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:: year 6, Issue 22 (2-2023) ::
Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2023, 6(22): 183-205 Back to browse issues page
Niskabad Tepe of Sardasht, a Parthian Settlement on the Banks of the Small Zab River
Gholam Shirzadeh *1, Mohammad Reza Nemati2
1- Ph.D. student Archeology, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Mohaghegh Ardabili University, Ardabil, Iran , shirzadeh.gholam@gmail.com
2- Assistant Professor, Archeology Research Institute, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (278 Views)

Niskabad tepe is located 5.5 km southeast of Sardasht city, 5 km south of Rabat city And 1 km north of Niskabad village along the west bank of the small Zab River. The excavation of this tepe was carried out in 2015 for two months in line with the rescue project behind Sardasht Dam and also the study of the archaeological landscape of the region, especially in prehistoric and historical periods. A total of four trenches were created in Niskabad Tepe. Excavations in these trenches have led to the identification of architectural remains (Chinese stone walls of the river type), numerous pieces of pottery and stone tools. The study of architectural remains and samples of pottery in Niskabad Tepe has shown that the site is single-period and short-term residence of human groups in this Tepe. According to studies, the pottery form of the yard consists of a variety of bowls, cups, jars, pots and jars. The decorations created on the pottery include added patterns (rope-shaped), carved patterns and stamped patterns. In addition to ordinary pottery, a limited number of glazing pottery have been identified. One of the main questions raised in the present study is that the form and technical characteristics of Parthian pottery in Niskabad tepe are comparable to which areas? In this regard, it seems that the Parthian pottery of the Tepe, in addition to being comparable to areas such as Yazdgerd Castle, Qorveh Kurdistan, areas of Hamadan, Lorestan and northwestern Iran, also have some local and indigenous characteristics. According to the comparisons, it seems that the settlement in this Tepe was in the early and middle of the Parthian period. It seems that the study, evaluation and study of cultural data of Niskabad Tepe can identify some of the hidden angles of the Parthian period in the region.
Keywords: Small Zab, Sardasht, Parthian, Pottery, Niskabad.

The archaeological studies of Sardasht city are incomplete and limited to some cultural periods such as the Manna period due to the few investigations carried out in it (Salimi et al., 2019: 85). Sardasht is geographically located in the north-west of Iran and due to its proximity to the country of Iraq and precisely to Iraq Kurdistan, it is considered important from the point of view of archaeological studies.
Rescue archaeological excavations behind the Sardasht Dam in the fall of 2014 by carrying out excavations in some important historical sites on the edge of the Little Zab River, including Balan Tepe (Heydari and others, 1395: 145), Barve Tepe (Sharifi, 2015: 350) and Molla vesoo Tepe (Viewer, 2015: 56) was completed. Collecting historical information from the cultural layers of the explored sites and achieving the historical chronology of the region are among the goals of the rescue project. In this regard, Niskabad Tepe was excavated as one of the Tepes selected for exploration (Shirzadeh and Kaka, 2015: 365).
Archaeological excavations carried out during the rescue program of Sardasht Dam (Small Zab River Basin) indicate the identification of Parthian settlements in the region. These areas were created on the edge of the small Zab River and close to it.
In this research, while introducing the Parthian pottery of Niskabad Tepe, their classification and typology have also been discussed. In conducting this research, various questions have been raised; In terms of form and shape, the clay types of Nisak Abad can be compared with which regions? What are the technical characteristics of the examined pottery? The motifs and decorations used on the studied pottery can be compared with what contemporary areas?

Data Analysis
The dating of the residential periods in the Niskabad Tepe is based on the pottery findings obtained from the settlement layers of the Tepe and comparing them with the areas of the same period in other areas. The types of pottery obtained from the excavation of the Niskabad Tepe show a great diversity of common pottery such as bowls, bowls, jars and pots. On the other hand, the existence of limited types of Jalingi pottery among the settlement layers of the Nisak Abad Tepe make the dating of the area more possible and based on this, it seems that this area was inhabited in the region in the early and middle of the Parthian period.
On the other hand, comparing the pieces of pottery found in the site with their simultaneous sites in the western and northwestern regions of Iran shows various similarities between them. Based on the shape and form of the pottery, as well as other technical characteristics, the connection of this site with the Parthian sites of the Hamedan Plain, north and northeast of Lorestan, Balan Sardasht area, Yazdgerd Fort of Kermanshah, Qorveh city of Kurdistan, Bistoon of Kermanshah, Sang Shir Hamedan, Pirdoshan area of Sanandaj and Other sites have been approved. Despite the small size of the Niskabad Tepe, due to the diversity of the pottery obtained from the Tepe and also the fact that most of the pottery in the Tepe is comparable with other simultaneous Parthian sites in the northwest and west of Iran, this shows the importance of studying the Niskabad Tepe. It is in the Parthian period.

According to the preliminary studies conducted on the samples of pottery from the Niskabad Tepe, it seems that in the Parthian period (early and middle of this period) the people living in the place used the sample of ordinary pottery more than other types of pottery. In terms of shape and form, there are various similarities between the pottery obtained from this site and settlements located in the northwest, west, southwest and central Zagros of Iran. This issue shows the homogeneity and cultural connection between this site and the simultaneous sites in the aforementioned areas.
In terms of the shape of pottery, bowls and Cups are the most abundant in the number of pottery samples in the area. Meanwhile, the number of glazed pottery in the Tepe is rare and small. In terms of form and shape, the Jalingi pottery pieces are similar to the pottery samples of Parthian sites in western Iran, which indicates cultural homogeneity.
In the meantime, another important point is the existence of various differences and distinctions between the forms of Nisak Abad enclosure pottery with other contemporary enclosures. The quality of the color, the type of chamotte, the new forms of pottery, the type of coating and also the presence of pebbles among the pottery paste indicate the locality of the pottery in the Tepe. It seems that the presence of pebbles in the pottery paste is due to the lack of suitable clay in the place and its unavailability for the potter of the Tepe.
Examining the dimensions of the Niskabad Tepe shows that this area is not large (2 hectares) and it seems that during the Parthian period, a small settlement was formed in this place along the Zab River by human groups. Of course, the investigation of the surrounding area shows that the presence of sufficient water resources and abundant pastures could play an important role in the survival of Nomads human communities.

Article number: 7
Keywords: Small Zab, Sardasht, Parthian, Pottery, Niskabad.
Full-Text [PDF 1592 kb]   (114 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2021/12/3 | Accepted: 2022/01/5 | Published: 2023/02/20
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Shirzadeh G, Nemati M R. (2023). Niskabad Tepe of Sardasht, a Parthian Settlement on the Banks of the Small Zab River. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 6(22), 183-205. doi:10.30699/PJAS.6.22.183
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