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Alireza Khosrowzadeh, Siamak Sarlak,
year 2, Issue 3 (5-2018)
Due to few is excavated Sasanian sites in southwestern Iran and Persian Gulf, the region still lacks a securely dated pottery assemblage from this period, which renders identification of the Sassanid sites there extremely difficult. Therefore, a reliably dated ceramic collection is essential for better understanding of the Sassanid period. The present paper addresses this issue and sets to introduce one of the typical type of Sassanid pottery of southeast Iran based on material recorded during surveys and excavations at Southeast of Iran and northern and southern coast of Persian Gulf. This type which is famous to fine orange painted ware or “Namord” Widely distributed in the Northern and Southern coasts of the Persian Gulf and Southeast of Iran. This type was only obtained from excavated sites at Kush, Mleiha and ed-Dur in United Arabian Emirate, Tape Yahya in Kerman and Tame Maroun in Minab. Also many of these types have been found in survey of these areas. There are two type of Namord ware; one type is belonging to late Parthian period and another one dated back to early and middle Sassanid period. Due to the wide distribution of the Namord ware in southeast of Iran and northern and southern beaches of the Persian Gulf, probably, this type of pottery in the Persian Gulf has been used as a kind of commercial goods. The absence Namord ware in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia is representing close relationships between eastern parts of the Persian Gulf (Emirates and Oman) and south and southeast beaches of Iran. Also, the existence of Namord ware in Gana of Yemen, is represents expanding the trade of this pottery to the east beaches of the Indian Ocean.
Keywords: Namord Ware, Sassanid, Southeast, Persian Gulf.
As we know, pottery in the Sassanid period like the Parthian period has been local style, and each region of Iran in this period have been a special style of pottery. One of the areas, that Sassanid pottery in it little known, is southeast of Iran and the Persian Gulf beaches. A very large part of southeastern Iran (Kerman, Hormozgan, Sistan and Baluchestan provinces) in terms of archeology is less recognize than other parts of Iran. Unfortunately, due to the lack of archaeological excavations in this area of Iran, we can’t present correct theory about Sassanid pottery this area. One of the most important sites in the south east (that has the Sassanid period) is Tape Yahya in the southeast of Baft county near of Soghan. The Tame Maroun is another important Sassanid site. Sarlak based on the pottery obtained from different layers of this site, five cultural periods have been identified on this site (Sarlak, 2011: 374). Emirates and Oman (that have done more excavations in them) are located in the cultural area of the southern of Persian Gulf. The Sohar excavations in Oman, and excavations of Addor, Koush, and Meliha in Emirates are most important excavations in this area. Koush is important of site in southern beaches of the Persian Gulf that has a fairly accurate chronology. Based on excavations done in this site, period 1 is the oldest settelement in Koush, includes two steps of brick building that can be related to 6th and 7th century AD (Kennet, 2005). From this period (6th and 7th century AD) has been obtained large number of pottery related to Namord. In addition to excavation, a lot of surveys have also been conducted in this cultural area. These surveys have been done by Descartes, Potts, and … In these surveys have been obtained large number of pottery related to Namord.
Pottery dispersion of Namord in southeast of Iran and northern beaches of Persian Gulf
In 1983 Seyyed Mansour Seyyed Sajjadi with an archaeological team was surveyed Rodbar valley in southern Kerman. Seyyed Sajjadi was obtained Namord ware from the four sites of Ghaleh Kharg, Dogari, Tamb Namord, and Sitamb. Also, this pottery has been obtained from the layer 1 of Tape Yahya. Furthermore, Namord ware has been obtained from the third period of the Tame Maroun. Namord ware in third period of the Tame Maroun has red and orange paste. This type of pottery in Bushehr has orange color and with gravel temper. Also, Namord ware is obtained in surveys conducted in Damb Koh and Qeshm Island.
Pottery dispersion of Namord in the southeast of Saudi Arabia and the south beaches of Persian Gulf
The Namord ware is obtained in Alganam Island, Addor, Koush, Meliha, and Tal Abrak. From the Meliha fort has been obtained a few glasses of delicate and painted from the type of Namord. The paste of this pottery in Meliha is so stiff and has orange color. In surveys of northern Oman in the peninsula of Mosandam has been obtained samples similar to painted pottery of Namord.
Due to Widespread of Namord ware in southeastern Iran and northern and southern beaches of the Persian Gulf, probably, this pottery as a commodity has been exchanged between the north and south of the Persian Gulf. Trade this pottery have probably been for the quality this type of pottery. Namord ware has been obtained most from areas the eastern of the Persian Gulf, especially from Alganam Island, Addor, Koush, Meliha, and Tal Abrak. It seems, this type of pottery has been produced in one or two small areas (probably in Minab plain and Halil Roud), and has been exported to other places as a valuable commodity.
Mohammad Ismail Ismaili Jelodar, Hamid Poordavood, Ali Arab,
year 2, Issue 5 (12-2018)
Throughout the period of Sassanids, as well as in the Islamic period, trade played a very important role in their economies and livelihoods. Meanwhile, due to political reasons in Late of Sassanid period, access to the Persian Gulf has been of particular importance. The city of Kuvar was part of the Fars province’s trade route because it led to the Persian Gulf on one side and to the central areas of the empire, for this reason, it has played a colorful role throughout history. Due to the presence of the riverside (Qara-aqag) near this city, the commercial convoys had to use a bridge to cross the river. In this study, attempts to by studying archaeological studies as well as library research investigate the water source of Kuvar city by, the role of Kuvar, bridge in connection with Persian Gulf as well as the etymology of city name. Bridge Kovar’s survival has been one of the possible caravans pass options. By examining the original geographical texts from the early centuries of Islam, as well as examining the current bridge structure, one can infer that this city had a very important role in establishing and sustaining trade from the Sassanid period to the Islamic period. Also, the durability and survival of this city has historically been dependent on water obtained from the Bahman Dam through specific facilities. Accordingly, in the present study, it has been attempted to explain how and these facilities function, as well as, in addition to Paul Kuvar’s ontology of construction technique and its application and performance, based on existing written sources, the landscape of the area has been reviewed and finally Evaluate the results, report the proposed chronology. This study attempts to answer the following questions: How is the main source of water in the city of Kuvar evaluated and what is the mechanism of water transfer to the city of Kuvar? How is the role of Kuvar city as a Midways on the route to the Persian Gulf and Siraf evaluated and the main evidence that what was the significance of the historic bridge of Kuvar?
Keywords: Kuvar, Kuvar Bridge, Bahman Dam, Road, Persian Gulf.
