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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2019, 2(6): 23-39 Back to browse issues page
Investigation 4th Millennium B.C. Sites of Marivan Plain, Western Iran
Morteza Zamani 1, Sirvan Mohammadi Ghasrian2
1- Master of Archeology, Kurdistan University of Kurdistan Studies. , mortezazamani2269@gmail.com
2- Ph.D. Student of Archaeology, University of Tehran & Member of the Foundation for Iranian Studies in Kurdistan.
Abstract:   (5421 Views)
Abstract
The Marivan Plain is a small elongated alluvial plain which lies at the westernmost extent of the Zagros Mountains in the Iranian province of Kurdistan and c. 80 km west of the provincial capital Sanandaj. The plain is c. 60 km from the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah and less than 20 km from the Sharizor Plain in Iraq to the west. The plain is located between two archaeologically important regions of western Iran: the central Zagros to the southeast and the Lake Urmia region to the northeast. Early studies of prehistoric periods were mainly conducted in these two regions, while little attention was paid to the region of Marivan. Prior to the commencement of the 2018 project, an earlier survey in the Marivan region had been carried out by Department of Archaeology at Bu-Ali Sina University in Hamadan (Iran). Research focused on the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods and, unfortunately, evidence from the Chalcolithic periods is yet to be published. In 2018, we began to re-examine ancient settlement in the Marivan region with a 4 week survey. The survey identified and documented more than 60 sites. Preliminary studies of the material collected during the survey resulted in the identification of about 13 sites dating to the Chalcolithic period; it was possible to differentiate the material sufficiently to allocate occupation at the sites to the Early, Middle and Late Chalcolithic periods. This paper presents the important and new evidence of the development of Late Chalcolithic period settlement and is starting to provide an insight into the impact of the Uruk Expansion in this part of the Zagros Mountains. Even the Late Chalcolithic (LC) period in Marivan area is somewhat overlap to Uruk (early, middle and late) period in Mesopotamia, until LC5 phase (Tepe Rasha), not any Mesopotamian influences is evident in Marivan sites. 
Keywords: Marivan Plain, Late Chalcolithic, Uruk, Mesopotamia, Tape Godin.

Introduction
This paper presents the first results from the Marivan Plain Survey (MPS) in the province of Kurdistan – one of the westernmost regions of Iran and the Zagros Mountains. The project recorded important new evidence of the development of Late Chalcolithic period settlement and is starting to provide an insight into the impact of the Uruk Expansion in this part of the Zagros Mountains. The MPS project began work on the Marivan Plain in the summer of 2018. It is undertaking a review of previous survey work in the region and is directed by Morteza Zamani with the assistance of Sirvan Mohammadi Ghasrian. The Marivan Plain is a small elongated alluvial plain (UTM 38S 603000E, 3930000N) which lies at the westernmost extent of the Zagros Mountains in the Iranian province of Kurdistan and c. 80 km west of the provincial capital Sanandaj. The plain is c. 60 km from the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah and less than 20 km from the Sharizor Plain in Iraq to the west. In the past, the plain of Marivan with its picturesque Lake Zerewar an important node in the communication routes between Iraq and Iran. The plain is located between two archaeologically important regions of western Iran: the central Zagros to the southeast and the Lake Urmia region to the northeast. Early studies of prehistoric periods were mainly conducted in these two regions, while little attention was paid to the region of Marivan. In 2018 the MPS began to re-examine ancient settlement in the Marivan region with a 4 week survey. The survey identified and documented more than 60 sites. Preliminary studies of the material collected during the survey resulted in the identification of about 13 sites dating to the Chalcolithic period; it was possible to differentiate the material sufficiently to allocate occupation at the sites to the Early, Middle and Late Chalcolithic periods.

Conclusion
Investigations conducted by the MPS on the Marivan Plain have resulted in the identification of two preliminary trends related to LC period sites:
Firstly, the MPS has recorded several sites dating to the Middle Chalcolithic and the later part of the LC period. Except for a few earlier LC (2) shreds (Godin VII/VI:3 period) identified from the site of Aba Fatol, not any LC 2 sites have yet been confirmed on the Marivan plain. This contrasts with other areas of western Iran and the province of Kurdistan where early LC2 sites are common. At this stage of research on the plain, it seems that there was a lower number of sites in the earlier LC (LC2) compared to both the previous Middle Chalcolithic period (Seh Gabi and Dalma pottery traditions) and the subsequent later part of the Late Chalcolithic –LC 3-5 (Godin VI: 2-1).
Secondly, the MPS recorded Uruk culture related material from a single site (Tepe Rasha) and only in the form of Bevelled Rim Bowl shreds. This is surprising and suggests that cultural interaction with southern Mesopotamia was limited or that what impact there was from cultural interaction was low and did not permeate into the local cultures. Limited evidence of contact with Uruk Mesopotamia is also evident from recent surveys in north-western Iran and in northern parts of the Iraqi foothills of Zagros. In contrast, distinct and substantial evidence of contact with the south is to be found in the central Western Zagros and Central Plateau of Iran and on the plains south of the Greater Zab River in north-eastern Iraq. Iran  and particularly  its western regions is crucial for the understanding of key events in the history of Mesopotamia, one of which is the spread of Uruk culture from southern Mesopotamian into neighbouring regions during the Late Chalcolithic (LC) period (5th-4th millennia B.C.). 
Keywords: Marivan Plain, Late Chalcolithic, Uruk, Mesopotamia, Tape Godin.
Full-Text [PDF 2924 kb]   (653 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/04/14 | Accepted: 2019/04/14 | Published: 2019/04/14
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Zamani M, Mohammadi Ghasrian S. Investigation 4th Millennium B.C. Sites of Marivan Plain, Western Iran. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2019; 2 (6) :23-39
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