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Showing 5 results for Motarjem

Abbas Motarjem, Mehdi Heydari,
year 1, Issue 2 (3-2018)

Aleshtar plain is central part of Selseleh county and located in North Loristan province. This plain is region lush and with pleasant weather and rich soil. This area has been from prehistoric period so far always settlements folks and different groups human. Location of Aleshtar plain and proximity with Northern areas Zagros, Central Plateau, Southwest Iran, and Mesopotamia, for a long time to this area has particular importance of communication. Authors, after explaining the climate and ancient roads Aleshtar, have analyzed dispersion form of ancient and historical settlements this area. In this regard, using with ArcGIS software (version 10.3) location of each site is specified in Aleshtar. Output of ArcGIS software, is four maps in Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron, Historic, and Islamic periods. After studies is specified approximate route of ancient road in Aleshtar plain (north-south road in central Zagros). Therefore, combining the two points, included, ancient road north-south and also distribution of ancient and historic sites in Aleshtar plain, in before and after Islamic periods, this question was raised: what role has this ancient road in Aleshtar plain in the formation ancient settlements? For this question, authors with preliminary survey in Aleshtar plain they had this hypothesis: basically, this ancient road from Islamic periods has played a pivotal role in the formation of sites. Analysis distance of each site from this ancient road has showed, most archaeological sites has been formation in Aleshtar plain from the Islamic period along this route; In the Pre-Islamic periods, hasn’t been focus center of settlements around this ancient road with distance of about two kilometers. Data of this study is based on archaeological research Ali Sajjadi in 1998 and Davood Davoodi in 2006 and 2007. Also, authors have done again surveyes in this area.
Keywords: Aleshtar plain, Settlement, Ancient roads, and GIS Analysis.

Selseleh County is located in north of Lorestan and in South of Hamedan Province. From Aleshtar city is mentioned in various sources. This point has been indicative importance this region in Pre-Islamic and Islamic periods. Archaeological survey that so far has been done in Aleshtar plain, confirms importance of this area. In Aleshtar before all, by Oral Stin has been done archaeological survey (Stin, 1940). Colar Goff in during archaeological surveys in North Lorestan; She has also surveyed Aleshtar (Goff, 1968). In 1998, Ali Sajjadi was surveyed Aleshtar from administration of Cultural Heritage of Lorestan province. Now, report her work is in archives administration of Cultural Heritage of Lorestan province (Sajjadi, 1998). Furthermore, in 2006 and 2007, Davood Davoodi was surveyed historic and ancient monuments Aleshtar in during two seasons (Davoodi, 2006 and 2007). Authors, in order to explain process settlement in Aleshtar plain, and measurement influence of climatic conditions area, and importance of ancient and historical roads of this region, have done draw a map ancient settlements of Aleshtar plane in Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron, Historic, and Islamic periods. For this purpose, has been used from report of survey Ali Sajjadi (Sajjadi, 1998), and reports of surveys Davood Davoodi (Davoodi, 2006 and 2007), and also, again surveyes authors in this area. In this research, has been used for register ancient sites on the map from ArcGIS software (version 10.3). So, authors in this research try to analyze the following issues:
What role has this ancient road in Aleshtar plain in the formation ancient settlements? And essentially, role of road north-south in Aleshtar plain at what period is seen? The main hypothesis of this research, it is: Around of ancient road in Aleshtar plain in Islamic period has been settlement. In the Pre-Islamic period, hasn’t been focus center of settlements around this ancient road with distance of about two kilometers.