In the end of the Sassanid period, transit from the Silk Road had been restricted due to the Iranian and Byzantine wars, so the Persian Gulf had replaced this route and thereby continued trade links with the east and west of the empire. Undoubtedly, the main need of every city is a permanent source of water, so the location of cities is a function of the factors that are undoubtedly the among main one’s access to water. It is also one of the most important needs of governments in commercial, political, military and social communication in urban areas is the construction of bridges. Clearly, the existence of rivers, especially permanent waterways and valleys will be a major obstacle to these communications, on this basis, material evidence has remained to show that such buildings are prominent examples of the bard Borid Bridge, the Daughter Bridge and other ancient bridges from the Sassanid period. This has continued in the Islamic era with the construction of new structures, the restoration of old bridges. The element of commerce has been one of the important reasons to pay attention to these structures, In the Islamic era, a large volume of trade was carried out through the central and southern cities of Iran, including the Persian Gulf ports at the head of the Siraf port. Meanwhile, Fars province has played a vital role in this trade route due to its proximity to the Persian Gulf. Also, of other important factors in the creation and survival of the city have been access to other areas. Among these cities is Kuvar, the city has it long time a major Role of connection Shiraz to the Persian Gulf, and this city a few hundred yard away from the Qareq Aghaj river.
From the Sassanid to the Islamic periods, maritime trade, which was directly linked to the Persian Gulf, has been very important in the Iranian economy. Among the maritime trade gear were cities that facilitated Caravans access to the Persian Gulf. Sometimes in some geographical situations due to obstacles such as rivers, the caravan movement was dependent on the construction of bridges that made caravan movement possible. But the construction of the historic Kuvar Bridge in the Sassanid period has been eliminated the problem. The bridge, which a historical background in style and architecture, has been survived to this day despite extensive damage. The city needed a permanent source of water, which has done by building an avalanche and raising the water level and mounting water on the ground by avalanche installations. But due to surface effects, such as several hills that prevented water from moving, a Qanat were used to pass through the water and flow to the surface. This method has been observed in other parts of Iran such as Arrajan. Due to the size of the kuvar city, it was necessary manage the water that flowed into the city. In the Islamic period a village called Khaffr was established to manage the water that flowed into the Kuvar, which was responsible for managing and distributing the required water to the Kuvar. This article also deals with the etymology of the name of the city, Ardeshir Babakan report is the first text to come up the name of this the city, in this book the city is called Guar, and in the Islamic era the name of this city has evolved.
It has been said, that the city has long been regarded for its role and importance in the way it has been concerned, Bridge Kuvar and the Bahman dam and its associated subdivisions, since they were directly linked to the creation and survival of this city. Undoubtedly, the city of Kuvar built has been to communicate with the Persian Gulf. Since the water factor is one of the most important factors for the formation and survival of the city, undoubtedly, the avalanche and its associated structures have also been built since the foundation of the city. Concerning the dating of the Kuvar Bridge, according to the boulders cut at the base of the bridge can be said was originally built in the Sassanid period. As mentioned, that there was a village called Khaffr near the city of Kuvar which was responsible for water management in the Islamic era, which indicates the high water consumption due to the size and importance of the city, which also has been required special management.
Daniel T. Potts,
year 6, Issue 19 (5-2022)
In recent years the Achaemenid sites in the Borazjan area have attracted a great deal of attention and their identification with Elamite Tamukkan/Greek Taocê has been widely accepted. Aside from the architectural interest of these sites, however, their location along what later became an important route linking the Persian Gulf and the Iranian plateau is significant. Whether travelling between the Persian Gulf coast and Shiraz, or the earlier Achaemenid capitals (Pasargadae and Persepolis), Borazjan represents the first stage for travellers moving along this route. This study examines some of the logistical aspects of travel between Borazjan and the highlands, as well as the climatic extremes experienced by travellers during much of the year. The difficulties of traversing the route are illustrated with selections from 19th and early 20th century travellers accounts. The advantages of commencing or ending the journey at Shif, as opposed to Bushehr, are discussed with reference to numerous examples. The importance of mules as pack animals along the route is emphasized. Finally, the implications of the evidence marshaled for the burgeoning field of sensory studies are underscored.
R.T. Hallock’s identification of El. Tamukkan with Gr. Taocê1 predated the excavation and initial publication of the monumental architectural complexes near Borazjan (Sang-e Siah, Bardak-e Siah and Charkhab).2 Although Rawlinson suggested that, ‘The Achæmenian Palace of Taoce, mentioned by Strabo, was probably at the modern village of Dalaki, where there is a fine mound of great apparent antiquity,’3 most scholars would today agree that Taocê/Tamukkan should be identified with the Borazjan sites. Due to limited exploration and excavation, the function(s) and chronology of these important sites are still imperfectly understood,4 but iconographic, architectonic and epigraphic data5 suggest building activity and regular use from the reign of Cyrus to that of Darius or Xerxes, and possibly beyond.
Borazjan lies on the principal route linking Bushehr and Shiraz (Fig. 1). As Maclean noted in 1904, ‘The only important route is viâ Borasjun and Kazeroon to Shiraz.’6 For most travellers, Borazjan was either the last stop on the way from the highlands to the Persian Gulf coast, or the first stop heading in the opposite direction. Hence the Borazjan complex would have received visitors during the Achaemenid period who, after sailing either down or up the Persian Gulf by ship and landing on the coast,7 had just completed the first overland stage of their journey to the north; or, moving in the opposite direction, the Borazjan complex would have been where visitors spent their last night before traversing the remaining distance to the coast and boarding a vessel bound for southern Babylonia or points south.
The fact that Bushehr’s Elamite predecessor, Liyan, probably acted as a maritime gateway to the highlands of Anšan8 makes it tempting to think that the Liyan-to-Anšan or Tamukkan-to-Parsa route was always the main thoroughfare from the Persian Gulf to the Iranian plateau. Yet, in some periods, this was demonstrably not the case. During the Safavid period, for example, Bandar ‘Abbas was the principal port of entry on the Persian Gulf for goods destined for the markets of the Iranian Plateau.9 Indeed, when Carsten Niebuhr visited Bushehr in 1765 he remarked that (Fig. 2), until 1735 when Nader Shah decided to make it the headquarters of his much vaunted but never realized navy,10 Bushehr had been an unimportant village.11 Strictly speaking, however, this is not quite correct. Nader Shah’s naval yard was at Reshahr, c. 6 kms. to the south of Bushehr.12 Earlier, Shah ‘Abbas I had kept a squadron of 100 vessels at Reshahr with which to attack vessels bound for Basra.13
Nevertheless, despite fluctuations in the importance of the Bushehr region and its immediate hinterland through time, scholars appear to be unanimous in recognizing the importance of the Borazjan complex. It is not my intention here to challenge this contention, yet it is interesting to consider what the hydrography, climate and environment of the Borazjan region, and the topographic exigencies of travel between the Iranian plateau and the coast, meant to the region’s transient population, whether bureaucrats and royal visitors passing through, or corvée laborers brought to work on the building projects attested in cuneiform sources, during the Achaemenid period. What follows is intended to initiate a conversation about some often overlooked, critical factors that would have impacted all who frequented Bushehr and its hinterland in antiquity, and followed the route linking this part of the coast with the Iranian plateau.
