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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.

Ali Monadi, Hamid-Reza Valipor, Amir-Sadegh Nagshineh,
year 5, Issue 15 (6-2021)

The Chalcolithic Age is one of the most important prehistoric periods in Iran. The transformations of this period in the Central Zagros have emerged in continuation of the Neolithic period.  One of the important areas of Central Zagros, which had many settlements related to the Chalcolithic era, is Silakhor plain in the north of Lorestan. Despite the cultural richness of the Silakhor plain during the Chalcolithic Age, no purposeful study has been conducted to clarify the Chalcolithic status of this area. In this regard, in order to clarify the settlement models of the Chalcolithic era of Silakhor plain, this study is presented, which is a summary of Ahmad Parviz’s archaeological studies and purposeful studies by the researchers, In the present study, the authors have tried to find the answer to the following questions: What were the settlement models of Silakhor plain in the Chalcolithic era? How can the changes of settlement models in the old, middle and new periods of the Chalcolithic era of Silakhor plain be analyzed? It seems that several factors including water resources, altitude of Silakhor plain and state’s roads have been effective in the formation of settlements in this area during the Chalcolithic age. Studies conducted in this plain so far have shown 80 ancient sites related to the Copper Stone Age. Some of these sites involve all three periods of old, middle and new Chalcolithic era. The spatial data collected in this research have been studied by GIS science studies method and implemented in ArcGIS 10.3 software. The basis of these studies is the distance of each settlement area from the nearest river and its altitude level from Silakhor plain. These maps have been implemented in all three periods of old, middle and new Chalcolithic Age of Silakhor plain. 
Keywords: Central Zagros, Silakhor Plain, Chalcolithic Age, Settlement Models, GIS.

The Chalcolithic Age (mid-fifth millennium to late fourth millennium BC) is one of the prehistoric periods which has witnessed important transformations such as population growth, enhancement of the quality of pottery, the use of copper metal, improvements in the quality of settlement construction and so on.  Some scholars consider this period to be a continuation of Neolithic transformations and some consider it as being independent of other periods. Archaeological studies conducted over the past few decades in the Central Zagros region have shown that this area has seen an increase in population during the Chalcolithic period. This increase in population is inferred from the number of archaeological sites recorded in this period compared to the previous period (Neolithic). Of course, the studies indicate that archaeological studies conducted in connection with the Chalcolithic Age of the Central Zagros, have focused mainly on the Gamasiab River Basin.
Silakhor plain has a suitable situation geographically and climatically.  The flat plain and fertile soil along with sufficient water resources have caused us to see a large number of ancient sites from the Neolithic period to recent centuries. Despite the conducted studies, so far no purposeful studies have been conducted to analyze the residential and settlement situation of the Chalcolitic era of Silakhor plain. In this regard, the researchers, while exploring the studies conducted in this plain, have re-examined the ancient sites of the Chalcolithic era of this plain. Since the area of Silakhor plain is located in Boroujerd and Doroud counties and covers a large part of the north of Lorestan province, in this research, this plain is divided into two parts, north and south, the northern part of which is in Boroujerd and the southern part is in Dorud city. In order to study the situation of the settlements of Silakhor plain more accurately, its northern part in Boroujerd city has been chosen. 

The chronology of the Chalcolithic age of Silakhor plain and the east of Lorestan is also influenced by the chronology of the Gamasiab river basin and the Kangavar valley. The study and identification of the archaeological and historical monuments of this area has been done recently by Ahmad Parviz in 2006 and the review of the researchers in line with this research has been done in 2016.  In this study, according to Godin chronology, areas related to the chalcolithic age during three periods of old, middle and new era are studied. Sites are evaluated by the ArcGIS 10.3 software after being located on elevation maps through their Universal transverse Mercator (UTM).  In this evaluation, the altitudes of the area compared to the average altitude of the northern half of Silakhor plain and also their distance to the nearest rive, are examined. In the studies performed, it has been determined that 80 sites are belonged to the Chalcolithic age of the northern half of Silakhor plain, some of which include all three periods of old, middle and new Chalcolithic era.
 Of all 80 Chalcolithic Age sites in the study area, 25 sites are related to the old period. These areas are mainly distributed in the central parts and in the plains.  Most sites are at altitudes between 1,500 and 1,600 meters above the sea level.
Of the 80 Chalcolithic Age sites in the study area, 31 sites are related to the Cenozoic Ages. These sites, like the old period, are mainly distributed in the central parts and in the plains. Most sites are at altitudes between 1,500 and 1,600 meters above the sea level.
Of the 80 Chalcolithic Age sites in the study area, 42 are related to the Cenozoic period. These areas, like the old and middle periods of the Chalcolithic Age, are mainly distributed in the central parts and in the plains. Most sites are at altitudes between 1500 and 1600 meters above the sea level.

