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year 6, Issue 1 (2020)                   JRA 2020, 6(1): 6-0 | Back to browse issues page

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Fotuhi Dilanchi E, Darabi H, Heydari Guran S. A Micromorphological Analysis of the Neolithic site of Mahtaj, Behbahan Plain. JRA. 2020; 6 (1) :6-0
1- , Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran
2- , Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran ,
3- Neanderthal Museum, Germany
Abstract:   (134 Views)
One of the long-lasting discussions concerning PPN sites in the Iranian plateau deals with the issue of seasonal or permeant settlements that is directly related to level of human mobility during this period. Meanwhile, in addition to the normal archaeological finds, understanding the site formation processes -as a new approach- and the kinds of on-site human activities are also increasingly of importance. In this regard, we examined the archaeological deposits of the Late PPN site of Tapeh Mahtaj. The site is located on the fine and fertile sediments of the Behbahan plain, south-western Iran, close to the foothill of the Zagros Mountains. During the excavation in 2015, a Micromorphological sample was taken from the north trench-section of the site where it provided a maximum amount of its deposits. The results of site formations analyses by thin section studies in the Tepeh Mahtaj identified several occupational phases as sequence of human activities. This study reveals living floors associated with plastering, infillings, numerous charcoal and bone fragments, faece pigments, organic materials and exciting mineral elements such as phosphate. All these finds present the nature of human activities in the Mahtaj site during the time spanning from late 8th to early 7th Millennium BC. One of the most interesting results of the Micromorphological analysis is the discovery of a dung pellet in the lowest stage of the site occupation. This find shows that the site was probably used as seasonal campsite for mobile pastoralists during the late 8th millennium BC.  Additionally, the observation trough thin sections such as bioturbations, temperature fluctuations effects (clay cracks), and twist flow in deposits by freeze/thaw, diffused iron oxide nodules indicate a short-term seasonal use of the site during the cool, wet periods.  Overall, the site formation study in Mahtaj matches with the archaeological evidence such as the low density of archaeological finds and the low volume as well as nature of the deposits remained. 
Technical Note: Original Research | Subject: Archaeometry
Received: 2020/03/1 | Accepted: 2020/07/20 | Published: 2020/06/30 | ePublished: 2020/06/30

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