Review and Source Identification of the Obsidian Tools of Ali Kosh Tepe Dehloran Plain - Journal of Research on Archaeometry
year 5, Issue 2 (2019)                   JRA 2019, 5(2): 1-13 | Back to browse issues page

DOI: 10.29252/jra.5.2.1

XML Persian Abstract Print

1- Assitant professor, Department of Archaeology ,
2- Assitant professor, Department of Archaeology
3- Professor, Archaeometry Laboratory, Research Reactor Center, University of Missouri
4- M.A. Graduated of Archeology, University of Neyshabur
5- Ph.D Candidate of Archaeology, University of Tarbiat Modares
6- Cultural heritage, handicraft and tourism organization of Ilam province
Abstract:   (796 Views)
Obsidian is one of the volcanic rocks that can be turned into glass as it cools rapidly. The remarkably high sharpness of the edges of the tools made from these rocks has led it to attract the attraction of pre-historic people quickly. The limited resources of this rock in the Near East and the Caucasus have made it possible for researchers to identify the chemical characteristics of each source for provenance purposes. The first sign of the obsidian exchange in the Near East dates back to the New Paleolithic period and in the Shannidar Cave in Iraqi Kurdistan, and has continued up to the end of the Chalcolithic period. The geological structure of Iran and the possible availability of such sources in Iran, as well as the reports on the existence of tools with unknown sources, strengthened the idea of obsidian sources in Iran. Previous results showed that all specimens of Tapeh Ali Kosh belong to unknown sources; and the previous report in this regard may be false due to the fact that no complete database of all available sources were known, since such researches have been in their inchoate stages. Based on the data obtained, Tapeh Ali Kosh was actually the most important site in the southwest of Iran during the Neolithic period and was the basis of Ilam chronology. A total of 347 obsidian fragments (9% of the total stone tools) were found in Tapeh Ali Kosh and in Buz Mordeh phases. In the Ali Kosh phase, 2% of the tools belong to obsidian instruments (474 pieces). However, in the Buz Mordeh phase, a decline in the proportion of tools was observed. At this stage, the number of obsidian instruments equals to 417 pieces, which includes 1.7% of the tools. Some of the researchers of obsidians in Iran, since the beginning of this kind of studies, due to the few reports about the samples of unknown sources and also to the volcanic structure of different regions of Iran, have always investigated the obsidian sources which are inside Iran. While, Tapeh Ali Kosh in Deh Luran plain is one of the most important sites, which is one of the first studied archaeological sites on obsidian provenance. Among the samples obtained from this site, some specimens from unknown sources have been reported. The main questions of this study were: 1- If more examples be analyzed, new sources could be identified? 2- Considering the identification of various sources and new subsources in the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Afghanistan, and the Arabian Peninsula, samples from this new source are among the Tapeh Ali Kosh tools? 3- Because of extensive studies have been carried out on obsidian sources and subsources in different regions; are there any samples from Tapeh Ali Kosh with unknown source? In this research, some specimens were selected to evaluate such ideas and theories after more than 50 years. Twenty one obsidian artifacts were collected from Tapeh Ali Kosh for the study. All specimens were surface finds and include blades, flakes, and debitage ranging in size from 2 to 4 cm. All 21 samples were sent to the Archaeometry Laboratory at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) for analysis by X-ray fluorescence (pXRF). A Bruker III-V portable spectrometer was used for the pXRF analysis. Twelve elements (including K, Ti, Mn, Fe, Zn, Ga, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Nb, and Th) could be measured in each sample, but only six of these (Fe, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, and Nb) are useful for provenance of the obsidian artifacts. The results showed that two specimens were from Nemrut/Bingol (specimens no. 3 and 13), and 4 specimens were from Meydan Dag, i.e. specimens no. 6, 9, 10, and 16. The remaining 15 specimens belong to Nemrut Dag B. Based on the results obtained, it is known that the specimens found at Tapeh Ali Kosh have been supplied from at least two, and at most three sources, and from one unknown source. While in other study conducted on Chogha Ahowan and Chia Sabz specimens, no unknown specimens have been reported.