In this study, it was found that the number of old, middle and new sites of the Chalcolithic Age in the northern half of Silakhor plain (Boroujerd) are 25, 31 and 42 , respectively. This indicates that the Copper Stone Age in this area has developed in a growing trend (in terms of the number of settlement sites). Increasing the number of settlements in this area paves the way for future transformations in the next period (Bronze Age).  Therefore, the beginning of urbanization in this area has had a strong and evolving introduction to the Chalcolithic era.
On one hand, the study of maps prepared in ArcGIS software shows that the vast majority of sites in all three periods in the Chalcolithic Age are located at an altitude of 1500 to 1600 meters (average height of Silakhor plain is 1500 to 1600 meters) and in the area of Silakhor plain.  On the other hand, the analysis of the distribution map of the Chalcolithic sites of this area shows that the settlements of this period have been formed depended on the water resources (rivers).

Poorya Heydari Mehr, Farshid Iravani Ghadim, Ahmad Aliyari,
year 7, Issue 23 (5-2023)

The Kermanshah Province is one of the significant regions studied by archaeologists, where numerous studies have been conducted so far. This research focuses on the examination of megalithic graves in the towns of Gilan-e Gharb and Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermanshah Province. Megalithic graves are among the burials that possess unique structures and architecture, which have been less explored and researched in Iran, particularly in the studied region. By studying these graves, it is possible to gain some limited knowledge about the culture, beliefs, and way of life of the people who owned these graves. The most important questions of this research are: What have been the architectural features of these graves’ structures? How has the distribution of these graves been and what pattern can be defined for this distribution? The research method is considered to be applied-historical in terms of its objective. The categorization of the form and structure of graves has been carried out descriptively. In this regard, while conducting field research in the area, an initial comparison of the typological data and relative chronology of graves was performed. Subsequently, using GIS software, an analysis and identification of the burial distribution pattern in the region were carried out considering various geographical factors. Based on these, variables such as elevation, slope, and rivers were analyzed. In general, the identified graves in this study are divided into two main groups: Cist graves and Cromlech ones, the latter encompassing various subtypes. Finally, studies and excavations have been conducted on these graves in the Caucasus, Anatolia, and northwestern Iran, which demonstrate the migratory lifestyle of the tomb owners. In this article, a portion of the cultural materials collected from the 2015 archaeological survey in the western towns of Gilan-e-Gharb and Sarpol-e Zahab in Kermanshah province is presented.
Keywords: Megalithic, Cist Graves, Cromlech Graves, Distribution Pattern, Typology, GIS.چ

The word ‘megalithic’ refers to large stones, derived from the Greek word ‘Mega’ meaning ‘large’ and ‘lithos’ meaning ‘stone’ (Midgely, 2008: 23). In Persian and Iranian archaeology, it is referred to as a ‘large stone’. Megalithic graves are large, uncut stones that are sometimes formed with wood, soil, and other small stones (Shaw, 1999: 390). Studying the structure of Megalithic graves can play an important role in identifying the tribes that constructed them and is effective in dating these tombs, given the scarcity of ancient evidence and data. By conducting typological studies of these graves, their structural patterns can be reconstructed, and by comparing the surrounding areas, it is possible to date these tombs. Extensive studies have been conducted on megalithic graves in the north and northwest of Iran, but independent and specialized research on these tombs has not been carried out in Kermanshah province. Since the tombs in this area have not been methodically excavated yet, it is difficult to present a precise structural design of the tomb architecture. In this study, the typology will be based on the surface structure, and the dating of the tombs will be conducted through comparative studies. Research questions include the following: What are the types of megalithic graves? What are the characteristics of the architectural structure of these tombs? What is the distribution area for these species, and what pattern can be identified in this distribution?
In order to achieve the desired goals in this study, a set of field activities was performed, including sketching, photography, documenting and recording findings, and design. The research method used for classifying the shape and structure of graves is descriptive and also relies on comparative and library studies. This includes the collection of maps, reports, articles, and all useful information available in the region. The preparation and collection of the locations where the graves are situated are recorded using a GPS device. In the analysis of the distribution pattern of registered graves, a geographic information system (GIS) has been employed. In the study of the factors influencing the distribution of graves, various factors such as topography, water resources, elevation, and slope have been examined.
By identifying these factors, analyzing the data distribution pattern, and ultimately visualizing them on a map, it is possible to gain a partial understanding of why and how the areas are distributed and concentrated in the region.

