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Official says little information available on Neolithic era in Iran

Tehran, July 25, An archeologist says the outbreak of the Iraqi imposed war (1980) and the change in the direction of studies about Levant, which were associated with 500 extensive explorations, has resulted in the gathering of very little information about the Neolithic era in Iran and in the Near East.

According to the Public Relations Office of the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT), the archaeologist, Hojjat Darabi, speaking at a meeting held by the Research Institute of Archeology, reported on the explorations in the Asiyab area, detecting ultra-Paleolithic and Neolithic cultural and environmental changes in the Seymareh Valley and Central Zagros (Kermanshah).

He defined changes to the Neolithic as gradual and long-term changes in the patterns and different livelihood, social and religious aspects of human beings and transition from the ultra-Paleolithic to the Neolithic (transitional Neolithic) era and said the era last between 1000 to 1500 years in the entire Near East.

Regarding the different opinions expressed so far in this regard, the archaeologist said given that each region possesses its own characteristics therefore it should be studied within the framework of cultural specifications and environmental background.

Darabi further referred to the studies and surveys conducted in the Central Zagros saying Concentration of our studies from the Neolithic era in west of Iran and the Central Zagros are mostly relevant to the pre-revolution era.

'After the revolution and with the onset of the war, the area was almost the frontline and thus the research works stopped and archeologists were mostly dispatched to the Levant and conducted explorations in close to 500 areas. Of course in the recent years massive salvage explorations in the Neolithic era have been conducted in the Anatolia area of Turkey, he added.

He noted, Change in the direction of studies towards Levant has caused us to have access to very little information about the Neolithic era in the Near East and in Iran.

He said, With regard to the existing uncertainties and deficiencies in the past explorations, we decided to conduct the explorations in the Asiyab Tappeh in the first phase of the project and review the information available on basis of new methods.

According to the archaeologist, about 90% of the Asiyab Tappeh area has been messed up and remains of animal holes could be seen in abundance which is mainly made by sables or other animals.

He announced the existence of the first sample of round structure from the Neolithic era in Iran in that area, adding that with regard to the evidence it seems that it had ritual use.

Darabi further remarked that apparently in the second half of the fourth millennium the entire Asiyab Tappeh had been used as a cemetery.

According to the archaeologist several examples of human and animal figurines, stone instruments and over six thousand stone artifacts have been discovered in the area.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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