The Earliest Neolithic of Iran: 2008 Excavations at Sheikh-E Abad and Jani [Hardback]

Roger Matthews (Editor); Wendy Matthews (Editor); Yaghoub Mohammadifar (Editor)

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ISBN: 9781782972235 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: British Institute of Persian Studies Archaeological Monograph Series | Volume: 4 | Year of Publication: 2013 | Language: English 224p, H297 x W210 (mm) b/w illus

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The Earliest Neolithic of Iran


Over a period of several millennia, from the Late Pleistocene to the Early Holocene (c. 13,000-7000 BC), communities in south-west Asia developed from hunter-foragers to villager-farmers, bringing fundamental changes in all aspects of life. These Neolithic developments took place over vast chronological and geographical scales, with considerable regional variability in specific trajectories of change. Two vital and consistent aspects of change were a shift from mobile to sedentary lifestyles and increasingly intensive human management of animal and plant resources, leading to full domestication of particular species. Building on earlier campaigns of archaeological investigation, the current phase of the Central Zagros Archaeological Project is designed to explore these issues in one key region, the Zagros zone including central west Iran. Two Early Neolithic mounds were excavated: Sheikh-e Abad in the high Zagros and Jani, in the foothills of the Mesopotamian plains, each comprising up to 10 m depth of deposits indicating occupation spanning over 2000 years, and providing great scope for diachronic and spatial analyses. These two sites make major contributions to knowledge regarding the origins of sedentism and increasing resource management in Southwest Asia, and associated developments in social, cultural and ritual practices in this formative region of human cultural development.

Table of Contents


List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgements

1. From Hunter-Forager to Farmer-Herder in the Central Zagros: Research Context, Issues, and Methods
(Roger Matthews, Yaghoub Mohammadifar and Wendy Matthews)

2. Contexts of Neolithic Interaction: Geography, Palaeoclimate and Palaeoenvironment of the Central Zagros
(Wendy Matthews)

3. A Survey of Caves and Rock-Shelters in the Kurtavij Region
(Abbass Motarjem)

4. Excavations, Surface Collection, and Geophysics at Sheikh-e Abad
(Roger Matthews, Yaghoub Mohammadifar, Wendy Matthews, Timothy Astin, Garrard Cole, Hojjat Darabi, Mehdi Daryaie, Cecilie Lelek Tvetmarken, Lisa-Marie Shillito and Helen Taylor)

5. Section Investigations at Jani
(Wendy Matthews, Abbass Motarjem, Roger Matthews and Yaghoub Mohammadifar)

6. Radiocarbon Dating of Sheikh-e Abad and Jani
(Roger Matthews, Wendy Matthews and Amy Richardson)

7. Investigating Early Neolithic Materials, Ecology and Sedentism: Micromorphology and Microstratigraphy
(Wendy Matthews, with contributions from Lisa-Marie Shillito and Sarah Elliott)

8. Biomolecular Investigations of Faecal Biomarkers at Sheikh-e Abad and Jani
(Lisa-Marie Shillito, Wendy Matthews, Ian Bull and James Williams)

9. Preliminary Techno-Typological Analysis of Chipped Stone Materials from Sheikh-e Abad
(Hamed Vahdati Nasab, Mozhgan Jayez, Hamid Reza Qorbani, Hojjat Darabi and Helen Taylor)

10. Post-Neolithic Pottery from Sheikh-e Abad
(Yaghoub Mohammadifar)

11. Material Networks of the Neolithic at Sheikh-e Abad: Objects of Bone, Stone and Clay
(Garrard Cole, Roger Matthews and Amy Richardson)

12. Zooarchaeology: Preliminary Assessment of the Animal Bones
(Robin Bendrey, Garrard Cole and Cecilie Lelek Tvetmarken)

13. Isotope Analysis of Animal Bone
(Gundula Müldner)

14. Human Burials
(Garrard Cole)

15. The Plant Macrofossil Evidence from Sheikh-e Abad: First Impressions
(Jade Whitlam, Hengameh Ilkhani, Amy Bogaard and Michael Charles)

16. Phytolith Indicators of Plant Resource Use at Sheikh-e Abad and Jani
(Lisa-Marie Shillito and Sarah Elliott)

17. Molluscs from Sheikh-e Abad and Jani
(Lisa-Marie Shillito, with contributions from Janet Ridout-Sharpe and Martin Bell)

18. Heavy Residue Analysis from Sheikh-e Abad
(Helen R. S. Williams)

19. Site Management and Local Impact at Sheikh-e Abad
(Michael Seymour)

20. Networks of Neolithic Engagement
(Roger Matthews, Wendy Matthews and Yaghoub Mohammadifar)


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