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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2019, 3(7): 23-41 Back to browse issues page
The Archaeo-Mineralogy Studying and Comparison of Orange-Red Pottery With Black Core of Elamite Era in Khuzestan, Chahrmahal va Bakhtiyari and Isfahan Provinces
Ali Aarab 1, Mohammad Bonyadi Nezhad2, Seyedeh Iraj Beheshti3, Vahid Azadi4
1- Ph.D. Student of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. , aliaarab94@gmail.com
2- Ph.D. Student of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Islamic Azad University of Centeral Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran.
3- Expert of the Institute for Conservation and Restoration of the Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Tehran, Iran.
4- Ph.D. Student of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran.
Abstract:   (7304 Views)
The previous studies on the Elamite pottery generally focused on the form and shape of the artifacts. From the perspective of fabric, very few studies have explored the Elamite pottery. The pottery type studied in this paper is orange (ranging from light brown to red) composed of a tempering material, sand and white particles. The core of this no ornamented, wheel-built pottery is black. In an investigation to outline the scope and boundaries of Haft Tapeh ancient city, a number of the Elamite pottery samples were recovered in certain layers dating back to the late ancient Elam (Sukalmah) and the Middle Elamite near the adobe structures of Haft Tapeh. Haft Tapeh refers to a structure belonging to the Elamite Era located in Khuzestan and south of Susa. One major finding in this city is a tomb from the Middle Elamite Era. Since 1965, this building has been investigated by Negahban and later by Mofidi-Nasr abadi. Thus, Haft Tapeh can undoubtedly be considered a city belonging to the Elamite Era. In this light, the pottery type in this geographical scope can be particularly useful for comparison of similar artifacts found in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, both of which could be associated with the Elamite Era. This study focused on Asgaran and Saba as two regions in Isfahan and central part of Ardal in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. A total of 10 pottery samples were randomly selected from these regions. They were then compared in terms of fabric and composition against 4 counterparts found in archaeological layers of Haft Tapeh belonging to the Elamite Era. It should be noted that the two-color body in the pottery sample is not at all associated with the type of compounds or curing temperature, Since the two parts are identical in terms of composition. Moreover, it seems that the main reason for the two-color body lies in the curing conditions and techniques (oxidation and reduction) inside the furnace, leading to two different colors. Apart from that, there is a kind of orientation in the components of pottery samples, potentially indicating they were built on wheels.
Keywords: Elam, Orange-Red Pottery, Petrography, XRD, Ft-IR.

One of the surrounding regions cover the north of present-day provinces Fars and Khuzestan as Elamite centres in the ancient era. The noteworthy point about these regions is their potentially rich metal mines. This has been mentioned in the Mesopotamian inscriptions, mainly explaining the link between the Mesopotamian plain and the highlands of Elam. The present-day provinces, Khuzestan and Fars, have small potentials for metal mines. Hence, they only served as surrounding regions supplying the metals. However, little investigation has been done on the archaeological data from the Elamite Era. It is crucial to carry out a historical study on these regions along with the archaeological data to enlighten the dark spots in the Elamite Era, and ultimately provide a toponymy of the Elamite cities. One instance of such archaeological data involves various types of local pottery in Khuzestan (as a central city of Elam), which was compared through petrography against the samples recovered in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari (as two dently the era in surrounding regions). Thus, this paper intends to discuss more con which this type of pottery was built and its origin in order to provide a toponymy of the previously mentioned cities based on historical and archaeological data. In Miankooh, Ardal, more than 76% of Elamite sites have been reported to be nomadic. This is highly important alongside the neighborhood of this province and Isfahan with regard to the toponymy of Zabshali and LU.SU. Meanwhile, there are a considerable number of pottery samples from this region comparable to their counterparts across the Elamite centers. 
The surrounding regions of Elamite centers (Susa and Anshan) have so far been rarely explored. One of such surrounding regions stretched across the norther of Elamite centers, covering certain areas of present-day provinces Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. In addition, there are pottery samples from the Elamite Era found in Khuzestan (as one of the central districts of Elamite), even though they have rarely been explored in studies on the Elamite Era. This can be partly associated with the limited number of such pottery samples against their counterparts from the Elamite Era in Khuzestan. Nonetheless, the noteworthy point about this pottery type is the great similarity (discussed later) in Khuzestan to those recovered in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Therefore, this study attempted to explore these regions from the Elamite Era through an interdisciplinary approach involving archeology, archeometry and history of northern Susa and Anshan. Despite the importance of the regions surrounding Elamite centers (Susa and Anshan) based on the Mesopotamian inscriptions, insufficient effort has so far been made to investigate the Elamite Era in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari as two surrounding regions. Nevertheless, the pottery type studied in this paper has been frequently found in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. In this study, great effort was made to review the geographical locations of the two provinces in Elamite Era according to written sources and archaeological evidence. Moreover, the pottery artifacts were petrographically examined to find out whether or not the samples recovered in Haft Tapeh, as a key central spot in Khuzestan during the Elamite Era, are congruent with the clay artifacts found in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari from the perspective of appearance and textural characteristics. In fact, the discussion revolves around the possible involvement and predominance of the Elamite in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, while providing a toponymy of ancient Elamite regions in those provinces today.

The specific pottery type in this study indicated a remarkable frequency in Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. Moreover, it proved to be similar to counterparts recovered at Haft Tapeh (Khuzestan) in terms of fabric, production technique and curing temperature. It is essential to point out the pottery types across the northern Elamite centers which have been rarely explored so far. The specific pottery type examined in this paper can definitely be considered an Elamite artifact. It should originate from the Zagros Mountains in the north of Khuzestan (Bakhtiari highlands). That is perhaps why this type of pottery is less abundant in Khuzestan as opposed to Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. According to the constituent element of pottery samples, this pottery type does not originate from Khuzestan Plain, but it can rather be traced in Zagros Mountains.  Therefore, it can be argued that the Elamite were involved in dominated Isfahan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, while delving into the toponymy of Elamite cities such as Zabshali and Tukrish in certain parts of Isfahan and LU.SU in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. The regions never explored from that very perspective can set out a new avenue of Elamite research into these Iranian provinces. Finally, it is recommended that future studies focus on northern regions of Elamite centers including the present-day Isfahan, Yazd and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiariti so as to clarify many of the archaeological ambiguities of Elamite Era. After all, an in-depth investigation of Mesopotamian inscriptions can help scholars realize the importance of these regions, while revealing their archaeological capacities.
Keywords: Elam, Orange-Red Pottery, Petrography, XRD, Ft-IR.
Full-Text [PDF 1311 kb]   (620 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/07/23 | Accepted: 2019/07/23 | Published: 2019/07/23
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Aarab A, Bonyadi Nezhad M, Beheshti S I, Vahid Azadi. The Archaeo-Mineralogy Studying and Comparison of Orange-Red Pottery With Black Core of Elamite Era in Khuzestan, Chahrmahal va Bakhtiyari and Isfahan Provinces. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2019; 3 (7) :23-41
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