Settlements of Aleshtar plain from prehistoric to Islamic periods
The Communication route that has been connected West to Southwest of Iran (Hamedan and Kermanshah to Khozestan plain), one of the most important route of communication in Pre-Islamic periods, and this road has been connected West and Northwest to regions of Southwest Iran. Continue this road has been crossed from Aleshtar plain. Study location of sites from prehistory to Islamic periods has points, has been effective in description of problem, settlement patterns and also role of ancient roads in this area in formation of settlement patterns. In study area, were identified in total 96 settlements sites. The sites were divided into four groups, that including Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron, Historic, and Islamic periods. According to, in Aleshtar plain were identified 27 sites related to Chalcolithic period. It seems, in this period entire Aleshtar plain has been inhabited. Most of settlements are seen in around rivers of Kahman and Zaz. However, in the eastern part of Aleshtar, is seen number large sites settlements related whit this period. Also, in this area were identified 28 sites related to Bronze and Iron periods. Checking the distribution map of sites in these periods, interpretations related whit Chalcolithic period is show. In this period entire Aleshtar plain has been inhabited. In Historic periods (especially Parthian period), we see increasing number of sites in Aleshtar. In this area were identified 82 sites related to Historic periods. Furthermore, in Aleshtar were identified 52 sites related to Islamic period. In this period number of sites has dropped relative to previous period. In this period, aggregation of sites is in central area of Aleshtar.

Climatic and environmental conditions also ancient roads, is two major factors in relation to settlement patterns in Aleshtar plain from prehistoric to Islamic periods. In Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron, and Historic periods is settlement of pattern absolutely scattered and dependent on water resources and land. In these periods aren’t interpretable of focus in sites Aleshtar. In Islamic period, aggregation of sites is in central area of Aleshtar. Two to three kilometers in North and West in Modern city of Aleshtar has largest number of sites from Islamic period. In Islamic period settlement of pattern is around ancient road (north-south) in Aleshtar plain.

Mahnaz Sharifi, Abbas Motarjem,
year 2, Issue 4 (9-2018)

Archaeological excavations Tepe Gheshlagh have been helpful in understanding Chalcolithic sites in the high region separating the East Central Zagros and the Southern Lake Urmia Basin. Though cultural interface between the two regions was alluded to in the earlier publications, nothing was known of the existence of intermediate sites between them. Tepe Gheshlagh is a site at the center of Talvar valley that as a natural corridor serves to bring the concerned regions into closer contact, and its archaeological data will contribute to reconstruction of interactions of the regions in the Chalcolithic period. The Tepe Gheshlagh is one of the few settlements of the ancient villagers in the Talvar valley of the Bijar City, dating back to the fifth millennium BC (Ancient, Middle, and Late Chalcolithic period) which according to the Thermoluminescence tests it has been settlement form 5500 BC to 3600 BC without any interruption. Performing three seasons of archaeological excavations in this site provides us valuable information about the cultural and archaeological conditions of the region. This site have around one hectare, and during the settlement is formed ancient deposit more than 14 meters.
Keywords: Tepe Gheshlagh, Village Period, Architecture of Fifth Millennium BC, Native Material.

Excavations Tepe Gheshlagh have over 14 meters of deposits from different phases of the Chalcolithic period at the site, which consists of a sequence of five periods that begins with the characteristic Dalma material at the lowermost and ends with the Godin VI/VII type material at the uppermost deposit that marks the later phase of the Late Chalcolithic period. After Bronze Age material and after a cultural gap is appeared Iron III. Thus, we deal here with an almost uninterrupted sequence in the Central Zagros spanning almost two millennia. Results from the three seasons of excavations have furnished a clear picture of the Chalcolithic architecture (settlement sequence and other cultural material extending from the Dalma period up to the end of Godin VI). Excavated data from Tepe Gheshlagh is show connections between the Northwest Iranian cultures (Dalma tradition) and Central ZagrosThis is certainly due to the strategic location of the region in a natural pass that has mediated interactions between the two regions. Through cultural studies of the archaeological site of Gheshlagh in Talvar in Kurdistan province, regarded as the regional key site and a major settlement from the Chalcolithic period with clear evidence of Dalma traditions, this study will attempts to illustrate origin and development of the Dalma culture in the region and study evolution in the eastern Central Zagros hinterlands. Also, the cultural developments that took place in these hinterlands will be elucidated and the role of Gheshlagh as a key settlement site in this regard will be determined and the trend of the economic, social and cultural changes of the site’s inhabitants over time will be explained in light of archaeological data. In this context, absolute dates of ceramics would greatly facilitate the precise identification of the strata through providing a chronology for the region. 