Full-Text [PDF 1220 kb]   (201 Downloads)    
Technical Note: Original Research | Subject: Archaeometry
Received: 2019/10/11 | Accepted: 2019/12/30 | Published: 2019/12/30 | ePublished: 2019/12/30

1. Abdi K. Obsidian in Iran from the Epipalaeolithic period to the Bronze Age. Persiens antike Pracht. 2004:148-53.
2. Abedi A, Vosough B, Razani M, B. Kasiri M, Steiniger D, Ebrahimi G. The First Obsidian Source in North-Western Iran for Provenance of Local Prehistoric Lithic Artifacts. JRA. 2019; 5 (1) :1-15. [in Persian] [] [عابدی اکبر، وثوق بهرام، رازانی مهدی، باقرزاده کثیری مسعود، اشتاینیگر دانیل، ابراهیمی قادر. شناسایی اولین منابع ابسیدین در شمال‬ غرب ایران جهت منشایابی منابع بومی آثار پیش از تاریخی. پژوهه باستان‌سنجی. ۱۳۹۸; ۵ (۱) :۱-۱۵.] [DOI:10.29252/jra.5.1.1]
3. Abedi A, Vosough B, Razani M, Kasiri Mb, Steiniger D, Ebrahimi G. Obsidian Deposits from North-Western Iran and first Analytical Results: Implications for Prehistoric Production and Trade. Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry. 2018 Apr 1;18(2).
4. Aivatwand M. Sources of Obsidian Artifact in Tape Chiapahn with Spectroscopy of XRF, M.A thesis, Literature and Humanity, University of Tarbiat Modares Tehran; 2009. [in Persian] ]ایوتوند محمد. منشأیابی ابسیدین‌های تپه چیا‌پهن با روش طیف‌سنجی XRF، پایان‌نامه کارشناسی‌ارشد، دانشگاه تربیت مدرس تهران؛ 1388. [
5. Blackman MJ. Provenance studies of Middle Eastern obsidian from sites in highland Iran.
6. Burney CA. The excavations at Yanik Tepe, Azerbaijan, 1961 second preliminary report. Iraq. 1962;24(2):134-52. [] [DOI:10.2307/4199724]
7. Burney CA. The excavations at Yanik Tepe, Azerbaijan, 1962: third preliminary report. Iraq. 1964;26(1):54-61. [] [DOI:10.2307/4199761]
8. Cann JR, Renfrew C. The characterization of obsidian and its application to the Mediterranean region. InProceedings of the Prehistoric Society 1964 Dec (Vol. 30, pp. 111-133). Cambridge University Press. [] [DOI:10.1017/S0079497X00015097]
9. Chataigner C, Poidevin JL, Arnaud NO. Turkish occurrences of obsidian and use by prehistoric peoples in the Near East from 14,000 to 6000 BP. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. 1998 Oct 1;85(1-4):517-37. [] [DOI:10.1016/S0377-0273(98)00069-9]
10. Chaychi, A. A. Obsidian Provenance Studies of the Prehistoric Sites of Eastern Lake Urmia Region and Mapping their Spatial Distributions, Ph.D thesis, Literature and Humanity, University of Tehran. 2008
11. Coleman ME. Radioanalytical multi-elemental analysis: new methodology and archaeometric applications (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri--Columbia).
12. Darabi H, Glascock MD. The source of obsidian artefacts found at East Chia Sabz, Western Iran. Journal of archaeological science. 2013 Oct 1;40(10):3804-9. [] [DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2013.04.022]
13. Darabi H, Mostafapour S, Ghaderi H, Bahramiyan S. An Early Neolithic Flint-Knapping Spot from Ali Kosh, Southwestern Iran.
14. Darabi H. Revisiting Stratigraphy of Ali Kosh, Deh Luran Plain. Pazhohesh-ha-ye bastanshenasi Iran, 2018; 8 (16): 27-42. [in Persian] ]دارابی حجت. بازنگری لایه‌نگاری تپه علی کش، دشت دهلران. پژوهش‌های باستان‌شناسی ایران، 1397: 8(16): 27-42[.
15. Dixon JE, Cann JR, Renfrew C. Obsidian and the origins of trade. Scientific American. 1968 Mar 1;218(3):38-47.[] [DOI:10.1038/scientificamerican0368-38]
16. Farshi J F. The origin of obsidians recovered from Nader tapeh of Aslandoz by PIXE analysis method. Journal of Bastan Shenasi and Pazhohesh-haye mianreshteie, 2006; 3 (2): 32-25. [in Persian] ]فرشی جلالی فاطمه. تعیین منشأ ابسیدین‌های به‌دست‌آمده از نادر تپه اصلاندوز با استفاده از روش آنالیز پیکسی، دوفصلنامه باستان‌شناسی و پژوهش‌های باستان‌شناسی و مطالعات میان‌رشته‌ای، 1385؛ 3(2): 25-32. .[
17. Frahm E. Distinguishing Nemrut Dağ and Bingöl A obsidians: geochemical and landscape differences and the archaeological implications. Journal of Archaeological Science. 2012 May 1;39(5):1436-44. [] [DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2011.12.038]
18. Gautier J. E and Lampre, G. Fouilles de Mousian, 1905; 72-73. [in French]
19. Ghorabi S. Analyzing of Spatial and local of Trading Resource and ways of obsidian tools prehistory in North West of Iran. Ph.D Thesis In Archaeology, University of Tarbiat Modares Tehran; 2010. [in Persian] ]غرابی سهیلا. تحلیل فضایی و مکانی منابع و راه‌های تجاری ابزارهای ابسیدین پیش‌ازتاریخ در شمال غرب ایران، پایان‌نامه دکتری باستان‌شناسی. دانشگاه تربیت مدرس تهران؛ 1389[.
