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The Iranian Plateau during the Bronze Age

 | 
Jan-Waalke Meyer
, 
Emmanuelle Vila
, 
Marjan Mashkour
, 
et al.

Urbanisation in Eastern Iran

Preliminary report on the first season of excavations at Tepe Chalow

New GKC (BMAC) finds in the plain of Jajarm, NE Iran

Ali A. Vahdati, Raffaele Biscione, Riccardo La Farina, Marjan Mashkour, Margareta Tengberg, Homa Fathi et Fatemeh Azadeh Mohaseb

Résumé

La première saison de la fouille archéologique du site pré- et protohistorique de Tepe Chalow dans le nord de la province du Khorasan au nord-est de l’Iran a été menée par une mission conjointe irano-italienne en automne 2011. Cette équipe conjointe a ouvert 9 tranchées dans la zone centrale et 28 petits sondages à la périphérie du site pour évaluer l’épaisseur et l’extension des niveaux archéologiques. L’analyse archéologique du matériel et des données de la fouille montre l’influence de différentes régions culturelles comprenant Damghan (Hissar I‑II) et la plaine de Gorgan (Shah Tepe III‑II) respectivement au sud et au nord du massif de l’Elbourz, ainsi que la zone des piémonts du Kopet-dagh septentrionnal dans le sud du Turkmenistan (NMZ III, VI).
Un des résultats les plus importants de la première campagne est la découverte d’une vaste nécropole du milieu et de la fin de l’âge du Bronze avec une culture matérielle de Namazga VI, nommée “BMAC”. Un total de 6 tombes avec du matériel BMAC/GKC ont été fouillées lors de la première saison. Elles contenaient non seulement des objets de luxe mais aussi des objets ordinaires, domestiques, et de la céramique identique aux assemblages contemporains de Bactriane et de Margiane.
Les études bio-archéologiques de la première saison de fouille à Tepe Chalow révèlent que l’agriculture et l’élevage étaient des composantes importantes des activités économiques du site tout au cours de la séquence d’occupation.

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 Francfort 1994; Lamberg-Karlovsky 1994.
  • 2 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

1“Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex” (BMAC) is a term coined by Viktor I. Sarianidi in the late 1970s to define the middle Bronze Age culture of Central Asia (ca. 2300-1700 BC). His excavations in the Dashly Oasis of Afghanistan allowed a preliminary understanding of this archaeological complex. Later on, more extensive excavations in Turkmenistan at Togolok and Gonur, together with the excavations of Akhmadali Askarov at Sapalli-depe and Jarkutan in Uzbekistan, gave a clearer definition to this highly developed and complex Bronze Age civilization. It was also called “Oxus Civilization” by certain scholars1 and more recently “Greater Khorasan Civilization”2 or GKC, because of its area of origin and distribution. This name will be used throughout the present article.

  • 3 Amiet 1986.
  • 4 Thornton 2013, p. 194‑195.
  • 5 Thornton 2013, p. 194‑195.
  • 6 Biscione and Vahdati in press.
  • 7 Lamberg-Karlowsky and Potts 2001, p. XXXVII.

2Archaeological research indicates extensive contacts between the GKC and a fairly vast region going from the Indus valley on the east to Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf area to the west and south. In Iran the presence of GKC luxury objects in Susa3, Kerman province at Shahdad, Khurab, Khinaman, Jiroft and other sites4, Gorgan and Damghan plains5, Tabas-Ferdows region and Sistanin the south6 suggest a vast and complex trade network connecting the GKC zone with these distant regions. However, it is important to note that almost everywhere outside Central Asia GKC materials are scant in number, usually produced from valuable materials, and manufactured with fine craftsmanship7. They are luxury objects such as miniature columns, hand-bags, “scepters”, and other objects made of alabaster and chlorite, usually associated with local assemblages.

  • 8 Vahdati 2014.
  • 9 Sorush and Yusefi 1393/2014.
  • 10 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

3Other sites in Khorasan province including Nishabur, Sabzevar, Bojnord, Jajarm in the north8, Gavand and Razeh in the south9 and in Sistan10, include not only luxury objects but also a massive presence of pottery, suggest a very different model of expansion.

4Recent excavations of the joint Irano-Italian team at Tepe Chalow in the plain of Jajarm have brought to light a necropolis in which not only the luxury objects but also the ordinary, household objects and the pottery are identical to the GKC ones. This paper exposes the results of the first season of excavation at Chalow and briefly introduces the newly found GKC assemblage from the site.

The site

5The site of Tepe Chalow is situated in the easternmost part of the plain of Jajarm, 3 km east of Sankhast and approximately 60 km west of Esfarayen in North Khorasan Province, NE Iran (fig. 1). The agricultural plain of Jajarm and Esfarayen is separated from the Atrak valley to the north by the Ālādāgh Mountain range, an eastern extension of the Alborz mountain system, and it is limited to the south by the desert lands and saline grounds around the Kal-e Shur River that flows in a wide arc from Safiabad (ca. 100 km NW of Nishabur) in the east to Jajarm in the west. The geographical position of the plain between the mountains and the desert made it a natural corridor for east-west traffic.

Fig. 1 – Map showing location of Tepe Chalow in northeastern Iran.

Fig. 1 – Map showing location of Tepe Chalow in northeastern Iran.

6The site is located at the end of the ancient delta of Darband River at 56°53'7.01" E, 37° 6'12.78" N at an altitude of 980 m above sea level. It is consisted of a series of low mounds, maximum 2 meters above the surrounding plain, and it covers an area of more than 40 hectares (fig. 2). On the surface there is a dense pottery scatter, especially in the eastern side, where the site undergoes agricultural activities. This pottery shows a sequence from Late Chalcolithic to the Middle/Late Bronze Age characterized by GKC materials.

Fig. 2 – Location of excavated trenches on the contour map of Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 2 – Location of excavated trenches on the contour map of Tepe Chalow.
  • 11 Arne 1945, p. 177.

7Chalcolithic pottery can be grouped into several distinct types: Black-on-Red and Black-on-Buff painted pottery of Hissar I/IIA type (fig. 3a-d), Caspian Black-on-Red pottery of Shah Tepe III type (fig. 3e-f), Polished grey ware with distinctive incised, grooved, ribbed, and knobbed decorations (fig. 3g-h) very well known in the Gorgan plain (e.g. Shah Tepe III/IIb)11. There are also a type of plain, coarse pottery with mineral temper and usually with blackened surface, commonly known as “kitchen ware” in the pottery assemblage of Chalow.