Persian Gulf, Borazjan, Elamite, Achaemenid, Tamukkan, Travellers.
This study has sketched out some of the difficulties of travel between Bushehr, Borazjan and the Achaemenid capitals; some of the logistical requirements of travel along that route; and some of the climatic considerations that made travel during much of the year an unpleasant experience, to say the least. These considerations naturally make one consider the Borazjan complex in a new light, not merely as impressive examples of Achaemenid monumental architecture, but as sites that could be difficult of access, uncomfortable and potential graveyards for those not in the upper echelons of society.
In that sense, some of the data presented here may contribute to the growing field of sensory studies in both the recent historical past and more remote antiquity that have become increasingly common in recent years as a means to gaining a deeper understanding of our subjects’ life experiences. Many sensory studies focus on sight — viewsheds, natural illumination and darkness within buildings — and sound — from the noise of battle to the sound of silence on the steppe.103 Others focus on smells, whether pleasant ones produced by frankincense and other aromatics in palaces and sanctuaries,104 or the stench of war, death and the battlefield.105 Sensory discomfort due to extremes of weather and environmental conditions, as well as the influence of these factors on the utilization of a specific ancient site and on its inhabitants, are less commonly treated. Govert van Driel’s study of references to weather in Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian sources, for example, made much of the cold and the importance of seasonality as a consideration in the timing of Assyrian military campaigns, but was curiously silent on the topic of heat.106 In fact, comments on extreme heat tend to be regarded as a literary trope, and the ability to withstand it a form of boasting by those who, despite scorching temperatures, managed to prevail over adverse conditions and defeat an adversary. A vivid illustration of this is provided by the literary account of Nebuchadnezzar I’s (1125-1104 BC) Elamite campaign, launched in July from the eastern Babylonian outpost of Der. ‘With the heat glare scorching like fire, the very roadways were burning like open flame….The finest of the great horses gave out, the legs of the strong man faltered.’107 Yet the unseasonable nature of the campaign also conferred a tactical advantage on Nebuchadnezzar who felt his campaign had been ‘divinely ordained, in the unexpected summer month of Tammuz (June-July). His timing made for a miserable forced march for his army because of the unbearable heat and the dried-up water sources. But this unorthodox timing also afforded Nebuchadnezzar the element of surprise when confronting the Elamite forces.’108
Another, much later example of almost unbearable heat from the same general area appears in Strabo’s description of Susiana which, he noted, had ‘a hot and scorching atmosphere.’ So intense was the heat at Susa that, ‘when the sun is hottest, at noon, the lizards and the snakes could not cross the streets in the city quickly enough to prevent their being burnt to death in the middle of the streets.’109 Such language may sound hyperbolic, but only to someone who has never visited Khuzestan in the summer. Indeed, with a modern average maximum of 46.4˚ C (115.52˚ F) and average minimum of 32˚ C (89.6˚ F) in July,110 the descriptions of Khuzestan’s summer heat in the accounts of Nebuchadnezzar I and Strabo are no exaggeration.
In the introduction to her classic study of Athens and Persia in the fifth century B.C., Margaret Miller wrote that ‘experience shows that even the wildest imagination cannot step beyond the familiar world of sensory experience.’111 Implying as it does that nothing we have not ourselves experienced in the flesh can be imagined, this assertion, I suggest, needs to be modified. On the contrary, we can and must step outside of our own compendium of sensory experiences if we are ever to have an inkling of what life was like in the past. And while we may not be able to travel on a mule from Shif to Shiraz, or sail in a small craft up and down the Persian Gulf, we can get closer to the experience of those who did these things by scrutinizing the literature of pre-modern, pre-motorized travel for experiential descriptions of places that interest us in antiquity. The many descriptions that survive from the 19th and early 20th century of travel between the Persian Gulf coast and Shiraz, via Borazjan, offer a rich body of data that helps us to better understand the exigencies of life there in the Achaemenid period, whether for corvée laborers or élite Achaemenid travellers. They afford us a fresh perspective, one that looks at the Borazjan complex not as decontextualized monuments or free-floating units of Achaemenid architecture and iconography but as buildings tethered to an environment that could be brutally harsh for most of the year, one in which travellers, whether arriving from Babylon by sea or from Pasargadae and Persepolis by land, sought refuge from an unforgiving climate of scorching sun, suffocating winds or freezing cold.
Armin Sheikhi, Morteza Hessari, Mossayeb Amiri,
year 6, Issue 19 (5-2022)
Pottery can perhaps be considered one of the most important data found in archaeological excavations in order to help clarify the unknowns of any ancient site and answer questions. This data shows one important part of human interactions in the past. By examining this data, various approaches are available to archaeologists, the prerequisite of which is to be purposeful and act correctly in pottery typology. By studying the pottery of the Parthian period of the and the spread of its types in the Persian Gulf, one of the hand, the cultural expansion of the Parthians in the south of Iran an on the other hand due to its geographical expansion in the south of the Persian Gulf, the seafaring of the Parthians in the northern and southern coasts of the Persian Gulf. The purpose of writing this article is to investigate the types of Parthian pottery in the south of Iran and to document the cultural connections between the settlements in the north and south of the Persian Gulf , then to present a picture of seafaring in the Persian Gulf and the cultural expansion of the Parthians in the Arabian Peninsula. In this article, the Parthian pottery types of the Tom-Maron will be analyzed and classified based on the archeological excavation documents of the area. The most important question in this research is the pottery characteristics of the Parthian period of the Tom-Maron, then we are looking for the question that the cultural development of the Parthian period based on the findings of the Tom-Maron was formed under what factors? This research clearly showed that based on the method of making the color of the body and the paste, 10 types of Parthian pottery can be classified in Tom-Maron. The species identified with the sites of the coasts and islands of the northern Persian Gulf, such as Qeshm Island, Makran regions, and also the southern coasts of the Persian Gulf, such as the Maliha site, form a cultural domain.
