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Archaeological Excavation Reports Bulletin


Archived in 2000

For the Latest Daily Archaeological News e-Bulletin Service Please [ Click Here ].



Archaeology and anthropology are two sciences trying to shed light on the lives of ancient civilisations. The main aim of all the research is to find vestiges of lost cultures and civilizations, to decode the code of the universe, and hence, life.


Ancient Iran, with its aura of mystery, is one of the most important civilisations among the cultures of Antiquity and continues to attract the attention of scientists. As the King of Kings and the ancestors of the Iranian nation refuse to give up their secrets, science takes a further step toward unveiling what has been hidden for millennia.


Here is a glimpse of their painstaking works:


Link to: Iranian Prehistoric Project; Excavation at Chogha Bonut, 1996-97 Excavation Report



Link to: Archaeological Excavation at Tal-e Malâyân (Anshân)

Tal-e Malyan, located 46 km north of Shiraz in the Zagros mountains of Fars Province, is the site of Anshan, a great city, comparable to Elamite Susa and the Sumerian cities of Mesopotamia in size and importance ..... The University of Pennsylvania sponsored excavations at the site in 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, and 1978 .......



Archaeological Expedition in Parthian City of Nisa (in Modern Turkmanistan), Year 2000, by The University of Turino; archaeological expedition in Nisa resulted in some wonderful photographs of the digs and the surrounding countryside, not to mention a snapshot of the team.




Link to: Arisman Project

by The Iranian Center for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property


A vast area of some three square kilometres in the northern foothills of the Karkas Mountains is covered by slags and other traces of very old smelting activity. The area is located close to Arisman village on the main road kashan to Naiin in central Iran. The same routes have been used since millennia for connection of different ancient settlements in central Iran like Tappeh Sialk and Qomrud that are located in the same plain as Arisman.








The Saltman Project

by The Iranian Center for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property




Archaeological Discoveries at Susa

By: Ernst Babelon


Link to: Archaeological Surveys in Northwestern Fars Province; by Professor Abbas Alizadeh

Annual Report: 1994-95

Annual Report: 1996-97


In Search of Ancient Seafarers in the Persian Gulf


Link to: The Deh Luran Archaeological Project

The Deh Luran Plain in southwestern Iran -- a small and arid foothill valley covering only 940 square kilometers-- was the focus of research designed to evaluate various hypotheses about the development of agriculture, of early villages and towns, and the first complex societies. Various U.S. teams, in cooperation with the Archaeological Service of Iran, and with the support of the U.S. National Science Foundation, undertook this research during the 1960s. This is a presentation of the research on the first complex societies.


Approximate Chronology of Deh Luran
7100-6600 BCE Bus Mordeh
6600-6000 BCE Ali Kosh
6100-5800 BCE Mohammad Jaffar
5800-5700 BCE Sefid
5700-5600 BCE Surkh
5600-5350 BCE Choga Mami Transitional
5350-5200 BCE Sabz
5200-4900 BCE Khazineh
4900-4700 BCE Mehmeh
4700-4500 BCE Bayat
4500-4200 BCE Farukh
4200-4000 BCE Suse
4000-3100 BCE Uruk
3100-2900 BCE Jemdet Nasr
2900-2350 BCE Early Dynastic
2350-1300 BCE Elamite

Link to: Kush, in Persian Gulf; A Sasanian and Islamic tell from modern Ras al-Khaimah (UAE).

The present excavation project will come to an end in 1999/2000. For a recently-published outline of the work and a description ..... 


Link to: Excavation at Dagestan, by David Stronach

Daghestan, "The Land of Mountains," lies in Southern Russia at a point where the high ranges of the Caucasus most closely approach the western shore of the Caspian Sea.


Link to: The Tall-e Bakun Project

Tall-e Bakun is a twin site located in the fertile Marv Dasht plain of Fars, near Persepolis, the Achaemenid ceremonial capital. Bakun has played a prominent role in the understanding of the prehistory of Fars, ...


Link to: Bakhtiari Archeological Finds

The high mountains of the Bakhtiari country were largely left out of the archeological equation despite their proximity to the heartland of Mesopotamian and Elamite civilization. Work in the region indicated the long ...



Link to: The Prehistory of Southeastern Balochistan (in modern Pakistan)

Balochistan is Pakistan´s largest province. It is marked by a rugged, but multi- facetted environment. The Makran Range in the south and the successive chains of mountains .....



Link to: The Chogha Mish; The Join Prehistoric Project

The Joint Prehistoric Project comprises several archaeological expeditions in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey dating from 1947. All of these separate excavations, however, sought the solution to a general problem ....

1998-99 Annual Report

1997-98 Annual Report

1996-97 Annual Report

1995-96 Annual Report

1993-94 Annual Report

1992-93 Annual Report


Link to: Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions, Persepolis

The aim of the Achaemenid Royal Inscriptions project is to create an electronic study edition of the inscriptions of the Achaemenid Persian kings in all of their versions--Old Persian, Elamite, Akkadian, and, where ...


Link to: The treasures of Lake Hamun, By Nersi Ramazan-nia

Link to: Hormuz; The RGS Musandam (Persian Gulf) Expedition 1971-72

A brief survey of archaeological sites along the west coast of the Musandam Peninsula of Northern Oman was undertaken. Despite limitations imposed by the very rugged terrain, the survey yielded interesting results, ...