  • 12 Masson 1961, pl. V, no. 11.
  • 13 Sarianidi 1965, tab. X, no. 31; tab. XI, no. 42.
  • 14 Sarianidi 1965, tab. VIII, no. 13.
  • 15 Biscione 1973, p. 113, fig. 8.9; p. 114, fig. 8.10 g-h, j-k, m.
  • 16 Fairservis 1956, p. 258 designs 195‑202; p. 259, designs 203‑209.

8There are also rare examples of black on red painted pottery similar to Namazga III pottery. These are the fragments presented in figure 3g, similar to a fragment from Kara Depe12; figure 3i, similar to fragments from Geoksyur 1 and Chong-depe13; perhaps the fragment in figure 7c, somehow similar to a fragment from Geoksyur 114. It should be remarked anyway that the most typical characters and motifs of the NMZ III pottery, like bichromy, stepped patterns – that were found also in places very far from southern Turkmenia at Shahr-i Sokhta15 and the Quetta Valley16 – and stylized animals (leopards, goats and eagles) are conspicuously absent.

Fig. 3 – Different types of Chalcolithic pottery at Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 3 – Different types of Chalcolithic pottery at Tepe Chalow.
  • 17 Sarianidi 1976, fig. 8, no. 1‑2; fig. 11, no. 11‑12, 14.
  • 18 Kircho 1999, fig. 12, no. 9‑10, 13, 16, 19.
  • 19 Khlopin 1981, fig. 5.
  • 20 Sarianidi 1976, fig. 11, no. 4‑7, 10.
  • 21 Sarianidi 1976, fig. 9, no. 1‑5; Kircho 2014, fig. 4, no. 3‑4.
  • 22 Kircho 1999, fig. 11, no. 4, 22; fig. 12, no. 16, 19, 23.

9The grey ware is unquestionably dominant in the surface collection. Pottery forms include several types of beakers, footed bowls with everted sides or sharp carination, jars with round body and everted rims, spouted vessels, etc. (fig. 4). While the technical aspects and the usual decorations of the grey ware of Chalow is very similar to the late fourth millennium grey ware of Gorgan plain and the few incised grey ware from graves of Hissar II some of the pottery forms are very similar to the ones found in southern Turkmenistan: the sharply carinated beakers have parallels at Ak-depe17, Kara-depe18, and Parkhai II cemetery19, the bowls on small conical foot were found at Kara-depe20; and certain decoration like parallel or wavy lines very close the one to the other recall the pottery of late Ak-depe IV (NMZ IV/V) in southern Turkmenistan21 and the grey ware of Kara-depe22.

Fig. 4 – Selected grey ware of Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 4 – Selected grey ware of Tepe Chalow.

10Another group of pottery abundant on the surface is a plain, buff and red-orange ware, typical of GKC.

11Moreover, a number of distinctive, prestige GKC objects such as stone and bronze artifacts have also been found on the surface. Among them there are one stone rod/“scepter” (fig. 5a), several stone weights/hand-bags, one decorated with the relief image of an ibex on both sides (fig. 5b-d), grooved stone columns (fig. 5e-f), alabaster vases and mace-heads (fig. 6f-i), chlorite objects such as a kohl-container (fig. 6j), as well as typical bronze objects including a compartmented seal (fig. 6d), a miniature mattock (fig. 6b), a crescent-shaped ear-ring (fig. 6c), bracelets (fig. 6a), tanged daggers (fig. 6e), “tacks” with pyramidal or conical heads, etc. Similar objects have also been found in the excavation at the site.

12One of the peculiar aspects of the site of Chalow evidenced in the first campaign is its spatial organization. Chalow is not a mound with a vertical stratigraphy, like most of the sites of Iran, but it is characterized by a horizontal stratigraphy, with the settlement extending through the time in surface and not in height. Apparently, with the westwards shift of the Darband River course through the time, the settlement also gradually moved westwards. Hence the earliest pottery of Chalow, including several types of Late Chalcolithic painted pottery, is abundant on the eastern side of the settlement, but moving to the west this Late Chalcolithic pottery gives way to GKC pottery which is the dominant ceramic class on the western part of the site. Here in the western half of the site a GKC necropolis was found and our excavation is focused on it.

Fig. 5 – A group of stone luxury objects from excavation (d) and surface (a-c, e-f) of Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 5 – A group of stone luxury objects from excavation (d) and surface (a-c, e-f) of Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 6 – Bronze artifacts (a-e) and stone (alabaster: f-i and chlorite: j) objects from surface of Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 6 – Bronze artifacts (a-e) and stone (alabaster: f-i and chlorite: j) objects from surface of Tepe Chalow.

The excavations

13The site of Chalow was first located by Ali A. Vahdati in 2006 during “general surveys” along the Kal-e Shur River basin, but remained unexcavated until the autumn of 2011. In this year a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltà dell’Egeo e del Vicino Oriente (ICEVO) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), that was aimed at field collaboration in several regions of Iran including the Kal-e Shur River Basin in northern Khorasan, NE Iran. Excavation at Tepe Chalow and survey of the surrounding area are part of the same joint programme with the general aim of studying the remains of the pre- and proto-historic communities from Chalcolithic period to the Iron Age. Particularly, we were interested in the study of interactions between this part of northeastern Iran and the central plateau and the Gorgan plain in the one hand, and with the piedmont zone of southern Turkmenistan on the other. To that end, the joint Iranian-Italian team carried out the first season of excavation at Tepe Chalow from 9th October to 18th November 2011. The joint team opened 9 trenches in various parts of the site that produced invaluable information about the archaeological sequence and spatial organization of the site. In addition 28 small testing pits (1×1 m) were dug systematically in the periphery of the site to establish the extension of the archaeological layers, an information instrumental for the protection and the safe-keeping of the archaeological complex to avoid further damage by agricultural and other economic activities.

