The Absolute and Relative Chronology of Tepe Vakilabad: A Reappraisal of the Chronology of the Chalcolithic Period of Tepe Yahya in SE Iran - Journal of Research on Archaeometry
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year 5, Issue 1 (2019)                   JRA 2019, 5(1): 81-94 | Back to browse issues page

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Shafiee M, Molla Salehi H A, Eskandari N, Daneshi A. The Absolute and Relative Chronology of Tepe Vakilabad: A Reappraisal of the Chronology of the Chalcolithic Period of Tepe Yahya in SE Iran. JRA. 2019; 5 (1) :81-94
1- University of Tehran ,
2- University of Tehran
3- Jiroft University
4- ICHTO of Kerman
Abstract:   (3022 Views)
After half a century, a new excavation project was launched in Orzu’iyeh (Soghan valley), south-eastern Iran where the well-published Tepe Yahya is located. Tepe Yahya was discovered in 1967 by a survey team from Harvard University under the direction of C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky. It was occupied, with interruptions, from the late Neolithic to the early Sasanian period. Indeed, Tepe Yahya remains the main controlled excavation carried out to date within south east Iran. According to the cultural sequence of Tepe Yahya, periods VI and V appeared to be the Chalcolithic levels of the site (6th-4th Millennium BC). This paper intends to present the results of a new excavation project in this area. Due to the exciting discovery of major Bronze Age urban centers in south-eastern Iran, such as Shahr e Sukhteh (Sistan), Shahdad and Konar Sandal (Jiroft), most scholarly attention has been given to the 3rd millennium BC. As a result, the cultures preceding the Bronze Age have been often neglected, whereas the Bronze Age cultures had developed from the Chalcolithic ones. Tepe Vakilabad, as a Chalcolithic key site in the south-eastern Iran, would help us to recognize better the cultures of this era. This mound is located in the Orzu'iyeh district in the south west of Kerman province, south-eastern Iran. The area of Orzu'iyeh is known in the archeology of Iran due to the presence of Tepe Yahya and also to its strategic location. This area is a natural corridor drawn in the east-west direction connecting south of Kerman province to Fars. The eastern part of this plain includes Soghun Valley (where Tepe Yahya is situated), and the middle and western parts are respectively Dowlatabad and Vakilabad plains. This mound contains more than 4 meters of cultural layers belonging to the chalcolithic periods which reveal how important this site could be, but unfortunately, it is badly damaged and bulldozed. This paper states the results of the stratigraphy excavation of Tepe Vakilabad, where a total of 6 C-14 radiocarbon charcoal samples were collected from the only trench of this mound and analyzed by the Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) method in the laboratory of university of Lyon, France. Since the chronology of south-eastern Iran is based on the old and not very precise results of Tepe Yahya and Tal-Iblis excavations, it needs the revision. The main objective of this study was to go through the chronology table of south-eastern Iran and discuss it critically with the aid of Vakilabad and the other recent excavations results of the region, such as Tepe Dehno Shahdad. According to a comparative analysis based on the ceramics of this excavated settlement site, it could be concluded that Vakilabad belongs to Yahya V culture, and based on the absolute dating results (mostly ceramics), this site dates back to the early fifth millennium BC to the mid-fifth millennium BC. Finally, the Chalcolithic cultures of the southern Iran will be discussed in a broader context of Near East. It is obvious that the reappraisal of the chronology of this vast cultural region needs further studies, where the present paper may be able to collaborate in these researches.
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Technical Note: Original Research | Subject: Archaeometry
Received: 2019/03/20 | Accepted: 2019/06/25 | Published: 2019/07/1 | ePublished: 2019/07/1

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