Keywords: Pottery of the Parthian, Rodan Plain, Tom-Maron, Persian Gulf.
Investigating the cultural materials of different cultural periods in the areas along the Persian Gulf, as a historical and strategic waterway, has always been of interest to rulers near and far, and has been the place of passage for ships of culture and civilizations of the East and the West for thousands of years. In the meantime, due to its location on the banks and back banks of the Persian Gulf and its vital and strategic waterways, namely the Strait of Hormuz, throughout history, the Rodan plain has a very important position from a historical-cultural, political-social, and of course, economic point of view. (Hessari, 2018).
The purpose of writing the article is to investigate the types of Parthian pottery in the south of Iran and to document the cultural connections between the settlements in the north and south of Persian Gulf. In this framework, cultural interactions will be discussed in this period in order to pottery a suitable picture of the relations between the two coasts of the Persian Gulf, which showed the cultural expansion of the Parthians through seafaring in the Persian Gulf. In this article, the pottery types of the Parthian period of Tom-Maron will be analyzed and classified based on the archeological excavation documents of the area. The most important question of this research is the pottery characteristics of the Parthian period of the Tom-Maron can the distribution of these types be a sign of cultural interactions on both sides of the Persian Gulf? Then the cultural development of the Parthian period was formed under what factors based on the findings of the Tom-Maron? This research clearly showed that based on the method of making, the color of the body and the paste in the Tom-Maron, 10 types of Parthian pottery can be classified. About 10 samples of Parthian period pottery were found in this area (Table 1). Among the prominent examples of the Parthian period, we can mention Namord and Lando (Figure 8) was found in prominent sites in the north of the Persian Gulf, such as Reyshahr (Whitechouse & Williamson, 1973). Dambkouh (Basafa, 2008: 24, PL), (row 9, table 1). Regarding the chronology of this type of pottery, Potts has classified them into two old Parthian periods, the first and second centuries AD, and the new type in the early Sassanian period (Potts, 1998: 211).
Single yellow glazed pottery (Fig 6), turquoise monochrome (Fig 7) and pottery with gray paste (Fig 5) are also examples of Parthian pottery from this area in the northern regions of the Persian Gulf , especially in the Qeshm region (Khosrowzadeh , 1392) has been obtained (rows 4,5&6 of Table 1). Other types of pottery with pea-colored paste (Fig 3) and brown brick- like paste (Fig 2) have also been introduced as pottery of this period due to their placement in the layers of the Parthian period , in terms of the comparative of these pottery with the sites of northeastern Iran, such as the Ismail Abad Neishabour site (Davari et al, 2017). In this context, it can be said that one of the most important types of pottery found in this area is Namord pottery. Considering the widespread distribution of Namord pottery in the southeast of Iran and the northern and southern coasts of the Persian Gulf, this type of pottery was probably exchanged in the Persian Gulf as a commodity in a limited and local trade between the northern and southern areas of the Persian Gulf. Although Williamson has proposed the Rodan plain and Minab region as the production area of this type of pottery (Williamson. 1972), the Namord type pottery of Tom-Maron area is also similar in terms of identifying comparable samples in areas such as Kush (Kennet 6.fig :2002). Maliha was obtained on the southern shores of the Persian Gulf.
The connection of the Persian Gulf of Iran is not limited to its geographical proximity, but this sea along with its islands and coasts has been a part of Iran’s territory and culture in different historical periods and is a symbol of the manifestations and works of Iranian culture. In this research, according to the distribution and typology of Parthian period pottery in the Tom-Maron area, the relationship of this area with the areas of the same period was investigated. Based on the present research, 10 types of Parthian period pottery were identified. The results of the typological comparisons show that the similarities between the Parthian pottery of the Rodan region and the neighboring regions, as well as their differences with the distant regions, indicate a wide connection between these regions. Based on the characteristics and typology of the pottery of Tom-Maron site and the remains of pottery kilns, it can be concluded that this site was one of the main centers of Parthian pottery production on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf. The pottery of the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf, Kerman, northeastern Iran, and the southern coastal areas of Persian Gulf have the most similarities with the pottery of Tom-Maron. Also, based on the archaeological excavations of Tom-Maron and the evidence and data obtained, it seems that the Parthian period sites in Rodan plain follow a homogeneous cultural pattern with other sites on the same horizon in the cultural area of the Persian Gulf. The examples of Parthian pottery in the southern countries of the Persian Gulf also apply due to areas from the northern Persian Gulf and its extensive production in those settlements.
year 6, Issue 19 (5-2022)
One of the key issues of the Paleolithic archaeology is pathways and expansion routes of Pleistocene human populations into Asia. Recent discovered Paleolithic sites in the southern coasts and hinterlands of Iran, indicate the importance of these zones in the Pleistocene human dispersals. The 1977 joint French-Iranian geological survey carried out by Thibault, Dufaure, Mercier and Kadjar, gave rise to one of the important contributions to Paleolithic knowledge on the northern coastline of the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea in pre-revolutionary years. During this survey, remarkable lithic assemblages were collected above a sequence of successive pediment surface, but unfortunately, the final report of Paleolithic finds, was never published. The lithic collections kept at the Paleolithic Department of National Museum of Iran. In this paper, the techno-typological characteristics of this collection is presented. The most prominent feature of this collection is the core-flake industry of the Lower Paleolithic; although we are not sure about the Acheulian evidence. The Middle Paleolithic artifacts in the collections are defined by Levallois debitages, discoid/semi-centripetal cores, and scrapers on flakes, especially transverse and oblique scrapers; however, it is not enough to attribute these finds to the Mousterian culture. The low frequencies of the blades and the lack of bladelets make it difficult to draw conclusions about the Upper/Epipaleolithic industries. The small number of blades and the presence of single platform blade/bladelet core, as well as a truncated blade, are possible evidence of Upper/Epipaleolithic presence in these assemblages. These assemblages can be considered as a new insight into technological behavior of Pleistocene hunter-gatherers in this poorly known part of the Iranian plateau. They show the high capacity of northern shores and littoral of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea for Pleistocene archaeological studies, and a notable place to test hypotheses such as Out-of-Africa and coastal expansions.
Keywords: Persian Gulf, Oman Sea, Pleistocene Archaeology, Paleolithic, Lithic industries, Coastal Dispersal.