 

14Trench 1 was a 5×5 m square opened in one of the highest point in the northern part of the site, where a good number of both grey ware and GKC potsherds were scattered on the surface. In addition, a handful of bronze/copper fragments including broken tacks with conical or pyramidal heads, fragments of bronze/copper sheet vessels, copper prills, and tiny slags pieces were found. According to local farmers in the recent past this location, like many other parts of the site, has been bulldozed, taking away a couple of meters of deposit, and ploughed for cultivation.

  • 23 See for instance Arne 1945, p. 172‑185, fig. 301, 308a-b, 345a, 348‑349; Abbasi 1390/2011, p. 72, (...)

15The trench was excavated to a depth of 3.8 m below the surface and altogether 14 stratigraphic units (SU) were distinguished. The uppermost layers were totally disturbed and modern plough marks were found all over the trench on the surface of SU 2. The pottery associated with the first intact layers (SU 2‑5) is a fine polished grey ware with ribbed, knobbed and incised decoration and a few rather coarse red-orange sherds with large calcite temper, sometimes blackened by fire, which is usually called “cooking ware”. A few fragments of coarse perforated pottery with gravel admixture were also found in SU 2. Among the distinguishable forms of the grey ware we may refer to the hemispherical bowls with a plain rim, carinated jars of different shapes with splayed rims, and footed bowls of the type known as “fruit stands”. This type consist of a bowl supported on a cylindrical, usually hollow-stem which in its turn rests upon a conical foot. Many fragmentary stems of this type come from the upper layers of Trench 1 (SU 1‑5) most of which are decorated with ribbing, grooves, and incisions. Both the shapes and the decorations of the grey ware found in the upper layers of Trench 1 find close parallels in the grey ware of Late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age layers of such sites as Shah Tepe (III/IIb), Tureng Tepe (IIA), Yarim Tepe, Narges Tepe (IIIc) in the Gorgan plain dated to the late 4th millennium BC23. This dating is corroborated by a C14 determination of a charcoal sample from SU 5 showing a date between 3337-3208 cal BC (tab. 1).

Tab. 1 – Radiocarbon dates for three samples from Trenches 1 and 4, analyzed at the C14 Chrono Center of the Queens University, Belfast.

Tab. 1 – Radiocarbon dates for three samples from Trenches 1 and 4, analyzed at the C14 Chrono Center of the Queens University, Belfast.

* Queen’s University of Belfast.

16In the upper layers, besides potsherds, a number of small finds discovered including a small figurine of zebu and a spindle-whorl of terracotta, a fine, retouched flint blade from SU 3 and a pottery scoop with shallow, oval blade from SU 4.

17From SU 5 excavation area was reduced to a 2×2 m square to the NW corner of the Trench. In the lower layers (SU 6‑11) besides the grey ware, a number of black-on-buff and black-on-red potsherds were found which could also be dated to the Late Chalcolithic period. In SU 09 was found part of a structure of compacted yellowish clay, containing human bones, some of them still in anatomic connection. Trench 1 touched the virgin soil in a depth of 3.4 m below the surface.

Tab. 2 – Chronological distribution of faunal remains in the four trenches excavated in 2011 in Tepe Chalow.

Tab. 2 – Chronological distribution of faunal remains in the four trenches excavated in 2011 in Tepe Chalow.
  • 24 Mashkour, Mohaseb and Fathi unpublished report 2015.

18In addition to pottery and other artefacts, animal bones were also collected during the first season of excavation in Trench 1. In total 639 bone and tooth remains were collected which were distributed mainly in SU 4 (n=508) [tab. 2]. The other animal remains were found in SU 5, 7, 10 and 11. According to the chronological analysis of the stratigraphic units described above, the SU 4 belongs to the Early Bronze Age. The animal remains collected in other stratigraphic units of Trench 1 are very little. The distribution of identified specimens (NISP) in the EBA layer indicates that 78% of the remains belong to sheep and goat, 13% to cattle and almost 7% to equids (tab. 3). The remaining is represented by gazelle and boar. Metric analysis of the equid second phalanges indicates that they belong to hemione and to horse24.

Tab. 3 – Distribution of faunal remains in the stratigraphic units of the four trenches of Tepe Chalow.

Tab. 3 – Distribution of faunal remains in the stratigraphic units of the four trenches of Tepe Chalow.

 

19Trench 2 was also a 5×5 m square opened on a raised point to the east of the site. This area too was ploughed and leveled recently and a big scatter of Late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age as well as GKC pottery was found on the surface.

20Below the surface layer traces of modern agricultural activities appeared at the depth of 20 cm. From this depth, excavation area was limited to a strip of 2×5 m in the southern half of the trench and 50 cm lower it was again reduced to a small, 2×2 m pit in the south eastern corner of the trench. This small pit was excavated to the depth of 1 m, but did not reach the virgin soil. Altogether 6 SU were distinguished in this trench, all of which belong to one single occupational layer. A total of 9839 pottery fragments were recorded from this trench that could generally be classified in five distinct groups (fig. 7):

  • Fine polished grey ware sometimes decorated with ribbed and incised patterns;
  • Black on Buff pottery of Hissar II type;
  • Black-on-Red pottery of Shah Tepe III type (Caspian black-on-Red);
  • Red-orange pottery with large, white grit temper (cooking ware);
  • Buff painted pottery with brownish engobe and decorated with black geometric patterns.
  • 25 Abbasi 1390/2011, p. 64, fig. 13, no. 7.

21This latter type of painted pottery has close parallels in the recently excavated site of Narges Tepe (period IV) and dated to the Late Chalcolithic period25.

22Among this pottery assemblage grey ware is unquestionably the dominant group being nearly 65% (6385 fragments) of the entire assemblage. Distinguishable ceramic forms (fig. 7) are jars with extroverted rims, cups on splayed, hollow foot, bowls on a cylindrical stem in some cases decorated with incised parallel lines, and beakers with a sharp carination on the body. It is interesting to note that in some of the footed cups the upper part of foot shows incised random lines, cross-hatchings or parallel, for a better grip with the upper part (fig. 8). This technique was also common almost a thousand years later in the GKC period of Chalow to attach the stem of the footed bowls to the upper part of the vase. Besides potsherds, Trench 2 produced a number of small finds in different stratigraphical units including a number of stone tools, copper/bronze slags, a bone awl (SU 1), and a terracotta spindle-whorl decorated with nail incisions (SU 2). Similar spindle-whorls of terracotta and stone of variable size and shape have abundantly been found in surface and excavated areas probably suggesting that the site was involved with the spinning and weaving activities.