20. Glascock MD, Ferguson JR. Report on the analysis of obsidian source samples by multiple analytical methods. University of Missouri Research Reactor, Columbia. 2012.
21. Gratuze B, Barrandon JN, Isa KA, Cauvin MC. Non‐destructive analysis of obsidian artefacts using nuclear techniques: investigation of provenance of Near Eastern artefacts. Archaeometry. 1993 Feb;35(1):11-21. [] [DOI:10.1111/j.1475-4754.1993.tb01020.x]
22. Hole F, Flannery KV, NEELY J. Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Deh Luran Plain: an early village sequence from Khuzistan, Iran. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michi-gan, Memoirs No. 1. Ann Arbor. 1969. [] [DOI:10.3998/mpub.11395036]
23. Howe B. Karim Shahir. Prehistoric Archaeology Along the Zagros Flanks, University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 1983:23-157.
24. Khademi Nadooshan F, Philips SC, Safari M. WDXRF spectroscopy of obsidian tools in the northwest of Iran. International Association for Obsidian Studies Bulletin. 2007;37:3-6.
25. Khazaee M, Glascock MD, Masjedi P, Abedi A, Nadooshan FK. The origins of obsidian tools from Kul Tepe, Iran. Int. Assoc. Obsidian Stud. Bull. 2011;45:14-7.
26. Khazaee M, Glascock MD, Masjedi P, Nadoshan FK, Farsani RS, Delfan M, Mansori A, Sodaie B, Dolatyari A. Sourcing the obsidian of prehistoric tools found in western Iran to southeastern Turkey: a case study for the sites of Eastern Chia Sabz and Chogha Ahovan. Anatolian Studies. 2014;64:23-31. [] [DOI:10.1017/S0066154614000039]
27. Mahdavi A, Bovington C. Neutron activation analysis of some obsidian samples from geological and archaeological sites. Iran. 1972 Jan 1:148-51. [] [DOI:10.2307/4300472]
28. Moorey PR. Ancient Mesopotamian materials and industries: the archaeological evidence. Eisenbrauns; 1999.
29. Moret A. Histoire de l'Orient. Presses universitaires de France; 1941.
30. Nadooshan FK, Abedi A, Glascock MD, Eskandari N, Khazaee M. Provenance of prehistoric obsidian artefacts from Kul Tepe, northwestern Iran using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science. 2013 Apr 1;40(4):1956-65. [] [DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2012.12.032]
31. Nadooshan FK, Ayvatwand M, Deghanifar H, Glascock MD, Colby Phillips S. Report on the Chogabon site, a new source of obsidian artifacts in west-central Iran. IAOS Bulletin. 2010 Feb;42:9-12.