An important aspect of Paleolithic archeology relates to pathways and routes taken by Pleistocene human groups in Asia. Discovered Paleolithic sites along the northern coasts and hinterlands of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Oman Sea (Thibault, 1977; Vita-Finzi & Copeland, 1980; Sarlak et al. 2004; Dashtizadeh, 2009, 2010, 2012a, 2012b; Ali Talesh, 2012; Biglari et al. 2012; Barfi et al. 2013; Zarei & Ravaei 2013; Anjomrooz, 2019; Rahmati & Dashtizadeh, 2019; Zarei, 2021) indicate the importance of these zones in the Pleistocene human dispersals. One of these region that produced a substantial body of evidence is the northeastern shores of the Strait of Hormuz in the Hormozgan Province.
The first Paleolithic material discovered along the southern coast of Iran was by Vita-Finzi during his 1974 and 1975 fieldwork along the Makran coast. It constituted a surface collection with Middle Paleolithic characteristics, including the use of the Levallois method (Vita-Finzi & Copeland, 1980). After that, the French-Iranian joint team with the supervision of Claude Thibault and Mohammad Hassan Kadjar surveyed this region during April and May 1977. During this mission, remarkable lithic assemblages were collected on the surface of a succession of pediment surfaces (Thibault, 1977; Dufaure, 1978). Unfortunately, the final report of this survey was never published due to the untimely death of Thibault (Thibault, 1977; Amirlou, 1986; Biglari & Shidrang 2006). The lithic assemblages kept in the Paleolithic Department of the National Museum of Iran, has been studied by the author for a Master thesis (Zarei, 2015). A small part of the survey finds was taken to Bordeaux University by Thibault for further analysis and therefore were excluded from this study (F. Biglari, personal communication, Jan 2014). In this paper, I present the techno-typological characteristic of this lithic collection.
The 1977 Joint French-Iranian Geological Mission
The French-Iranian joint field mission included the following: C. Thibault as Quaternary geologist and Paleolithic archeologist; Jean-Jacques Dufaure as geomorphologist and Jacques Mercier and M. H. Kadjar, both structural and regional geologists, all arrived together in April 1977 with base camp in Minab. On the very first day of field work along the Hassan Langi to Roudan road section, Thibault began picking up lithics material left behind on a pediment surface superposed on a magnificently exposed reverse fault. Unfortunately, with the untimely death of Thibault in a car accident during an archeological mission in Algeria, a final publication concerning these Paleolithic finds was no longer possible but accompanied with a preliminary field report (Thibault, 1977). Dufaure, also wrote a detailed review and synthesis of his observations (Dufaure, 1978). After two decades, a new French team came back to the Minab area to set up a GPS network for Neotectonic studies. Regard and colleagues also measured in situ produced 10Be in quartz boulders exposed on the top surfaces of Late Quaternary sequences (Regard et al. 2005).
With the initial establishment of Center for Paleolithic Research (later Paleolithic Department) in 2000 and officially starting this center, all lithics were taken out from warehouses of museum and organized at this center. Meanwhile, Thibault’s collection was obtained and transferred to the Paleolithic Department and the was briefly studied by Biglari and Shidrang (2006). Initially, the assemblages which consists of 430 lithics, were divided into 6 general categories based on the locations in the tags which include: Minab-Roudan Road, Minab, Sadich, Hassan Langi, and two untitled locations. These locations contain 22 sampling points based on the combination code of the tags. Due to the presence of geofacts in the initial observation, the geofacts and lithic artifacts were separated, which resulted in the identification of 160 lithics (37.2%) and 270 geofacts (62.8%).
Paleolithic research in Southern Iranian coasts, began in 1974-77 following the geological studies of east Hormozgan. During the geological survey of French-Iranian joint mission by Thibault and Kadjar in 1977, a significant lithic assemblage was collected. The typo-technological characteristics of Lower Paleolithic core-flake in these assemblages shares some similarities with Baluchistan region and Arabian Peninsula. In addition, possible artifacts attributed to Acheulian culture are comparable to the Arabian Peninsula; however, such evidence has not been reported in more northern regions such as Kerman, Fars, and Southern Zagros. On the other hand, the use of Levallois method along with some scrapers in the Middle Paleolithic period is comparable to the examples of Arabian Peninsula, Southern Zagros, Fars, and Kerman. However, these assemblages do not provide sufficient information to identify the Upper Paleolithic/Epipaleolithic culture on the southern coasts of Iran and its comparison with the neighboring regions.
The surface of the Persian Gulf has been affected by changes in the mean sea level and these changes caused the Gulf to pull back to follow the Strait of Hormuz during the Middle and Upper Pleistocene and in several phases dried completely (Rose & Petraglia, 2009; Rose, 2010; Armitage et al., 2011). According to the recent finds, it is possible that Pleistocene human groups entered the northern shores of the Persian Gulf after passing the Arabian Peninsula and crossing the dry Strait of Hormuz. However, the route of distribution from Southern Zagros to the northern shores of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman is also worth considering and must be tested. To gain more concise details regarding the Pleistocene human distribution in this region, intensive and systematic survey, excavation of in situ deposits, absolute datings and more accurate knowledge of the typo-technological characteristics are needed, that should be expected in the near future.
year 6, Issue 19 (5-2022)
Sasanian Silver Bowl at the National Museum of Iran, known as the “dancer-musicians scene”, has been one of the museum’s most archaeological works for the past sixty years. According to Ali Sami, this bowl was purchased in 1334 (1955); it is attributed to the north of Iran (Kelardasht of Mazandaran). The palm-shaped head of this bowl shows four dancer-musician-singers with four different well-known musical instruments as well as a figure of a pheasant in the center. In all previous scholarly works, as well as in the many exhibitions in which this bowl has been displayed, this work has been referred to as the motif of the “female dancers-musicians”. However, doubtful interpretations of musical instruments of the motif can be found in the same scholarly works. Obviously Iranian scholars to the internally held exhibitions have followed previously mentioned works. The author will first challenge the “femininity” of these four dancer-musician-singers and will testify the view that three of them are only masculine. Secondly, I will present a new proposal to the readers with a different interpretation of these Iranian music instruments. Also, the author considers this bowl to probably be a heritage from the Persian Gulf (southern, not northern Iran). Furthermore, I will also focus on the identity of these dancer-musicians in such a musical group scene as “Indian gypsies” or at least inspired by such a musical style. The author will also refer to two other lesser-known similar bowls of the Museum. Meanwhile, the author will present a new perspective on the date of this silver object which is based on its motif details and two more Silver Works at the National Museum of Iran. In this comparative study, I will draw a line between the three motifs (of the bowls, especially two of them) based on the two seasons of “winter and spring (or summer)”!