Fig. 7 – Pottery from Trench 2, Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 7 – Pottery from Trench 2, Tepe Chalow.

Fig. 8 – Grey ware feet with strokes and incisions for a firm connection.

Fig. 8 – Grey ware feet with strokes and incisions for a firm connection.

 

23Trench 3 is a 5×2.5 m rectangle opened along the edge of a modern irrigation canal in the western part of the site. The canal is oriented NS, about 1 m deep and fragments of storage jars, ashes and burnt layers were observed in the section. The western side of Trench 3 opens into the canal. Surface ceramic is composed by typical GKC fragments and by few fine, polished grey sherds.

  • 26 Arne 1945, p. 212‑213.
  • 27 Schmidt 1937, p. 269, pl. XLIII.
  • 28 Wulsin 1932, pl. XIII.
  • 29 Arne 1945, p. 186, fig. 354‑355.

24Altogether 6 stratigraphic units were determined to the depth of 1 meter and excavation revealed a storage area in which at least 7 large storage jars were found on a beaten earth floor. The upper parts of the jars have been destroyed, but it is clear that the jars stood on the floor. Between the jars and on the floor a large amount of burnt mud-brick fragments and ash layers were found. However, no trace of mud-brick wall was found in the excavation and it is not clear whether these jars were kept in an enclosure larger than the excavated area or in an open space. The pottery found between the jars and the associated floor is a fine, polished and burnished grey and greyish-brown ware very similar to grey ware of Shah Tepe II and IIb (fig. 9). Several fragments of large, perforated greyish vessels with small gravel temper and burnt surface were found in this trench. This type of perforated vessels or braziers is known in periods III‑II of Shah Tepe26, at Hissar III27, and Tureng Tepe28. Moreover, a number of very fine, egg-shell, polished grey ware fragments have been found almost through all the layers of this trench. Determinable forms are beakers, bottles, jars with spherical body, short neck and extroverted rims, and deep bowls sometimes with incised or ribbed decorations. A very fine deep bowl with flat base, wide mouth and slightly expanded belly from this trench (fig. 9e) is very similar to the examples from “stratum III” at Shah Tepe III29.

25The contents of the storage-jars as well as the ashy layers between them were subjected to flotation and abundant charred macrobotanical remains (N=1979) could be retrieved and studied. The most striking feature is the numerical importance of seeds from grape (Vitis vinifera) that represent almost 84% of the total number of items. A smaller number of fruit stalks as well as fragments of the fleshy fruit wall (pericarp) of grape are also noted from these contexts that seem to have been involved in some activities related to the transformation and storage of grapes or grape products.

26Further, grains from barley (Hordeum vulgare) and free-threshing wheat (Triticum aestivum/durum) as well as indeterminate cereals were found in both the fills of the jars and in the burnt layers on the floor.

Fig. 9 – Fine grey ware associated with the floor of the storage area in Trench 3.

Fig. 9 – Fine grey ware associated with the floor of the storage area in Trench 3.

 

27Trench 4 is a 5×5 m square opened near the qanats in the western part of the site where, due to the locally respected buffer zone along the route of the qanats, agricultural activity has been very limited and archaeological deposits are almost intact.

28Immediately below the surface two groups of GKC pottery vases were exposed in SU 01, one in the center and the other near the eastern wall of the trench. Further excavation showed that these were the grave-goods of two distinct GKC burials, Graves 1 and 2 (fig. 10‑11). Due to the strong erosion, tombs were very close to the surface, almost 5 cm below it, and no trace of burial structures or grave-pits was detected. The soil of the back-fill of the graves is identical to the layer in which grave-pits were dug, a very hard reddish-brown clay that breaks in small clods.

29A small 1.5×1.5 m test pit was opened in SW corner of the trench to examine the stratigraphy of the excavation area. This test pit was excavated to the depth of 1 m, reached the sterile soil, and a succession of layers (SU 4‑6), possibly cultivated soils, was revealed. These layers contained very few small fragments of grey ware, clearly washed, with round edges probably brought here by the ancient farmers with the domestic debris used as manure and then scattered on the fields.

30The initial 5×5 m square was then enlarged to 10×10 m to cover a larger area and to fully expose Grave 2 which was partly under the eastern wall of the trench. For a better control of the materials the 10×10 square was divided into 4 areas 5×5 m, keeping the name “Trench 4” with the addition of a letters from A (initial square) to D counterclockwise.

31In the northeastern corner of the trench (square 4‑D) another GKC burial (Grave 3) was found some 20 cm under the surface (fig. 12). Contrary to Graves 1 and 2, the skeleton in this grave was exceptionally well-preserved so that it was eventually moved to Bojnord and now it is on exhibition in the museum.

32GKC graves in Trench 4 were individual burials, probably simple pit graves, with the bodies deposed in flexed position on the right side and oriented E-W, with the face looking south-eastwards. They produced a good amount of grave-goods including typical GKC pottery such as conical bowls, bowls on trumpet-stands, pedestal-based goblets, bowls with open spout, large jars with conical moulded base (Khom), and short-necked squattish jars (fig. 10‑13). Beside the typical pottery, there was always one coarse cooking pot, blackened by fire, that contained remains of food (fig. 10i; fig. 11b; fig. 13c). For example, animal bones inside the cooking pot (vase 7) of Grave 2 (fig. 11b) indicate to the food offering for the dead. Moreover, a number of bronze/copper and stone objects were also found in these graves.

  • 30 Askarov 1977, p. 208, pl. XLIV, no. 1.

33Grave-goods were at the head, in front of the chest and at the feet of the deceased. Usually the last vase of the complex at the feet of the skeleton, is larger than the others and it often contains a particularly important object. In Graves 2 and 3, skeletons had a vase in the hands. Regardless of the sex and age, all the bodies wore a bronze bracelet at each wrist. In Grave 3, which is the burial of a young adult female, besides 7 pottery vessels, the skeleton had the usual pair of bronze bracelets at the wrists, a pair of hair-pins, a kohl-applicator (defined “wand” at Tepe Hissar) [fig. 18d, h] as well as a round stamp seal of white stone with a suspension lug on the back, with deep drilled patterns, found in the larger vase at the feet of the skeleton. Similar stamp seals have been found in several sites of Bactria and Margiana such as Sapalli-depe30, dated to the GKC period.

