khatun Ark- Aknashen, and theChalcolithic Period begins unbroken after the Neolithic periodin these areas. But after the Neolithic period, the Old Bronze Age beginsinNakhchivan’s Kul Tepe. Scientists consider the climate change as the main cause of cultural disruption. In the southern Caucasus, the earlyChalcolithic phasehas been dated from 4800/5000 to 4600 BC, and themiddle andthe lateChalcolithic phases from 4600 to 3200 BC, and some new areas, such as Nakhchivan Tepe, Uchan Aghil, Uzun Oba, is derived from the earlyChalcolithic Period that are closely related to Dalma culture.
Keywords: Chalcolithic, Northwestern Iran, South Caucasus, Cultural Interactions, Chronology.
Full-Text [PDF 1407 kb]   (127 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/08/31 | Accepted: 2020/02/8 | Published: 2021/09/1
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Karimikiya A, Rezaloo R, Abedi A, Javanmardzadhe A. Cultural Interactions Between the Northwestern Iran and the South Caucasus in the Chalcolithic Period. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2021; 5 (16) :7-28
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فصلنامه مطالعات باستان شناسی پارسه Parseh Journal of Archaeological Studies
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