Keywords: Sasanian Silver Bowl, National Museum of Iran, Musician-dancers Scene, Kelardasht, India Gypsy, Persian Gulf.
Much has been said and written about the Persian Gulf. Since more than 500 years ago until now, about cultural landscapes, art, music, clothing, food styles to different harbors and etc. through foreign travelogues and Iranian documents can be attributed to colorful valuable data on the Persian Gulf. Archaeology has also testified a large tangible data about Iranian identity over the Persian Gulf. Pre-historic objects to the valuable inscription of Darius the Great obtained from the Suez Canal to other archeological finds from Bushehr, Siraf, Kharg, Qeshm, Hormoz, etc., are proof of this claim. Zoroastrianism legacy in Saudi Arabia and especially Yemen to recent Sasanian coins from the United Arab Emirates, Sasanian fortresses in Oman (cf. Potts, 2012: online)... can be proof of our historical ownership of the Persian Gulf.
Nevertheless, the article stresses on a review of a Sasanian magnificent artistic relic in the National Museum of Iran. This masterpiece frequently has been referred for at least the lasxty years. This significant object has been displayed in most of exhibitions from the inside to the abroad. This Sasanian heritage has been published in most of the catalogs of the National Museum of Iran and international exhibitions. This very beautiful Sasanian work, “silver bowl” known as the “scene of dancer-musicians” with registry number 1332, weight 575.7, diameter 22.55 cm, and height 7 cm, obtained from Kelardasht (?), Mazandaran.
ConclusionUndoubtedly, the Sasanian silver bowl at the National Museum of Iran can be studied from a new perspective. This view can challenge all previous scholarly works from two different aspects.
First, the musical instruments portrayed on this work can testify to its interrelationship with the shores of the Persian Gulf. For example, Castanet or Sinj is a typical instrument. There is a golden shipwreck’s photo (with eight musicians-singers), has some similarities with the silver bowls of the National Museum of Iran, on the website of Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore.6 According to the website, the work has been discovered from a Persian Gulf bound ship drowned near Indonesia. However, the author has doubts about authenticity of this report!
Although there are few written archaic texts but these instruments have been valid from generation to generation in Iran as endorsed by sources in Sasanian, Post-Sasanian, oral history as well as archeological documents until they have reached our time.
Most Post-Sasanian sources have preserved valuable information about Arghanun, sorena, lute (barbat) and even chime.7 Although Zoroastrian texts do not help on such a topic but the story of Khusraw ī kawādān ud rēdak (Oryan, 2004: 58) mentioned some of the best musicians: “harp-players, lute-players, wan players,8 tambour players, and reed players.”
Chime (cf. Ibn Sina)9 is one of the oldest musical instruments in southern Iran. The Haft-Joush (seven parts) chime was also one of the most common of these musical instruments; the Indian type of which (made of bronze) had a special reputation in Bushehr (Darvishi, 2004: 540,32). Type of the short handled and tied to the fingers have been (and still are) the most common chimes in southern Iran (for the same instrument, see: Gunter and Jett, 1992: 191).
Another important fact is that the production and control of the melody with these four instruments were very difficult for females (women); three of them (bowl) still considered male instruments. In Taq Bostan too, sorena and a kind of arghanun (or bagpipe, maybe nay-e anban) are played by men where females are depicted as tambourine and harp players (farmer, 1964: 96). Both of these latter instruments have always been depicted and described in this way (female).
So, the gender of the musicians will be the second key point of this object. It is as if the previous works did not pay attention to the connection between the “type of instrument and the type of gender” which, according to the tradition, they were at least skilled players.
The story of “ Khusraw ī kawādān ud rēdak “ (Oryan, 2004: 96) describes “a sweet-singing-dancer and a beauty with big breasts, wasp waist, black and long hair ...”. Here are two questions:
1. Whether the female musician-dancer figures on the Sasanian silver legacy, with big breasts, slim waist and charming disheveled hair (National Museum of Iran, cf. fig. 6) cannot be a seal of endorsing the above-mentioned Pahlavi text? If that is the case, which I believe it is:
2. Isn’t this (description) contrary to the motif of the musicians of the silver bowl at the National Museum?
This issue of course according to the type of make-up and body shape confirms that three of them are males. Therefore, in the dance-music scene of other objects, the shawl on the breast (or part of it such as Bishapur mosaic), from behind (such as the silver decanter at the National Museum) or above the head like a sunshade (fig. 9) can be seen. Here, the shawl is skillfully placed on privy parts (low body) by the craftsman in order to have observed Iranian ethics (of course with partial rotation of the body). If in other objects, the shawl plays a role in covering the breasts of women, here it covers probably their low bodies. This is not very compatible with Roman art!
In the Sasanian silver decanter at the National Museum, despite a kind of decorated forehead, the hair of the musician is hung from both sides towards the shoulders but here typical long-braided hair can remind us of Indian style which impacted the Persian Gulf coasts. However, no trace of the hair of the above mentioned musicians can be seen here, and they wear a head-gear (with two different logos on the forehead in pairs) that is fastened with a bandage under the throat (it is unlikely to be a hair strand). On this bowl, the whole body (with details) is portrayed in front and the head is turned to another side (profile), something that does not occur much with other works. The highly balanced and professional limbs of these dancer-musician-singers indicate their affiliation with a professional group. The beautiful and balanced body as well as the “hairless face” of these three male musicians plus one female, is thought to be one of the reasons for calling these four dancers females.
Furthermore, a theme rarely seen in Sasanian art is a “harmonious music group” (male and female) scene. Even in the royal hunting scene of Taq Bostan, less resemblance (coordinated group) can be found to this bowl. The musicians of Taq Bostan cannot be called a scene of a group performance.
Another similar silver bowl (fig. 10) with the same motif (four dancer-musicians from Kelardasht) at the National Museum of Iran published by S. Ayazi (2005: 92-93) already. These two bowls differentiate each other by some significant details which have never been studied. In the second bowl, the relatively “thick cover” of the musicians along with the figures of the “birds” is very significant. It seems, to me, that the first one reflects summer or spring season but the second one clearly recalls the winter season. Figures of different birds (which can be discovered in the spring season) is a part of the claim (the second one). There is also a third bowl with the same scene, in the National Museum, which I will write about in more detail in the future.