Goals of Tepe Gheshlagh
One of the major goals of the present work is define the nature of the cultural ties between the early village settlements of the eastern Central Zagros hinterlands and the neighboring regions. There are indications that clearly prove the interactions. We may consider two approaches to the problem. The first is in light of indirect interactions, which including: (1) the material that may have entered the region as raw material or finished products, which are certainly of nonlocal origin; (2) inspirations from Hasuna tradition in the form of Hasuna-like pottery types, ceramics decorated with applied scales characteristic of Umm Dabaghiya, and abstract motifs of the Halaf period such as sun motif. The second builds on direct interactions: there are indications that reveal direct interface of Tepe Gheshlagh with the Southern Mesopotamia and Susiana plain. One of the clay seals is with impression of a stamp seal, it was made from the local materials of area. Other one of the findings is discovery of at least two unique sherds that obviously belong to the Ubaid period. The intrusion of Ubaid period material to Iran is known from Gawra XIII contemporary to the Chalcolithic period, and T. Cuyler Young and Levine’s observations during their surveys of the Eastern Central Zagros indicate the strong presence of Ubaid material culture, represented for instance by Dalma-Ubaid ware. The third indication is a quasi-cylindrical seal attesting to the transition from stamp to cylindrical seals, though technically it is a cylindrical seal not a stamp one. Similar trend is as yet unreported from any other region. 

Tepe Gheshlagh is located in the highland region between northwest and central Zagros in the current boundary of Bijar City. In terms of biological sequences, 5 periods of the settlements and 7 architectural phases of the Chalcolithic period were identified in this site. The archaeological evidence of the ancient village of the Tepe Gheshlagh indicated that the architectural texture in terms of physically consists of small central chambers overlooking the central courtyard, which due to the movable findings; it is possible to identify their function, such as kitchen, warehouse, and living space. In terms of architectural form, the spaces are often right-angled, and entirely are made of native and local materials, including mold brick and stratum, whereas the thickness of the main walls in relation to the dividing walls are Maximum twice, and the thickness of most of them are between 40 and 55 cm, and often in the first ridge used a one row of stones as foundation of the building. But the small walls from the beginning have been made with stratum. The main entrances are mainly to the Southwest (sunshiny). The fastening method is used for connecting the walls in the corners, and in the remaining height of the buildings, there is no sign of tension and cracks caused by the difference in load occurrence in the corners.

Hamid Hariryan, Saman Heydari-Guran, Abbas Motarjem, Elham Ghasidian,
year 4, Issue 14 (2-2021)

Most of our knowledge on the Palaeolithic of the Iranian Plateau derives from a scientific focus on the area of the Zagros Mountains. In recent years, several Palaeolithic research projects have been conducted in different parts of Iran, including southern piedmonts of the Alborz Mountains and the Iranian Central Plateau. The present paper is an introduction to the archaeological pieces of evidence of a Palaeolithic occupation on the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains. Sorheh Rockshelter is the first site among a cluster of 8 caves and rock shelters located around 80 km northwest of Tehran. The Palaeolithic artifacts have been recovered from at least three looters’ pits at the center of the rock shelter. Sorheh is significant at least for two aspects: firstly, since the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains have not yet been identified for the Palaeolithic, the site provides unique data on the Iranian Plateau. Secondly, the site’s location and the physiogeographic and lithic analyses of Sorheh are invaluable for the reconstruction of hominin behavior and settlement patterns in this under-researched area. 
Keywords: Central Iranian Plateau, Alborz Mountains, West-Central Zagros, Middle Palaeolithic, Levallois.