Research on the structure of cemeteries and graves can be conducted using two different approaches: Firstly, typological studies are conducted based on the shape, dimensions, and materials of the graves. Secondly, factors such as the orientation of the graves, their proximity to one another, and their relationship to water sources, roads, and expanses in the cemetery are examined (Orlet, 1392: 93). The important point to note is that the structure of graves exhibits a distinct relationship with the geographical environment. In mountainous areas, for instance, there is often an abundance of large stones and slates that can be utilized in constructing graves. Consequently, there are variations in the shape and material of these graves, primarily due to the differing types of stones found in each region (Ibid, 1392: 107). The graves identified in this study are categorized into two groups: Cist graves and Cromlech graves.
 In the construction of cist graves, a pit was excavated approximately one meter deep from the ground, and its walls were lined with layers of large and small stones. Subsequently, after interring the deceased, the grave was sealed by placing large and extremely heavy boulders on top (Yukmen, 2003).
Cromlech graves are classified into following types based on the shape of the stone rings:
Mounded Cromlech refers to a type of grave that consists of one or more stone rings encircling a large stone tomb (Smith, Badalyan, Avetisyan, 2009: 106).
Paved Cromlech is characterized by its very low height from the ground, and its distinguishing feature is the scattering of small rocks on its surface (Ibid, 2009: 107).
Stepped Cromlech is defined by stone rings that encompass the central structure, exhibiting a vertical upward movement (Ibid, 2009: 108).
The elevation study of Gilan Gharb and Sarpol-e Zahab towns indicates that Sarpol-e Zahab has the lowest elevation at 540 meters, while Gilan-e Gharb reaches the highest altitude of 1340 meters that suggests a higher prevalence of graves in colder areas.
Through the examination of the influence of rivers on the distribution of graves and by referencing the water network map, it becomes evident that the graves tend to be situated in proximity to water sources. This distribution pattern signifies the significance of close access to water and further highlights the correlation between the location and distribution of graves within the river basin. Considering that the megalithic graves belong to the nomadic tribes, this proximity may be indicative of the convenience of accessing water for the needs of them and their livestock.

The typology of graves and their classifications in the study area of Sarpol-e-Zahab and Gilan-e-Gharb in Kermanshah province is based on comparative and comparative studies with megalithic graves in the north and northwest regions of the country. These graves are categorized into Cist and Cromlech graves.
The Cromlech species exhibit various structural forms within each range. Commenting on the shape of the landscape of megalithic graves is a complex subject that requires specialized studies and extensive investigations covering a wide area. When considering the geographic distribution of these graves, it is important to take into account factors such as the natural environment, topography, and the number of areas containing this type of graves. Furthermore, it is crucial to acknowledge the limited availability of extensive and specialized studies on these graves. Based on general findings from studies conducted on the distribution of graves, it is possible to identify certain areas that are centrally occupied with burials, while other areas remain devoid of any kind of burial. For instance, in certain areas of Sarpol-e Zahab, the absence of megalithic graves can be attributed to the scarcity of stones. Certainly, this can be justified by one reason: landscape manipulations in later periods carried out by farmers to level the land for cultivation. This is prominently observed throughout Sarpol-e Zahab due to its geographical structure and favorable conditions for agriculture. In relation to the correlation between water resources and the distribution of megalithic graves in this area, it is worth noting that the information obtained from GIS maps concerning the water bodies in the region demonstrates the close proximity of these graves to water sources. This proximity can be attributed to the practical utilization of fresh water sources by the nomadic communities, particularly for the purpose of sustaining their livestock. Hence, the architectural structure of large stone graves exhibits a distinct relationship with the geographical environment. In mountainous areas, the abundance of large stones contributes to a higher concentration of these graves in such regions. Based on comparative studies and the analysis of architectural features and structures of these large stone tombs, in conjunction with similar tombs found in the northwestern and northern regions of Iran, as well as in Anatolia, Caucasus, Russia, and Georgia, the period ranging from the ancient Bronze Age to Iron Age III can be attributed to megalithic graves. This classification is further supported by the presence of metal and pottery artifacts discovered within these graves.

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