The author believes that the motifs of these three bowls are merely radiant of a “simple secular feast” (cf. Boyce and Farmer, 1990: 55; also: Gunter and Jett, 1992: 200). Obviously, the Sasanian heritages can never have been recorded without religious traces, which subconsciously ruled the artist’s mind. Hence, the meaningful name of the owner of the first bowl (Farrokh-hormozd not windad-hormozd) to the design of the black “ten” leaves of the palm branch, the pearl ring around the pheasant in the middle of the object, the number of pearls of the pearl ring, two ribbons and also the three branches in the beak (Glory, triple social casts or the doctrine of the Zoroastrianism) are part of this claim.
Although the existence of motif of birds and animals in Sasanian art (rock, art, bullae, etc...) is a normal subject, but the figure of a pheasant (center of the bowl) can remind us of the “Khorasan Art School” that goes as far as China (Akbarzadeh, 2020: 267).
The author believes that there is no connection between this scene and the one from Roman legacy of Dionysian or the goddess Anahita (Catalog of Wien, 2003: 233; Gunter and Jett, 1992: 27), as mentioned in all previous works. The following reasons can support me to challenge the previous works: “the typical oriental type of dance of these dancer-musicians, which is evident from their body shape, the pheasant figure most unrelated to the Zoroastrian goddess, the partial nudity dancers, which is not compatible with the officially known Sasanian art (but they are covered on the second bowl), their instruments, the absence of any bold religious symbols etc... supposedly for their body shape (type of dance), type of head-bands, shawl pattern, typical southern chime (with base, like pliers), dancer-musicians in group scene ...” Also, the author points the finger at India, not the Roman heritage for such a coordinated group performance that Sasanian art lacked (cf. Boyce and Farmer, 1990: 60).
The Indians have always been known as female-males dancer-musicians in group form (unlike individual Sasanian dancer-singers). Also, the figure of the peacock (bowls 2-3) can support this claim. Moreover, the presence of Indian musicians-dancers in the Sasanian period is a well-known issue. It is obvious that Bahram V (Gur), after treating the mental condition of the Iranian society, ordered many musicians from India to come to Iran and play in public. These musicians are known as “gypsies” in the history of Iran.10 In fact, the author evaluates this group of naked (and partly-covered) dancer-musicians (with a completely different body shape) on these Sasanian bowls as Indian gypsies. Their half-nakedness cannot be an Iranian tradition in dance. In a work, about such instruments, attributed to Ibn Khordadbeh (Mallah, 1963: 28; Sami, 1970: 49) narrates that: “Iranians usually played the lute with the flute and the tambourine and the sorna with the dohol (drum) and mastaj (chime) and the senj.”
The author also believes that due to the to the accuracy in construction and high technic of these valuable bowls and the processing of artistic symbols, especially such a dancer-musicians in group scene, its attribution to the eighth century AD., Post-Sasanian period (given the socio-political situation of Iran), is questionable. If this bowl(s) was made in the geographical boundary of Sasanian Fars province (including parts from Khuzestan to Fars and the whole of present-day Bushehr province) (which is strongly believed to be the case), the eighth century AD. was the most difficult period of this part of the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, the artistic details of these objects are never less, if not more beautiful than the objects of the sixth century AD. (cf. Lawergren, 2009: online). The skill in the inscribed needle-shaped of the owner’s religious name, the exact size of the body of the musicians, the branches of the grape, colored lace and other details indicate that the creation of this work can be even brighter than the eighth century AD.
Despite this, a fundamental problem will remain and that is the type of cover of the dancers on these three bowls. This coverage can mean a “seasonal difference”, that is likely to be the case. Based on this one, we should focus on the eighth century AD. The author suggests that the second bowl (covered dancers) can be a reminder of Mihragan Festival at the beginning of winter and the first one (naked) can be reminiscent of Nowruz Festival (or a summer fest). This six-month gap (between two seasons) is the least reason why the two group of the two objects can be considered the same. If we cannot opine about the time of Mihragan Festival, but the time of Nowruz Fest was not fixed at the beginning of spring in the Sasanian calendar. This event is related to the early Islamic periods and this one does not contradict the eighth century. In short, that discovery of this bowl (for whatever reason) from northern Iran will never be an excuse to consider its origin as northern, and of course this is not surprising in archeology.
year 7, Issue 23 (5-2023)
Persian Gulf, as a main trade route, has played an important role in the third millennium BCE cultural sphere of Southwest Asia. According to archaeological evidence, at least from the 5th millennium BCE, this waterway appeared to function as a channel for social interaction and exchange of material culture in the region. It seems that the Jiroft region as the hinterland of the Persian Gulf has been interacted with the contemporaneous civilizations from Indus to Babylonia via the maritime routes. The chlorite vessels produced in Jiroft have been obtained over a wide geographical range from the Indus valley to the north of Mesopotamia. The existence of the production workshops at Tepe Yahya, Hajjiabad- Varamin and Konar Sandal, and thousands of complete objects from the looted cemeteries of Jiroft, as well as their mines in Jiroft have made Halilrud region the center of production of these objects in the third millennium BCE. Tarut Island in Saudi Arabia is known as one of the ancient ports in the Persian Gulf trade sphere. More than several hundreds of fragments and complete chlorite vessels have been discovered in Tarut Island mostly from destroyed graves. Due to the large number of chlorite vessels as well as semi-finished objects, researchers of the Persian Gulf Archaeology refer to this island as a center for the production of chlorite vessels. In terms of iconography and raw material, chlorite vessels of Tarut are comparable with those recovered from the Halilrud Basin, Kerman province, Iran. In this paper, we will examine the hypothesis that Tarut was the production center of the chlorite vessels. In addition, we will discuss the relation of the Tarut and the Southeastern Iran, in particular the Jiroft region.
Keywords: Persian Gulf, Jiroft Civilization, Tarut Island, Chlorite Vessels, Marhashi.
This study aims to investigate the interactions between Tarut Island in Saudi Arabia and the Jiroft region in southeastern Iran through the chlorite objects in the Bronze Age. This island was a very important commercial port on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf during the third millennium BCE, when the newly known Jiroft Civilization prospered in southeastern Iran. Most scholars, notably Piotr Steinkeller, believe that the Halil Rud/ Jiroft region was probably known as the land of Marhaši (in Sumerian) or Parahšum (in Akkadian), the most important political counterpart of ancient Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium BCE.
One of the most significant cultural characteristics of the Jiroft civilization is notoriously the production and distribution, sometimes on long distances, of carved soft stone vessels with a quite distinct iconography, previously labeled “intercultural style”. These often beautiful and intriguing objects have been widely discussed. These artefacts actually appeared, although sometimes in limited amounts, in a very large corridor from Mesopotamia in Iraq via the Iranian plateau into the Indus valley. Mineralogical analyses on some of the ancient vessels as well as on the mines in the Jiroft highlands have confirmed their production in the southern Kerman.