Compared to the wealth of Palaeolithic data from the Zagros region, the piedmonts of the Alborz Mountains have received little scientific attention. The focus has been on the northern slopes, although the intermountain valleys of the southern Alborz Mountains could have been biogeographically suitable for hunter-gatherers. Since the first systematic efforts of the Palaeolithic research in the Alborz Mountains by Carlton Coon in 1949 (1951, 1957), a few Palaeolithic sites have been discovered in the northern and southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains. Moving from the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains towards the center of the Iranian Plateau, the number of Palaeolithic sites increases. Especially in recent years, many critical Palaeolithic localities have been identified on the interior plains of the Central Iranian Plateau (Biglari 2003, Masoumi et al. 2010, Eskandari et al. 2010, Vahdati Nasab and Feyz 2014, Vahdati Nasab et al. 2009, 2013, 2014, 2016, Heydari-Guran and Ghasidian 2011, Heydari-Guran et al. 2015, Kaboli 1999).
From the physio-geographical point of view, it seems that the sites located on the southern slopes of Alborz Mountain are related to the inner parts of the Central Iranian Plateau (Heydari-Guran et al., 2015). However, it has always been questioned whether the southern slopes of Alborz, like the northern slopes, were an area of human presence during the Palaeolithic. If so, was there a connection between the inhabitants of the southern and northern Alborz slopes? What about the connections to the inhabitants of the interior plains of the Iranian Plateau? Such questions led the authors to study the valleys located in the Southern Alborz Mountain foothills around 80 km crow flies to Tehran’s northwest. The survey in this region has led to the discovery of a complex of caves and rock shelters. The lithic artifacts from one site, Sorheh Rockshelter, presents new insights into the study of human settlement and behavior during the Late Pleistocene in the Iranian Plateau. 

Sorheh in the Palaeolithic Context of the Iranian Plateau
The Sorheh complex consists of 6 caves, and rock shelters were firstly identified in 2018 by one of the authors (H.H.). The complex is formed in a deep drainage system within tuff, shale, and sandstone lithology along the Senj River. It is located around 19 km north of the modern city of Karaj, at a longitude of 50,957,183 and latitude of 35,992,211, and approximately 1900 m above sea level. The first site of this complex on the west side of the valley, Sorheh Rockshelter, revealed rich Palaeolithic depositions. Preliminary examining the exposed strata and accumulated soil confirmed that the site is rich in archaeological remains.
Five other shelters of the Sorheh complex are located between 20 and 70 m east of Sorheh Rockshelter. They mostly consist of a rocky surface with poor deposition; some were destroyed by the looters’ pits. The bedrock dip in two rock-shelters is towards the front slope caused no preservation of archaeological deposits. The last shelter of this complex is attached to the Senj River and is endangered by periodically river flooding, thus empty of archaeological deposits. The newly-constructed road between the villages of Baraghan at the west to Vamkouh at the east destroyed partly two rock shelters; however, it provided easier access to Sorheh Rockshelter.
In general, the lithic techno-typological characteristics of Sorheh presents significant Middle Palaeolithic elements. These lithic artifacts bear little resemblance to their counterparts from Zagros, such as Warwasi, Bisetun, and Kunji (Dibble and Holdaway 1993, Dibble 1984, Baumler and Speth, 1993). However, a comparison with Zagros sites is not plausible because of the considerable distance between these sites and the Alborz. The sites located in the interior regions of the Iranian Plateau, perhaps, provide more relevant information. Most of the Central Plateau open-air sites, including Chah-e Jam, Mirak, Zaviyeh, and Holabad, are flake-oriented, and Levallois technology has widely been used (Heydari-Guran and Ghasidian 2011, Heydari-Guran et al. 2015, Vahdati Nasab et al. 2013, Vahdati Nasab and Hashemi 2016). Levallois technology was observed abundantly among Sorheh collection, though heavily retouched tools, reminiscent of the Zagros Mousterian, are nearly absent.  
Sorheh’s collection reveals more similarities to two open-air sites of Moghanak and Otchounak. The lithic artifacts from these sites are mostly based on the production of blades and elongated flakes (Berillon et al. 2007). The Levallois technology was broadly practiced in Moghanak and Otchounak. The points from Moghanak are plain and unretouched, reminiscent of the Sorheh points. Due to the lack of characteristic retouched tools in Moghanak and Otchounak, no typological comparisons were possible.