Fig. 10 – Pottery from Grave 1, Trench 4.

Fig. 10 – Pottery from Grave 1, Trench 4.

Fig. 11 – Pottery from Grave 2, Trench 4.

Fig. 11 – Pottery from Grave 2, Trench 4.

Fig. 12 – Position of skeleton and grave-goods in Grave 3, Trench 4.

Fig. 12 – Position of skeleton and grave-goods in Grave 3, Trench 4.

Fig. 13 – Pottery from Grave 3, Trench 4.

Fig. 13 – Pottery from Grave 3, Trench 4.

34Almost at the floor level of Grave 3, part of a sub-rectangular pit (SU 19) was found in the NE corner of the trench, totally filled with reddened earth, loose dark ashes as well as a concentration of charred seed remains (N=505) [fig. 12]. Most of the latter (85%) consisted of seeds from free-threshing wheat (Triticum aestivum/durum) associated with grape seeds (12%) and a small quantity of barley and wild grass seeds. The concentration of cereals, retrieved by hand picking during excavation, suggests a deposit of cleaned grain in the pit, perhaps together with grapes. The sub-rectangular pit was simply dug into the ground, but had clay-plastered walls and a beaten floor, hence representing a type of (semi)-subterranean structure. Two pottery vessels were found on the floor, both broken, but with complete profile: a buff, hand-made, squatted biconical deep bowl with straight rim and flat base (H. 18.5 cm), rather coarse, grit tempered, (fig. 14a) as well as part of a fine, grey ware small (H. 4.3 cm) multiple vase, cylindrical in form with straight rim and flat base (fig. 14b).

35Stratigraphically, the (semi)-subterranean structure and its filling are under Grave 3, hence obviously earlier than this and the other GKC graves. Two radiocarbon dates from SU 19 show a date between 2676-2479 BC and 2458-2272 BC (tab. 1). This would put Grave 3 and other GKC graves in Trench 4 after 2272 BC which fits with the dates proposed for the beginning of GKC assemblages in Central Asia.

  • 31 Arne 1945, p. 231.

36In the southern half of the trench (4-B, C) a big scatter of large storage jar fragments were found in SU 2 (=SU 17) almost at the level of the GKC grave’s floor. It is not very clear whether the jars are crushed in situ or thrown away already in fragments, but a few mud-brick fragments among them suggest a context similar to the one observed in the storage area of Trench 3. Several fragments of pottery ladles and scoops with a round, bowl-shaped end were found in this area. Similar ladles have also been found on the surface. They are often made of coarse grey ware, usually with gravel temper. No example was found complete to give the exact shape, but from the various fragments it is clear that they usually have long, tapering handles round in cross-section and hemispherical bowl-shaped ends. Very similar ladles have been reported in large numbers from Shah Tepe31, where are said to be characteristic of period II. Beside the ladles, the pottery associated with the jar fragments is a fine grey ware similar to the ones found in the storage area of Trench 3; both have parallels at Shah Tepe IIb period and could be dated to the early 3rd millennium BC.

37Immediately under the level of the fragments of large storage jars several rectangular ash pits were found, all of them emptied and sampled for flotation. The stratigraphical relationship between the jar fragments and the ash pits is clearly shown by the fact that on the surface of one of them there are some jar fragments, therefore the ash pits are earlier than the jar fragments.

38The analysis of charred plant remains (N=1441) from two pits (SU 18 and 20) revealed a rather diversified spectrum of cultivated and wild taxa. Remains from grape are most numerous (62%) consisting of both seeds, stalks and fragments of whole fruits. Cereals constitute the second most important category, represented by hulled and free-threshing barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. Vulgare var. nudum) and free-threshing wheat. A few diagnostic rachis segments from free-threshing wheat were also found and allow a more precise identification of the wheat as being of a hexaploid bread wheat type (aestivum). In the ash pits crop remains were associated with several wild plant seeds belonging to wild grasses and pulses, bedstraw (Galium), Adonis as well as the borage (Boraginaceae) and goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) families. The presence of different types of wild plants in these contexts may be explained by the secondary deposit of the cleaning out of hearths/ovens in which the charring of seeds were caused on the one hand by the use of small shrubs for fuel and on the other hand by the discarding of weed seeds while cleaning the crops prior to consumption.

39In the NE corner of the Trench (4‑D), while excavating a deep trench around Grave 3 to remove and bring it to the Bojnord Museum, the floor of the (semi)-subterranean structure next to the grave was cut, and a lens of gravel and small potsherds was revealed under its northwestern part. Below the gravel lens a human burial (Grave 4) was found in a hard, yellowish layer some 110 cm below the surface.

  • 32 Abbasi 1390/2011, p. 102, fig. 118‑119.

40Contrary to the GKC burial of Grave 3 the skeleton in Grave 4 is in very poor conditions. Only parts of skull, few ribs and part of the femur were preserved, the other bones went into dust at the smallest touch. However, it was possible to reconstruct that the skeleton was crouched on the left side, the head oriented NE and the face looking south-westwards, an orientation totally different from the one of the later GKC skeletons. The only grave-good was a fine, polished grey ware vase found near the pelvic area. It is a small biconical beaker, almost 9 cm height, with wide mouth, straight rim, higher upper cone, rounded carination in the lower part and a flat bottom (fig. 14c). This beaker has close parallels in burials of period IIIc at NargesTepe (e.g. burial no. 1405), where they usually are the only grave-good in the burials32, and are attributed to the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3100-2900 BC).

41Only twenty animal bones were found in Trench 4 SU 16. The twenty bones are very fragmented and are unidentified upper and lower limb bone remains (including Femur and metapodials) as well as ribs and vertebra. The total weight of these remains is 25 g and indicates the high rate of fragmentation of these bones.

Fig. 14 –Pottery found on the floor of the sub-rectangular pit below Grave 3, Trench 4 (a-b). Grey ware biconical beakers (c‑d) were the only grave-goods respectively of Grave 4, Trench 4 and Grave 1, Trench 7.