The chlorite vessels’ inventory can be subdivided in two different productions, namely a “série ancienne” datable to pre-early Akkadian times (with elaborate figurative patterns), and a later “série recente”. Holly Pittman (2018) believes that the earlier group would be made exclusively with Iranian chloritic rocks, while the later one would have been made in the Arabian Peninsula from Omani rocks.
Materials and Methods
The materials of this study are mainly Bronze Age chlorite objects from both Tarut island in Saudi Arabia and the Jiroft region in SE Iran. In this study, chlorite assemblages of both regions were compared in terms of iconography and object forms to explore the cultural connections of this island with the Kerman region as the main center of production and consumption of the chlorite in the third millennium BCE. In addition, an attempt was made to explain the existence of Halil Rud/ Jiroft stone objects in Tarut island. Discovery of such a quantity of the Jiroft material in the small island of Tarut raises these important questions: Movement of people from the Jiroft region of the Tarut island happened as a colonizing group to take control of the Persian Gulf trade network in the mid third millennium BCE? Or a group of Marhashian/Jiroftian were settled in the Island as trade diasporas?
There is still ongoing discussion regarding the chronology of the cultural artifacts discovered on Tarut Island. The artifacts discovered on Tarut Island suggest that, in the early part of the third millennium BC, the island harbor was consistently used as an important hub in the Persian Gulf region. Judging from the Babylonian pottery of Early Dynastic I and II date found on Tarut, this strategically located island must have already at this time assumed a position of some significance in the exchange networks. However, even if inscribed, sculpted chlorite vessels compatible to types found on Tarut are known to date from the Early Dynastic II period onward, it appears more likely that the sculpted chlorite traded into Tarut date to the Early Dynastic III and Sargonic periods (Laursen and Steinkeller 2017:10). Various artifacts found on Tarut Island provide evidence of trade with Babylonia. Among these artifacts, the limestone statue depicting a standing nude male with clasped hands in a traditional Sumerian devotional posture is particularly noteworthy. Experts have suggested different dates for this statue, ranging from the Jemdat Nasr period (around 3000 BC) to a more plausible dating in the Early Dynastic period. Other Babylonian-made artifacts found on Tarut Island with a broad Early Dynastic I-III date include a marble macehead and a copper bull’s head that is similar to the examples found on lyres from the Royal Tombs of Ur (For more, see Laursen and Steinkeller 2017). From southeastern Iran perspective, the most noteworthy discoveries from Tarut Island are the sculpted vessels and fragments made of chlorite. These were discovered by chance by local gardeners, likely from disturbed burials. Interestingly, there is a striking difference between the amount of sculpted chlorite vessels found on Tarut Island and the small quantities that have been discovered on the Oman peninsula. Apart from the chlorite vessels, another imported finds from southeastern Iran are painted ceramics, so-called Bampur black on grey ware. They have been found in limited quantities on Tarut Island as well as in mainland Saudi Arabia. It is noteworthy that the imports from southeastern Iran ceased to appear on Tarut Island by the end of the third millennium BCE, which coincides with the decline of the Marhashi Kingdom. The available evidence from Tarut Island indicates that this harbor played a significant role in linking the neighboring civilized regions within the Persian Gulf area during the Early Bronze Age. In other words, Tarut Island served as a meeting point in the commercial networks that facilitated trade in the Persian Gulf region.
The presence of many chlorite objects in the small island of Tarut in the southern part of the Persian Gulf shows that population groups of Jiroft civilization settled in this island for some time (at least one to two centuries) in the mid-late third millennium BCE. According to the fact that the mentioned chlorite objects were obtained from the destroyed cemetery of Tarut, it is clear that these objects were placed inside the grave as the burial goods and were not brought there to be displayed and sold in the Tarut market.
Despite the fact that most of the chlorite objects obtained from Tarut are exactly the same as the samples obtained in the Halil Rud Basin, there are a number of objects with motifs that are rooted in Mesopotamian mythology, among which the image of Anzu is the most obvious. This shows that Jiroft chlorite vessels were also produced on Tarot Island, or at least on the undecorated samples of Jiroft vessels, engraving with Mesopotamian themes was done on this island.
The main issue is the reason for the presence of Jiroft civilization people in Tarut Island in the Persian Gulf. Considering that in the middle to late 3rd millennium BCE, a wide maritime trade network was formed in the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, it seems logical to imagine that a group of inhabitants of Jiroft / Marhashi civilization in the mid-late 3rd millennium BCE, as trade diasporas, have settled in this island to have control over sea trade and the movement of goods in the strategic waterway of the Persian Gulf. It is worth mentioning that in the first half of the third millennium BCE, this role was played by the Mesopotamians in Tarut Island. The provenance of Tarut artefacts has been a source of debate among archaeologists. Some scholars suggested their provenance in the southern part of the Persian Gulf even based on the chemical analyses. While the Jiroftian motifs on the vessels tell another story which makes this hypothesis questionable. More physical and chemical analyses are needed to investigate the provenance of Tarut materials.
Fereidoun Biglari, Abdolreza Dashtizadeh, Sepehr Zarei, Sarem Amini, Taher Ghasimi,
year 7, Issue 24 (8-2023)
Iran holds great significance for the question of the eastward expansion of the Acheulean hominins, as it is situated between the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent, both of which have long and rich records of the Acheulean techno complex. Despite its strategic location, Iran has produced little evidence of the Acheulean techno complex. The only notable examples have been found in the western and northwestern regions of the country. The absence of Acheulean sites in southern Iran cannot be justified. Because this region, located in the northern parts of the Persian Gulf, was one of the main dispersal routes for Acheulean hominins towards the east. Here, we present a report on the discovery of a Lower Paleolithic locality near Dehtal, located in the northern region of the Persian Gulf. Additionally, we discuss the techno-typological characteristics of the lithics found in the area. Dehtal yielded a small, but characteristic lithic assemblage, which included a handaxe, a massive scraper, a large flake, and a flake core. The raw materials used are sandstone and fossiliferous limestone rock, which can be found as cobbles and boulders in secondary contexts on the northern slopes of Par-e Lavar. In addition to these findings, two boulder cores with large removal scars were also documented in the area, indicating large flake production in this locality. The site offers a unique opportunity to study a lithic assemblage in a relatively unknown area within the distribution range of the Acheulean technocomplex.