The evidence from Sorheh, Zagros Mountains, and the Iranian Central Plateau indicate various subsistence strategies in different geographical regions. This issue put forward the idea of cultural variability among the Middle Palaeolithic populations (Heydari-Guran et al., 2015) in contrast to the notion of cultural homogeneity (Mousterian) throughout the Iranian Plateau (Rosenberg 1988, Biglari et al. 2009, Piperno 1972). 
Considering the high elevation of 1900 m asl., Sorheh Rockshelter, after Ghaleh Kurd with 2100 m asl., is one of the highest-elevated Palaeolithic sites on the Iranian Plateau. Ghaleh Kurd has revealed Middle Palaeolithic artifacts assigned to the Mousterian techno-complex (Soleimani and Alibeigi 2012). The study of the deposits from Sorheh will provide valuable information on the climatic changes during MIS 5 to 3 up to Holocene. It seems that the area, despite high altitude, periodically provided ideal settlement conditions. Climatic amelioration intervals made the region suitable for settlement. Therefore, the detailed physiogeographic study of the Sorheh complex may provide a wealth of information on late Pleistocene climate changes.
Due to the techno-typological similarities of Sorheh lithics to the sites in the Central Iranian Plateau (Vahdati Nasab et al. 2013, Heydari-Guran et al., 2015), we hypothesize the cultural exchange between late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers of Alborz and the interior parts of the Central Plateau during climatic deterioration periods. 
The discovery of this complex with a particular geographical location in a valley with difficult access and, most importantly, the rich Palaeolithic depositions is an essential step towards answering questions related to the human dispersal at the edge of the Iranian Plateau during Marine Isotope Stages of 5 to 3 stages.
Systematic excavation and acquisition of more data in Sorheh will allow more accurate and detailed comparisons to other Middle Palaeolithic sites of the Iranian Plateau.

Hamid Hariryan, Abbas Motarjem, Amir Saed-Mucheshi,
year 5, Issue 17 (12-2021)

This paper will focus on Lithic assemblages from three sites in the eastern part of Kurdistan province. The Chalcolithic period appears with different pottery tradi-tions than the earlier period in the Zagros, these changes appear mainly in the emergence of a variety of long blades and very regular and standard sickle blades. Due to the importance and lack of studies on the Chalcolithic Lithic, the main ques-tion in this article is what was the technology and function of the tools in the Chal-colithic period? The results show the technology of direct percussion with a hard hammer used to in the primary stages of Chalcolithic, and in the late phase, in addi-tion to the earlier method, the pressure technique has also been used to construction of long blades and sickle blade. Also, long blades and sickle blades, in terms of production technique, are continued in the Neolithic period in the Zagros, but in terms of dimensions as well as the ratio of blade length to width in a new class which is a new indicator for the Chalcolithic period. The results show that the con-struction of regular sickle blades begins in the late Chalcolithic phase. The skill of making tools is undoubtedly related to exist people who have special ability for these products, and they have distributed these tools in certain areas; because the least waste of high-quality flint of these blades has not been found in the sites. While most of the debris belong to raw material that are easily accessible in the riv-erbed.
Keywords: East of Kurdistan, Chalcolithic Period, Lithic Artifact.