Fig. 14 –Pottery found on the floor of the sub-rectangular pit below Grave 3, Trench 4 (a-b). Grey ware biconical beakers (c‑d) were the only grave-goods respectively of Grave 4, Trench 4 and Grave 1, Trench 7.

 

42Trench 5, also 5×5 m, is located 6 m north of Trench 4 in the necropolis area. In the northern part of the trench, some 20 cm below the surface, a burial was found with a set of grave-goods similar to tombs 1‑3 in the nearby trench. The body in the grave is crouched, oriented East-West, but contrary to the other contemporary graves it is buried on the left side with the face looking northwards (fig. 15). The skeleton had a bronze/copper bracelet at the right hand and other grave-goods, including 9 pottery vases, all of GKC type, were grouped around the head and at the feet of the deceased. The pottery forms are bowls on trumpet-stands, conical bowls, deep hemispherical bowls, bowls with open spout and jars with spherical body (fig. 16).

43Later on, Trench 5 was extended north and eastwards covering an area 10×10 m. In the extension area, about 2 m to the northeast of Grave 1, disturbed remains of a human skeleton were found few centimeters below the surface. Modern plough marks near the bones (skull, a few vertebrae and ribs) suggests a disturbed grave, probably contemporary with Grave 1, but without grave-goods or perhaps robbed. Near the human remains, northeast of them, was found a rectangular paved floor composed by a layer of flat stones and large pottery jar fragments. The paved surface is about 180×170 cm and we do not know whether it is related to the nearby grave(s) or not.

Fig. 15 – Position of skeleton and grave-goods in Grave 1, Trench 5.

Fig. 15 – Position of skeleton and grave-goods in Grave 1, Trench 5.

Fig. 16 – Pottery from Grave 1, Trench 5.

Fig. 16 – Pottery from Grave 1, Trench 5.

 

44Trench 6, a 5×5 square, was opened in a flat area on the western side of the qanats, near the modern irrigation canal along which Trench 3 was excavated. Like many other parts of the site, this area too was leveled and ploughed in the recent past. This area of the site is characterized by a large scatter of GKC pottery.

45Altogether, we have distinguished 8 stratigraphic units in Trench 6. The upper layer (SU 1‑4) which is totally disturbed by agricultural activities produced mixed materials including burnt mud-brick fragments, GKC pottery and few fine grey ware sherds. Some 30 cm below the surface, in SU 5 which is the first intact layer, a large storage jar was found. The upper part of the jar is missing, but the remaining lower part suggests that it was standing on a floor. The jar is very similar in shape and clay to the ones found in Trenches 3 and 4. Likewise, the pottery associated with the storage jar and the underlying layers is a fine, polished grey ware similar to pottery of Shah Tepe IIb and could be dated to the early 3rd millennium BC.

46Excavation stopped in a depth of 40‑45 cm below the surface and a small 1×1 m test pit in the northeastern corner of the trench continued to the virgin soil.

 

47Trench 7 is located 5 m to the northeast of Trench 3, where remains of several storage jars similar to the ones found in Trench 3 were visible on the surface. The trench measured 4×2 m and it was opened with the aim of a better identification of the storage area already exposed in Trench 3.

48In the first stratigraphic unit, 4 storage jars were found one beside the other, probably imbedded into the ground. While the size, shape and clay of the jars is very similar to the storage jars in Trench 3, they do not rest on the same level. The base of the jars in Trench 7 is some 30 cm higher than in Trench 3, probably implying an open storage area with natural topography. It is interesting to note that groups of similar storage jars inside the ground with broken upper parts were observed in several other spots in the western part of the site. The discrepancies between the levels of these storage jars may suggest a large, open storage area probably located on the periphery of the settlement and/or near the agricultural lands. Presence of such an extramural, open-space storage system, however, brings forth the question of control over the personal property. In the current state of research, there is not enough evidence to give a firm answer to this question but, future excavations and more investigation in the storage areas will hopefully put the question in a clearer perspective.

49Some 40 cm below the surface, traces of a grave pit (Feature 5) were distinguished in the southwestern corner of the trench. In order to fully expose the burial, the trench was enlarged 1×1.5 m westwards. Inside the pit a human skull unearthed some 70 cm below the surface, but no traces of other bones were observed. The only grave-good was a small beaker of fine, polished grey ware with biconical body and flat base discovered near the skull. This beaker (fig. 14d) is similar to the one found in Trench 4, Grave 4. Stratigraphically both of these graves were discovered under the layer with large storage jar and could be considered contemporary to Shah Tepe III/IIb.

50Trenches 8 and 9 were both 2×2 m squares opened in the southeastern part of the site. This area is heavily damaged by intensive agriculture and on the surface there is a large pottery and bone scatter.

 

  • 33 Sarianidi 2012, p. 52.

51Trench 8 was opened in a spot with a good amount of GKC pottery scatter, where a miniature stone bowl with trough spout was also found in the surface. Immediately under the topsoil, a disturbed layer containing many human bone fragments, broken pottery vases and other materials were found. Obviously, this was a GKC grave totally disturbed by ploughing. Unfortunately, the skeleton was much damaged and the body position could not be reconstructed, but the grave-goods were at least 9 objects, including 5 pottery vases, 2 bronze/copper pins (fig. 18a-b), a miniature open-spout bowl of pinkish marble, and thin strips of bones with serrated edges (fig. 17a). These latter objects have an unknown function, but one may tentatively assume that the serrated bones could have been a musical instrument or a tool for measuring the volume of a liquid inside containers. Identical objects have already been reported from a contemporary grave at Gonur-depe33 .

 

  • 34 Kaniuth 2006, p. 85‑86.

52Trench 9 was opened 6 m east of Trench 8, where a number of bronze/copper objects including a broken tanged dagger or spearhead, a broken bracelet and a few stone beads were found on the surface. Having removed the topsoil, the remains of a much disturbed human skeleton and a large group of objects, all destroyed by ploughing were exposed. Again, the body position could not be reconstructed, but it is clear that the grave was rather rich. The surviving grave-goods were at least 21 items including 9 pottery vases of GKC type, a pair of bronze bracelets, a perfect reproduction in marble of a sheep/goat astragalus, a bit larger than the actual size and 3 marble small balls, possibly a kind of gaming pieces (fig. 17b), a 6-strands necklace composed of small, disc-shaped black and white stone beads and dark red spacers (fig. 17c), an object composed by decorated dark stone triangles originally joined by bronze wire, probably used as a diadem or a very complex necklace (fig. 17d), a very elaborate stone kohl-container consisting of alternating black and white stone disks with bronze applicator still inside and containing remains of black cosmetic material (fig. 17e), a tanged dagger or spearhead (fig. 17f), a disc-shaped stone spindle-whorl and a bronze beaker with slightly concave body (fig. 18i) similar to beakers type C‑4, variant C‑4-2 of Kaniuth in north Bactria34.