32. Niknami KA, Amirkhiz AC, Glascock MD. Provenance studies of Chalcolithic obsidian artefacts from near Lake Urmia, northwestern Iran using WDXRF analysis. Archaeometry. 2010 Feb;52(1):19-30. [] [DOI:10.1111/j.1475-4754.2009.00474.x]
33. Nori S., Niknami K., Ajurlo B., Alizadehh S. M. Preliminary Analysis on recovered Obsidians from tapeh Bueino of Khodaafarin by PIXE method. In first and second national conference on sciensific interpretation in archaeometry and cultural heritage resortion. Edited by Mehdi Razani and Bahram Ajurlo, 2013; 17-35. [in Persian] ]نوری سمیه، کمال‌الدین نیکنامی، آجورلو بهرام، علیزاده سولا محمد. تحلیل مقدماتی ابسیدین‌های یافته شده از کاوش تپه بوینو خداآفرین به روشPIXE به کوشش مهدی رازانی و بهرام آجورلو، اولین و دومین همایش ملی کاربرد تحلیل‌های علمی در باستان‌سنجی و مرمت میراث فرهنگی، 1391 و 1392: 17-35.[
34. Orange M, Carter T, Le Bourdonnec FX. Sourcing obsidian from Tell Aswad and Qdeir 1 (Syria) by SEM-EDS and EDXRF: Methodological implications. Comptes Rendus Palevol. 2013 Mar 1;12(3):173-80. [] [DOI:10.1016/j.crpv.2012.11.001]
35. Pirani B., Shanbehzadeh A. Tape Alikosh. Ilam: Barg Azin publication; 2010. [in Persian] ]پیرانی بیان، شنبه‌زاده عبدالمالک. تپه علی کش، ایلام: انتشارات برگ‌آذین؛ 1389. [
36. Rafifar J. Obsidian circulation and its earliest cultural-technological exchanges in Iran. Journal of bastanshenasi va tarikh. 1991; 5(2): 14-25. [in Persian] ]رفیع‌فر جلال‌الدین. رواج ابسیدین و کهن‌ترین تبادلات فرهنگی تکنولوژیکی آن در ایران، مجله باستان‌شناسی و تاریخ. 1370؛ 5(2): 14-25.[
37. Rafifar J. Prehistory Kohbanan. Journal of the Faculty of Literature and Humanities of Shahid Bahonar, Kerman. 1993; 4 (2): 343-353. [in Persian] ] رفیع‌فر جلال‌الدین. کوهبنان پیش‌ازتاریخ، مجله دانشکده ادبیات و علوم انسانی شهید باهنر کرمان. 1372؛ 4(2): 343-353.[
38. Rafifar J. Think again in Deh Luran Industries. Journal of bastanshenasi va tarikh. 1993; 7(2): 10-25. [in Persian] ] رفیع‌فر جلال‌الدین. تأملی دوباره در صنایع دهلران، مجله باستان‌شناسی و تاریخ. 1372؛ 7(2): 10-25.[
39. Redman CL. The Çayönü Chipped Stone Industry: the 1968 and 1970 Excavation Seasons. Prehistoric Village Archaeology in South Eastern Turkey. 1982:17-72.
40. Renfrew C, Dixon JE, Cann JR. Further analysis of Near Eastern obsidians. InProceedings of the Prehistoric Society 1969 Feb (Vol. 34, pp. 319-331). Cambridge University Press. [] [DOI:10.1017/S0079497X0001392X]
41. Renfrew C, Dixon JE, Cann JR. Obsidian and early cultural contact in the Near East. InProceedings of the Prehistoric Society 1966 Dec (Vol. 32, pp. 30-72). Cambridge University Press. [] [DOI:10.1017/S0079497X0001433X]
42. Renfrew C, Dixon JE. Obsidian Hydration Dating. Adv. Archaeol. Museum Sci., New York, London. 1977:297-321.
43. Renfrew C. The later obsidian of Deh Luran-the evidence of Chagha Sefid. Studies in the Archaeological History of the Deh Luran Plain. 1977:289-311.
44. Renfrew CO. The sources and supply of the Deh Luran obsidian. Prehistory and Human Ecology on the Deh Luran Plain. Memoirs of the Museum of Anthropology. 1969;1:429-34.
45. Shahrokhi R. Determination of Source of Obsidian Tools Discovered in Shahryry by X.R.F Method, M.A thesis, Literature and Humanity, University of Tarbiat Modares Tehran, 2006. [in Persian] ]شاهرخی سیده راضیه. شناسایی منابع ابسیدین در محوطه شهریری اردبیل با استفاده از روشXRF ، پایان‌نامه کارشناسی‌ارشد، دانشگاه تربیت مدرس تهران؛ 1384. [
46. Voight M. Hajji Firuz Tepe, Iran: the Neolithic Settlement Hasanlu Excavation Report I (University Museum Monograph 50). Philadelphia: University Museum. 1983.
47. Weisgerber G. Decorative Stones in the Ancient Orient (Lapis lazuli,t urquoise, agate, carneole), Iranica, 2004: 27, 64-75.
48. Wright GA, Gordus AA. Distribution and utilization of obsidian from Lake Van sources between 7500 and 3500 BC. American Journal of Archaeology. 1969 Jan 1;73(1):75-7. [] [DOI:10.2307/503380]
49. Wright GA. Obsidian analyses and prehistoric Near Eastern trade: 7500 to 3500 BC Anthropological Papers. Museum of anthropology, University of Michigan. 1969;37. [] [DOI:10.3998/mpub.11396556]
50. Wright H., Naomi M., Neely J. A., Redding R. W. A Late Susiana society in South westerm Iran. In: Iranian World; Essays on Iranian Art and Archaeology. Presented to Exat O. Negahban. Edited by Abbas Alizadeh, Yousef Majidzadeh and Sadegh Malek Shahmirzadi. Iran University Press, 1991; 64-79.