The stone artifacts in this study are the result of excavations in Tepe Gheshlagh (Motarjem & Sharifi, 2015; Sharifi & Motarjem, 2018), Tepe Kalanan (Saedmoucheshi, 1390), and Golali (Saedmoucheshi, 1398) in Kurdistan province (Figure 1). In this region, the chronology of Tepe Gheshlagh, one of the key site in the Chalcolithic period that shows the sequence of this period (Motarjem & Sharifi, 2014). On the other hand, all samples of artifacts obtained in intact layer and with absolute chronology (Table 1). The Chalcolithic period in the Central Zagros has been studied by many scholars (see Young & Levine, 1974; Abdi, 2002 & 2003; Henrickson, 1983 & 1985), and most studies have focused on pottery and other data. Various sites in this area such as Godin (Young, 1969), Sehgabi (Young & Levine, 1974) have been explored before the Islamic Revolution of Iran and there isn’t an independent report on the tech-nical classification of stone tools. Study of Lithic artifacts in the Cen-tral Zagros including superficial study of Tepe Ban-Asyab (Bernbek et al., 2011), superficial study of Hersin (Mortensen & Smith, 1977), Chogha-golan and Towe Khushkeh sites in Islamabad plain (Abdi, 2002). Also, the study of lithic tools tradition in the sixth and fifth millennium BC in the Zagros gets limited to (Kozlowski, 1999; Nishiaki, 2013, 2019) and west of Kurdistan (Hariryan et al., 2021). In this regard, the study of stylistic differences in terms of technology, typology, and access to sources of raw material, as well as trade of some stones such as obsidian is momentous. Therefore, research questions include the following: (1) what is the basis of the tool-making tradition in East Kurdistan? And (2) Due to socio-economic complexities that occurred during the Chalcolithic period, what changes have taken place in the Lithic artifacts? The hy-pothesis of this research is that the Post-Mlefaatian tradition of tool making has been prevalent in this region. In fact, the purpose of introducing and analyzing of Chalcolithic Lithic is paying attention to them as cultural data that an important role in cultural communication and interactions.

The study of stone artifacts during the Chalcolithic period and beyond has never been seriously considered in Iranian archeology, this is due to the prevalence of evolutionary archeology. This approach goes back to the Serialization and connec-tion of cultural transformation circles to each other, without an explanatory and an-alytical approach to the lifestyle and cultural exchanges and human dynamism in the habitat. Discussions that were considered only after the spread of new archeol-ogy. The study of stone artifacts in this study shows that the insignificant quantity of tools in the early and middle phases of Chalcolithic, It shows the focus of the residents of this area on livestock. Because the Habitat around Tepe Gheshlagh and Kalanan are mainly steppe and less fertile. In the late phase, the production of Lith-ic tools increases, especially the examples related to grain harvesting, which indi-cates a kind of more attention to crop production. This leads to decline of livestock or the increase of population in the region and even familiarity with new cultivation methods. In the late Chalcolithic, this region has Cultural Horizon with the late Obeid, early Uruk and the Sabz period of Dehloran and Khuzestan. At this time, agriculture based on irrigation has been proposed on southern region such as Susa and Dehloran. In these periods, all the tools used in agriculture, focused on Lithic tools and implements including plowing tools, sickles, mortars and hand tools. In fact, the construction of practical tools, the use of different raw materials, and the interpretation of regular and long sickle blades represent an advanced and evolving technology. The produce of regular sickle blades from high quality stone, disap-pearance of small scrapers (trapezoidal and triangular) and the limitation of serrated tools are the most important changes in this period compared to the Neolithic peri-od. 
Lithic assemblages during the 6th and 5th millennia BCE in the Zagros is known as Post-Mlefaatian tradition (Kozlowski, 1999). The use of pressure Debitage tech-nique to produce long blades and sickle elements is one of the most significant fea-tures of this tradition. In the Post-Mlefaatian, the length of the blades increases. In East Kurdistan, we are faced with two technologies for making stone tools, (1) The use of direct percussion for primarily stage of removing, and (2) The use of pres-sure technology for construction of sickle blades. We have a limited number of long blades in Gheshlagh and Gelali sites, but the construction of these blades, like other regions of the Zagros, shows the use of the Post-Mlefaatian tradition in this region.
It is probable that after 3 to 4 thousand years of domestication of devolving of wheat stem compared to other species such as Emmer and Einkorn of the Neolithic period, In order to harvest, thicker and stronger blades need to create. The produc-tion of thicker blades in this period has been a technical adaptive response to this need. Hence, the discussion over the assumption about the prevalence of irrigation in the Chalcolithic period, even to a limited extent, has led to change in Lithic tools production related to agriculture, especially sickle blades. On the other hand, issues such as the formation of full-time or part-time expert groups, access to high-quality flint mines for proper production, distribution and exchange are raised. As men-tioned in the discussion, there is no evidence of regular sickle blades construction on the site, in the eastern Kurdistan. On the other hand, presence of obsidian in Gheshlagh and Kalanan sites show continuation of the old distribution network of the nearest neighbor to the far regions in eastern Kurdistan. The presence of obsidi-an and lack of evidence for making sickle blades from dark flint, indicate the pos-sibility of making blades produced from this species in specialized workshops out-side the site and their import to these areas.