Fig. 17 – A selection of grave-goods from the graves of Trench 8 (a) and 9 (b‑f).

Fig. 17 – A selection of grave-goods from the graves of Trench 8 (a) and 9 (b‑f).

Fig. 18 – Some bronze artefacts found in the BMAC burials of Chalow.

Fig. 18 – Some bronze artefacts found in the BMAC burials of Chalow.

Conclusions

53The results of the first season of excavation at Tepe Chalow in the plain of Jajarm, NE Iran, show that the site was first settled in the late 4th millennium and continued to be occupied until the early 2nd millennium BC. One of the most important characteristics of the site is the presence of material culture of different cultural areas including Damghan area (Hissar I‑II painted pottery), Gorgan plain (Caspian Black-on-Red and the Gorgan grey ware), as well as southern Central Asia (NMZ III and GKC ceramics).

54The majority of the pottery found in the excavation of settlement shows great similarities with the ceramics of Shah Tepe and Tureng Tepe in Gorgan plain and of Ak-depe in southern Turkmenistan, but a smaller number of pottery fragments shows also connections with Tepe Hissar and the Damghan plain in the late 4th millennium BC. While the location of Tepe Chalow to the south of the Alborz chain and on the plain at the fringes of the Kavir would suggest strong connections with Tepe Hissar, the lack of oases with surface water between the two settlements explains why the contacts between these two sites were so tenuous. On the other hand the location of Chalow, exactly on an important caravan route that in the Middle Ages connected Nishapur and Gorgan, on the easiest road through the mountains to the Atrak valley and eventually to the Caspian Sea plain, facilitated the contacts with the region of Gorgan in the 4th millennium BC.

  • 35 Hiebert and Lamberg-Karlovsky 1992, p. 6; Hiebert 1998, p. 154‑155.
  • 36 Thornton 2013, p. 195.

55Another important result of the first campaign is the discovery of a large GKC necropolis. The importance of the graveyard of Chalow lies in the fact that, contrary to most contemporary group of GKC objects found on the Iranian Plateau or beyond its southern and western borders, it is not limited to a set of luxury objects, but it also includes a wide variety of ordinary, household objects, specifically diagnostic pottery of GKC type. For instance, while the contemporary GKC materials from sites of northeastern Iran such as Tepe Hissar, Tureng Tepe, Shah Tepe, as well as the recently found GKC-related materials from the Bazgir Hoard in Gorgan plain are isolated luxury or “ritual” objects found within an extensive inventory of local materials, and the GKC materials from south-eastern Iran (Khurab, Khinaman, Shahdad, and Yahya in Kerman area) are composed of occasional GKC pottery types and luxury objects intermixed with indigenous materials, indicating their intrusive nature within a local cultural context35, the assemblage from Chalow necropolis show the whole GKC set, including both typical, everyday pottery types and luxury items, indicating a rather homogeneous cultural unit. This distinctive GKC assemblage is in a few cases associated with objects produced in the local, grey ware tradition. Accordingly, it appears that while the expansion of GKC into the territory of Kerman and Damghan-Gorgan plain is to be explained with the migration of elite groups of Bactria and Margiana36, the abundant presence in Chalow of everyday GKC pottery and luxury items indicates that the local culture was significantly replaced by GKC, suggesting something more than the mere presence of an aristocracy, rather a significant influx of population bringing its own pottery tradition.

  • 37 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

56Since the origin of GKC is to be sought in southern Turkmenistan and northeastern Khorasan37 and typical assemblages have frequently been reported from northern Afghanistan, southern and eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, the discovery of such a unique assemblage of GKC materials in northeastern Iran on the fringes of Dasht-e Kavir shows new aspects of the complex cultural interaction between the Iranian Plateau and Central Asia in the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BC. Up to now, no trace of domestic or monumental architecture of GKC peoples has been found in the excavations at Chalow and at the current state of study it is too early to speak about the socio-economic organization of the Chalow society.

57The C14 samples from Trenches 1 and 4 from pre-GKC phase and from contexts correlated by grey ware ceramics and (semi)-subterranean architectural features, however limited, provide a more precise framework for constructing the cultural history of the site. More radiocarbon dates in the future will provide us with evidence about the arrival and expansion of the GKC in northern Khorasan and other areas of eastern Iran.

  • 38 Tengberg 2013.
  • 39 E.g. Moore 1993; Mashkour 2002; Mashkour 2013.

58The bioarchaoelogical studies during the first season of excavation in Chalow have shed light on the subsistence economy of the site. The first results of the archaeobotanical and archaeozoological studies show that agriculture and herding were important components of the economic activities of Chalow all through the occupational sequence. Cereals, free-threshing wheat and barley, constitute the main crop species while pulses are generally absent from the studied contexts, except for one single seed of lentil (Lens culinaris) identified from a Middle Bronze Age context. A conspicuous feature in the archaeobotanical record is the ubiquity of grape (seeds, stalks, fruits) that also corresponds to the most numerous botanical remains found in context dated both to the Late Chalcolithic and the Middle Bronze Age suggesting that the transformation of grapes might have corresponded to an important activity in the local economy and that wine was part of items traded through regional networks38. While Botanical remains bring information on the three represented periods, the faunal remains represent mostly the animal exploitation during the EBA period. The faunal spectrum highlights the importance of herding, while hunting is still practiced and part of the subsistence economy. This is a typical pattern found for this period in nearby sites of southern Central Asia and also many site of the Iranian Plateau39. Further investigations in the field of bioarchaeology are in progress and a will allow a more in depth comparison of the evolution of agro-pastoralism with southern Central Asia. Further excavation at the site with a multi-disciplinary approach and complementary studies in this and the other sites in the region will be very instructive and help us to place GKC material culture into a clearer perspective.

