Central Zagros as one of the significant Iranian archeological perspectives has attracted the attention of many archeologists during the recent century and especially from the 1950s. It seems that the rugged lands of this near east region have been the cradle of many cultural evolutions during the history and the prehistoric periods. Although central Zagros due to its adjacency to the central Iranian plateau, Mesopotamian and southwest of Iran lowlands, and also the northwest mountains of Iran has been of concern mostly for the cultural remnants of the prehistoric societies, yet it has been a strategic and important region during the historical and even Islamic period. Among them we can mention the complex of Taq-e Bostan on the north of Kermanshah located on the ancient path of “The great Khorasan road”. This complex is on the hillsides of Parkuh and surrounded by thickets and a lake which cause it a particular situation throughout the history. This complex owes its fame to the Sassanid rock relief which has been visited by Abeh Pushan in 1792 for the first time. However, Herzfeld studies are the first scientific investigations on the historical complex of Taq-e Bostan. On the other hand, the
conducted excavations by Mr.Kambakhshfard in 1969 led by the accidental discovery of some pithos graves by municipality workers, resulted in achieving the evidences of a Parthian cemetery with more than 50 pithos graves and also remains of a village related to Parthian period. According the archeological investigations and studies on the ancient paths of the western Iran, or the surveys have been done in the region and ninety years background of archeological studies about this area, no report regarding the prehistoric existence of this complex has been presented. Morad Hasel site is the closest prehistoric site to this complex which has been identified and surveyed by Mr. Hassan Rezvani and it is related to the chalcolithic and Bronze Age. During the surveys and visits of Ali Hozhabri in the summer of 2013, some evidences of a chalcolithic site have been identified in the western park of Taq-e Bostan complex. This site was surveyed and its surface findings were transferred to the C.H.H.T organization for filing and documenting. Regarding the nature of the findings which were collected during the field survey, the aim of the present study is to introduce this significant site and to present a relative
history for the site’s artifacts. In the following, the overall image of cultural structure of this site is recon structed with an analytical view and with regard to the chronology and the location of this site.
Keywords: Central Zagros, The Western Park of Taq-e Bostan, Chalcolithic Age, Kermanshah.
This site is located on the north of the current city of Kermanshah, Taq-e Bostan historical complex; with northern longitude of ″16 ′23 °34 and eastern latitude of 47″54.7′7°. Altitude of this site from the sea level is 1395 m and is one-kilometer length and 300 meters width. This site is located on the west of Taq-e Bostan, in the western Park of the complex and on the hillside, surrounded by pine trees and close to a basin with a boiling fountain. This basin known as Taq-e Bostan Sarab is one hundred meters far from the east of the site. The site is one kilometer far from the north of Qarasu River. On the rather steep slope of the mountain and some deep clefts have been made on its both sides by heavy equipment. The Parthian cemetery of Taq-e Bostan is formed on the Taq-e Bostan western park site’s remnants. Fortunately, the pine jungle around this site has prevented the urban construction and the field is preserved. However, since the Parks and green spaces organization of Kermanshah is beside the site, and in 2005 Kermanshah municipality decided to build a parking in this area and started to excavate in two parts of the site. The result of this earthworks were discovery of some Parthian pithoi graves which were unfortunately destroyed; although C.H.H.T stopped their progress but those clefts are still obvious and gradually they turned in to a dumping ground for city wastes and building debris. Later the municipality started to expand the west Park area of Taq-e Bostan with some changes. Except the known sites and caves around Taq-e Bostan which are far from the historical monuments, up to now Taq-e Bostan complex has been known and studied for its Parthian, Sassanid and Qajarian cultural remnants. Discovering a prehistoric site in this complex can emphasize its importance, not only for the historical and Islamic period but also the prehistoric (Chalcolithic) period. The Godin excavations can be considered as the base for western Iran chronology of central Zagros, but it seems that contrary to Kangavar plain, and in compare to eastern plains of Zagros, Mesopotamian ceramic culture was more widespread in the western plains of central Zagros such as Mahidasht during the fourth millennium B.C. accordingly, the chalcolithic chronology in Kermanshah and Mahidasht plains can be studied based on the excavations conducted in Siyahbid and Chogha Maran. Based on the chronology of the neo-chalcolithic period of this site which its evidences have been obtained on the workshop no. 3, handmade red ware and black ware ceramics with black decorative patterns have been found related to this period. The proposed date for the neo-chalcolithic of Mahidasht is 3000 – 3600 B.C; comparison of the discovered ceramics indicates the concurrency of this site with GodinVI: 1 and neo-chalcolithic layers in Siyahbid and Chogha Maran. Clearly, ceramics are the most important and significant cultural material of the near east. Due to the degradation and destruction, the surface cultural material of this site is just shreds. The neo-chalcolithic ceramics of the western Park of Taq-e Bostan complex are buff ware with vegetal temper and light red coating color. These ceramics are handmade, properly baked and medium quality. Among the surface ceramics of this site, no patterned shred was found but regarding the appearance of these ceramics, they can be related to neo-chalcolithic, specially the common rolled Rim bowls have been seen among the collected samples of the surface. Considering the clefts in this site made by the blades of the road construction equipment, the cultural material accumulation can be seen in this site. Ceramics are this site is comparable with the ceramics of GodinTepe in Kangavar plain and Siyahbid in Kermanshah plain.