Qalakamandbeg is one of the most important sites accrued to the Neolithic period and without pottery at the Hersin - in the west of Iran – this site has formed in the proximity a silex outcrop (mine) and at the bank of GamasiAov River. Identification of a site accrued to the middle Paleolithic in the recent surveys in the proximity of Qalakamandbeg clearly shows that forming these ancient sites and presence of the humans after Paleolithic period at this part has two reasons: firstly, availability to these silex outcrops to produce the applicable tools, and secondly a permanent water source in the name of GamasiAov River. The large number of dispersed stony manufactures and also numerous collected samples indicate that this site could be called as a camp site accrued to the middle Paleolithic, a site that has been formed to produce the various tools by the silex outcrop at the bank of GamasiAov River.
Keywords: Hersin, GamasiAov, Middle Paleolithic, Qalakamandbeg, Raw Materials, Tools Stone.
GamasiAov River in the Hersin and Bistoon regions has always caused that the east and southeast areas of Kermanshah province to be one of the most important areas in Iran having survey about the Paleolithic period. Stanly Cown’s excavations (1949) in the cave of Shekarchian (hunters) Bistoon are the first surveys in this region and Iran (Cown 1959-60), these surveys paved the way to the next studies. Philip Smith has researches in the Kher Cave and also was completed the past researches made by Cown in the Bistoon Caves (Young and Smith 1966). In 1977, Mortensen and Smith were identified some of the places accrued to middle Paleolithic in the west of Hersin including a big workshop for cutting and producing the tools (Mortensen and Smith 1977, 1980). In the recent decades, the trend of studies has been promoted objectively and the same has led to more identified and excavated sites (Biglari and Taheri 2001, Shidrang2005, Jaubert et.al 2009, Chehri 2009, Biglari 2004, 2007). Recently, a visit to the old Neolithic sites at the peripheral areas of Hersin and Passer village was led to accidentally identification of a range of the tools accrued to the middle Paleolithic at around the Neolithic site of Qalakamandbeg, this subject shows that this site has relics accrued to the Old Neolithic along with the relics from the middle Paleolithic period as well.
Question, Theory and Research Method
The main question in this research is: which elements have been affected the forming of the middle Paleolithic site of Qalakamandbeg and also could attract the humans to come around the GamasiAov River at the Hersin plain, despite there is not any stony cave or shelter to have a permanent habitat here, because this region has a harsh situations during night time and also winter. The different studies have showed this site is an open and outdoor camp; there is a theory that says the most important item to attract the humans here is the same silex outcrops (in north of the site) to produce the applicable tools and also GamasiAov River, since we could not ignore this vital water source and existed aquatic creatures in it to constructe the interim and outdoor habitats here. This research method has concentrated on the surveys to collect the middle Paleolithic tools of this site and finally this research has used the library method to have complete study about the typology and producing the tools and its comparison with the similar discovered samples from the other middle Paleolithic areas in the central Zagros (Kermanshah).
Paleolithic Site of Qalakamandbeg
The Neolithic Tappeh, without the pottery of Qalakamandbeg, has located in a 1329m height of the sea level and also is 1500m away from the west point of Passar Village and about the 15km away of the west point of Hersin town (map.1). This Tappeh has been firstly found by Mortensen and Smith in 1977. Based on various studies and surveys, this site has two types of the relics accrued to the Islamic and Old Neolithic periods (Ibid) and there is not any study about the older relics here. Also other people had various studies such as Abbas Motarjem and Yahghob Mohammadifar (2002), Mohammad Eghbal Chehri (2009) but they pointed out that there is not any relic older than the Neolithic period. The recent visits and surveys on the north part of this tepe were led to find a series of the Levallois tools accrued to the middle Paleolithic, moreover other silex outcrops were also found in the several parts as well – it seems this site could have been used as the raw material to make the applicable tools – this site has located between the old truss over GamasiAov River and silex outcrop of Passar village, therefore Qalakamandbeg site has been possibly as an open and outdoor camp to produce the stony tools in the middle Paleolithic period.
The comprehensive (recently) studies and surveys in the Kermanshah region shows the important of utilization methods accrued to the societies of Paleolithic period from their environment and also displacement models of these societies in particular. It is worthy to note that identification of this Qalakamandbeg site at the bank of GamasiAov River would be seen in the same framework, since it has been formed in proximity of the Hersin’s silex outcrops, therefore the regions (Kermanshah) where having raw materials to produce the applicable tools, should be carefully considered. The results of performed studies in this site point out this site had been taken as a tool-producing camp at the bank of the river due to the numerous Levallois tools accrued to the middle Paleolithic period in this site, finally in fact this site has been as a tool-producing workshop from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic period and after this period on, instead only an important Paleolithic site for the people of the Hersin region – Qalakamandbeg Neolithic Tappeh can confirm this claim.