Acknowledgments

59Excavation at Tepe Chalow was done under the auspices of Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT) and the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR). The authors would like to thank authorities of both Centers. M. Mashkour would like to thank Dr Haeedeh Laleh and Mr Ahmad Aliyari, Director and deputy director of the Archaeometry Laboratory of the University of Tehran where the analysis of the archaeozoological remains were performed. Also the authors are grateful to the UMR 7209 CNRS/MNHN for funding the radiocarbon dates.

Bibliographie

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Biscione R. and Vahdati A.A. in press, “The Diffusion of BMAC in Eastern Iran and Neighboring Countries”, paper presented in the International Conference Farmers, Traders and Herders. The Bronze Age in Central Asia and Khorasan (3rd-2nd Millennium BCE), held in Berlin, 30th Nov.-1st Dec. 2015.

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Hiebert F.T. 1998, “Central Asians on the Iranian plateau: A model for Indo-Iranian Expansionism”, in V.H. Mair (ed.), The Bronze and Early Iron Age peoples of eastern Central Asia, vol. 1, Journal of Indo-European Studies, Monograph series 26, Washington DC, p. 148‑161.

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Notes

1 Francfort 1994; Lamberg-Karlovsky 1994.

2 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

3 Amiet 1986.

4 Thornton 2013, p. 194‑195.

5 Thornton 2013, p. 194‑195.

6 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

7 Lamberg-Karlowsky and Potts 2001, p. XXXVII.

8 Vahdati 2014.

9 Sorush and Yusefi 1393/2014.

10 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

11 Arne 1945, p. 177.

12 Masson 1961, pl. V, no. 11.

13 Sarianidi 1965, tab. X, no. 31; tab. XI, no. 42.

14 Sarianidi 1965, tab. VIII, no. 13.

15 Biscione 1973, p. 113, fig. 8.9; p. 114, fig. 8.10 g-h, j-k, m.

16 Fairservis 1956, p. 258 designs 195‑202; p. 259, designs 203‑209.

17 Sarianidi 1976, fig. 8, no. 1‑2; fig. 11, no. 11‑12, 14.

18 Kircho 1999, fig. 12, no. 9‑10, 13, 16, 19.

19 Khlopin 1981, fig. 5.

20 Sarianidi 1976, fig. 11, no. 4‑7, 10.

21 Sarianidi 1976, fig. 9, no. 1‑5; Kircho 2014, fig. 4, no. 3‑4.

22 Kircho 1999, fig. 11, no. 4, 22; fig. 12, no. 16, 19, 23.

23 See for instance Arne 1945, p. 172‑185, fig. 301, 308a-b, 345a, 348‑349; Abbasi 1390/2011, p. 72, p. 125, fig. 16, 222‑229, 234.

24 Mashkour, Mohaseb and Fathi unpublished report 2015.

25 Abbasi 1390/2011, p. 64, fig. 13, no. 7.

26 Arne 1945, p. 212‑213.

27 Schmidt 1937, p. 269, pl. XLIII.

28 Wulsin 1932, pl. XIII.

29 Arne 1945, p. 186, fig. 354‑355.

30 Askarov 1977, p. 208, pl. XLIV, no. 1.

31 Arne 1945, p. 231.

32 Abbasi 1390/2011, p. 102, fig. 118‑119.

33 Sarianidi 2012, p. 52.

34 Kaniuth 2006, p. 85‑86.

35 Hiebert and Lamberg-Karlovsky 1992, p. 6; Hiebert 1998, p. 154‑155.

36 Thornton 2013, p. 195.

37 Biscione and Vahdati in press.

38 Tengberg 2013.

39 E.g. Moore 1993; Mashkour 2002; Mashkour 2013.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – Map showing location of Tepe Chalow in northeastern Iran.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 2 – Location of excavated trenches on the contour map of Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 283k
Titre Fig. 3 – Different types of Chalcolithic pottery at Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 832k
Titre Fig. 4 – Selected grey ware of Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 416k
Titre Fig. 5 – A group of stone luxury objects from excavation (d) and surface (a-c, e-f) of Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,4M
Titre Fig. 6 – Bronze artifacts (a-e) and stone (alabaster: f-i and chlorite: j) objects from surface of Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 195k
Titre Tab. 1 – Radiocarbon dates for three samples from Trenches 1 and 4, analyzed at the C14 Chrono Center of the Queens University, Belfast.
Légende * Queen’s University of Belfast.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 78k
Titre Tab. 2 – Chronological distribution of faunal remains in the four trenches excavated in 2011 in Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 97k
Titre Tab. 3 – Distribution of faunal remains in the stratigraphic units of the four trenches of Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 172k
Titre Fig. 7 – Pottery from Trench 2, Tepe Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 386k
Titre Fig. 8 – Grey ware feet with strokes and incisions for a firm connection.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 408k
Titre Fig. 9 – Fine grey ware associated with the floor of the storage area in Trench 3.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 228k
Titre Fig. 10 – Pottery from Grave 1, Trench 4.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 283k
Titre Fig. 11 – Pottery from Grave 2, Trench 4.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 490k
Titre Fig. 12 – Position of skeleton and grave-goods in Grave 3, Trench 4.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 483k
Titre Fig. 13 – Pottery from Grave 3, Trench 4.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 257k
Titre Fig. 14 –Pottery found on the floor of the sub-rectangular pit below Grave 3, Trench 4 (a-b). Grey ware biconical beakers (c‑d) were the only grave-goods respectively of Grave 4, Trench 4 and Grave 1, Trench 7.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 155k
Titre Fig. 15 – Position of skeleton and grave-goods in Grave 1, Trench 5.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 783k
Titre Fig. 16 – Pottery from Grave 1, Trench 5.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-19.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 269k
Titre Fig. 17 – A selection of grave-goods from the graves of Trench 8 (a) and 9 (b‑f).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 585k
Titre Fig. 18 – Some bronze artefacts found in the BMAC burials of Chalow.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/8086/img-21.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 604k

Auteurs

Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), North Khorasan

Istituto per Le Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni Culturali (ITABC), CNR, Rome

Università degli studi di Napoli “L’orientale”

Payam Noor University, Rural Geography

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