Tayebeh Almasi, Abbas Motarjem,
year 6, Issue 21 (12-2022)

The northern plains of the Alvand mountain range in Hamedan are known as part of the Median land and the capital of this period. Research and study on Iron Age III settlements with the aim of identifying and drawing an accurate pattern of the sites of this period was one of the goals of the writers in this region, which was carried out in recent years. Qale-dagh Tepe is one of the areas that have been reviewed and studied in this research. Qale-dagh or Aghdash area is located at an altitude of 2009 meters above sea level in the foothills of Arjanī mountain overlooking the Hamedan plain. The height of the area is 41 meters above the level of surrounding rangelands. The site was first identified and registered in 1381 AH and in 1385 AH in the comprehensive plan of archaeological survey of Hamedan city was reviewed. Despite much destruction, the site has not yet been studied and archaeologically excavated. Qale-dagh is a single period from the Iron Age III. It consists of single and dense brick building that can be seen in parts of the main walls and its gates. There is evidence of filling in the gaps between the back and the outside of the walls at an unspecified time. The pottery obtained from the study is small and contains non-significant samples of this period. There are questions about the condition of the area and its function in the heights of the Hamedan plain that this study has addressed. The research method in this paper is based on archaeological studies and comparative studies. Preliminary results show that Qale-dagh area is located in specific geographical location, architectural style, pottery data and compared with other sites of Median period such as Nush-I-Jan Tepe, Moush Tepe and Haji Khan is a religious place overlooking the capital of Med (Hegmataneh).
Keywords: Hamedan, Qale-dagh Tepe, Iron Age III, Median Period.

In a series of surveys conducted from 2017 to 2018 regarding the spatial association of Iron Age III settlements in the Hamedan plain (Almasi, 2020), which is mentioned in historical sources as the first seat and political and governing center of the Median period, the known relics from the past years to the present, particularly the new relics in the last decade, were studied, and a question was raised. The question was “What were the function and nature of a group of monuments with characteristics such as individuality, being located outside the scope of settlement, similar style and method in architecture, especially in components such as the type of bricks, and finally their intentional filling at some points in time?”
One of these newly discovered monuments is a brick fortress named Qale-dagh Tepe located in the northern highlands of the Hamedan plain. The site is located in the foothills of the Arjanī Mountain with a height of 2130 meters above sea level. Aghdash Village is the closest modern village to it, which is located at a distance of 3.5 kilometers from it. The site does not have an access road from the village, so that one can only reach the site on foot by crossing some agricultural fields and barren lands.
The Qale-dagh site with coordinates Y:3869857.31-X:290962.58 is the only brick structure that is located on a natural bed among the hills of the Arjanī Mountain. The current size of the site is 1 hectare. However, the Qale-dagh site has suffered massive destruction over time, much of which is related to human destruction. The site was discovered in 2002 (Pazuki & Shadmhr, 2005) and surveyed in 2006 (Mohammadifar & Motarjem, 2006), and then the authors resurveyed it in 2017.

The Qale-dagh site in appearance is divided into two sections: the northern section, which is a brick structure and remains up to a height of 3 meters, and the southern section, which is large and has a lower height (Map 3). The architecture of the northern section includes a thick wall with an approximate height of 3 meters and a diameter of 1.5 meters in the east-west direction. It appears that the wall has a buttress, since in the two sections of the wall, the remains of a brick pier with 1 meter in width and 2.5meter distance from each other can be observed. The distance between the two brick piers is filled with layers of pebbles and mud mortar (Image 2), Causing the wall to remain intact up to a height of 3 meters. On the northeastern side, several holes have been dug by unauthorized excavators, in one of which, the remains of more than 2 gates covered with a lancet arch can be observed from the outside (Image 4). From the inside of the gates, a corridor-like space with another lancet arch can be observed (Image 5). The width of the two gates is approximately 70 cm and lower than the height of 3 meters of the wall. The lancet covering of the arches is formed by laying bricks diagonally to each other. The materials used in the monument are bricks with dimensions of 42×23×11 cm and mud mortar with a thickness of 10 to 12 cm.
The pieces of pottery obtained from the surface survey include a bowl with an inverted rim, a simple bowl, a bowl handle, a base of a dish, and two pieces of a dish body (Image 7).

Analysis of Finding
In the survey of the architectural features and pottery pieces collected from the site, the history of settlement in the site appears to be related only to the Iron III period, as it was built on virgin soil. Such a procedure was used in some significant Median sites such as Nush-I-Jan (Stronach & Ruf, 2011), Moush Tepe (Mohammadifar et al., 2015: 236), ZarBolagh (Malekzadeh et al., 2014), Yalfan (Almasi et al., 2017: 70), Haji Khan (Hemmati Azandriani et al., 2019: 35) and Pishee (Almasi, 2020: 115).
In the northern wall, the remains of two brick piers are visible (Image 2), revealing the use of buttress in the construction of the main wall of the monument. The use of buttress, which is generally used on the outer front of the main walls of the monument, can also be observed in the sites of Nush-I-Jan (Stronach & Ruf, 2011: 16), Godin (Young & Levine, 1974: 116-pl.37), Baba Jan (Goff, 1977: 104-Fig.1) and Ozbeki (Majidzadeh, 2009: 343).
The gate with a lancet arch created in the Qale-dagh site is also similar to the ones in the sites of Nush-I-Jan (Stronakh & Ruf, 2011: 81), Godin (Gopnik, 2016: 293), Moush Tepe (Mohammadifar et al., 2015: 235) and Gunespan (Naseri et al., 2016: 131) (Table 1). The dimensions and sizes of the bricks used in the monument of the Qale-dagh site are similar to the dimensions of the bricks used in the monuments of sites of the same period (Table 2). Another characteristic of the site is the intentional filling of the monument (Images 2 and 3), so that this method of abandonment has been reported in the excavations of the sites of Nush-I-Jan (ibid: 163), Moush Tepe (Mohammadifar et al., 2015: 235), ZarBolagh (Malekzadeh et al., 2014), and Haji Khan (Hemmati Azandriani et al., 2019: 106). 

Owing to the geographical feature of the site, which is located in the foothills of the Arjanī Mountain overlooking the Hamedan plain and the connecting route of the Hamedan plain, it is possible to imagine a military use similar to the inter-road military forts. However, in the survey and comparison of the Urartian castles of the first millennium BC in the northwest, we observe considerable cultural data indicating long-term settlement in these places (Kleiss, 1980, Burney, 1966). On the contrary, such conditions are not observed in Qale-dagh. Hence, we can place emphasis on only the apparent characteristics of the site, such as the information obtained from the architecture and the results of comparing and matching it with the Median sites, particularly Nush-I-Jan, Moush Tepe and Haji Khan. From the excavations conducted in the three Median sites of Nush-I-Jan -Main Period, Moush Tepe and Haji Khan (Map 4), few findings of human activity (garbage production) were obtained, demonstrating a non-residential use in such places and their special use for the people. All the three sites were created on virgin soil, had intentionally filling, and were cleared before filling.
As no contemporary settlement was found near the site, a non-residential use can be considered for it. Furthermore, the height of the site above sea level and the steep slope of the site in the foothills of the Arjanī Mountain indicate that it is not easily accessible.
The intentional filling of monuments, which is carried out with special care in layers, can also be used to protect the monuments. Ghirshman associates the fillings with the change of religious attitude in the later period (Ghirshman, 1976: 10-11).
As supported by extensive evidence, the Qale-dagh site is extremely similar to the sites of Nush-I-Jan, Moush Tepe and Haji Khan. 

The authors appreciate and thank the Hamedan Province Cultural Heritage Organization and Mr. Mohammad Shabani for making it possible to visit the site.

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فصلنامه مطالعات باستان شناسی پارسه Parseh Journal of Archaeological Studies
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