Archeological Teams in Iran

By Marzieh Yazdani




German Archaeological Expedition to the Mazun (today Sultanate of Oman) [ Link ]

During this time span annual excavations took place in Samad al Shan and al Maysar. Graves were excavated and one house. The graves were located in several cemeteries which contained the graves of the Wadi Suq, Lizq/Rumaylah and Samad Periods. The project centred on the Samad Culture which initially was believed to represent the "Parthian, Hellenistic, and Sasanian populations". A largely early medieval population came to light ranging from the year 0 (or earlier) to 900 AD.

Parallel to "Samad Project", tests were conducted at al Amqat and al Bustan for the Ministry. Samad graves were investigated al Amqat in the mountainous Sama`il Pass and in the drainage fan of al Bustan. On the strength of these two cemeteries and another at Bandar Jissa, the distribution of the Samad Culture became clearer. The graves at al Amqat and al Bustan were better preserved than at Samad/Maysar. Given the size of the sample excavated (five graves at al Amqat, eight at al Bustan) it is difficult to contrast the burial customs there with those of al Jawf, the heartland of the Samad Culture.




Link to:


Archaeobotanical Reports from Iran and Related Items
accumulated by Naomi F. Miller, University of Pennsylvania Museum, March 1997

Costantini, Lorenzo
1985 Considerazioni su alcuni reperti di palma da dattero e sul centro di origine e l'area di coltivazione della Phoenix dactylifera L. Orientalia Iosephi Tucci Memoriae Dicata 56: 209-217.


Costantini, Lorenzo
1977 Le Piante. In La Citta Bruciata del Deserto Salato, ed. G. Tucci. Pp. 159-228. Venice: Erizzo Editrice.
Iran//3M//Shahr-i Sokhta


Costantini, Lorenzo
1979 Wood Remains from Shahr-i Sokhta. In South Asian Archaeology 1977, ed. M. Taddei. Pp. 87-121. Naples.
Iran//3M//Shahr-i Sokhta


Costantini, Lorenzo and L. Costantini Biasini
1985 Palaeoethnobotanical Studies of Prehistoric Settlements in Soughun and Dowlatabad Valleys, Iran. Newsletter of Baluchistan Studies (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples) 2: 16-230.


Costantini, Lorenzo and Robert H. Jr. Dyson
1990 The Ancient Agriculture of the Damghan Plain: The Archaeobotanical Evidence from Tepe Hissar. In Economy and Settlement in the Near East, ed. N.F. Miller. Pp. 46-64. MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology, Supplement to vol. 7, Philadelphia.


Helbaek, Hans
1969 Plant-Collecting, Dry-Farming, and Irrigation Agriculture in Prehistoric Deh Luran. In Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Deh Luran Plain, eds. F. Hole, K.V. Flannery, and J.A. Neely. Pp. 383-426. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology Memoir 1. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology.
Iran//Neolithic//Ali Kosh//Musiyan//Tepe Sabz


Hopf, Maria and U. Willerding
1989 Pflanzenresten. In Bastam II, Ausgrabungen in den Urartaischen Anlagen 1977-1978, W. Kleiss. Pp. 263-318 + plates. Teheraner Forschungen 5. Deutsches Archaologisches Institut.


Kyllo, M. A. and R.N.L.B. Hubbard
1981 Median and Parthian Plant Remains from Tepe Nush-i Jan. Iran 19: 91-100.
Iran//Nush-i Jan//1M


Miller, Naomi F.
1977 Preliminary Report on the Botanical Remains from Tepe Jaffarabad, 1969-1974 Campaigns. Cahiers de la Delegation Archeologique Francaise en Iran 7: 49-53.


Miller, Naomi F.
1981 The Plant Remains. In An Early Town on the Deh Luran Plain, Excavations at Tepe Farukhabad, Henry T. Wright. Pp. 227-32; 427-30. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology Memoir 13. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology.


Miller, Naomi F.
1981 Plant Remains from Ville Royale II, Susa. Cahiers de la Delegation Archeologique Francaise en Iran 12: 137-142.


Miller, Naomi F.
1982 Economy and Environment of Malyan, a Third Millennium B.C. Urban Center in Southern Iran. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Miller, Naomi F.
1983 Paleoethnobotanical Results from Bendebal and Jaffarabad. Cahiers de la Delegation Archeologique Francaise en Iran 13: 277-284.


Miller, Naomi F.
1984 The Interpretation of Some Charred Cereal Remains as Remnants of Dung Cake Fuel. Bulletin on Sumerian Agriculture 1: 45-47.


Miller, Naomi F.
1984 The Use of Dung as Fuel: An Ethnographic Example and an Archaeological Application. Paleorient 10(2): 71-79.


Miller, Naomi F.
1985 Paleoethnobotanical Evidence for Deforestation in Ancient Iran: A Case Study of Urban Malyan. Journal of Ethnobiology 5: 1-19.


Miller, Naomi F.
1985 Paleoethnobotanical Research in Khuzestan. Paleorient 11(2): 125-137.


Miller, Naomi F.
1996 Appendix C. Palaeoethnobotany. In Excavations at Anshan (Tal-e Malyan): The Middle Elamite Period, E. Carter. Pp. 99-108. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum.


Miller, Naomi F. and Tristine L. Smart
1984 Intentional Burning of Dung as Fuel: A Mechanism for the Incorporation of Charred Seeds into the Archeological Record. Journal of Ethnobiology 4: 15-28.


Radford, David Scott
1980 The Study of Ancient Plant Material from Tepe Farukhabad. Masters' Thesis. University of Southampton, Southampton.


Tosi, Maurizio
1975 Hasanlu Project 1974: Paleobotanical Survey. Iran 8: 185-186.
Iran//Iron Age//Hasanlu


van Zeist, Willem P. E.L. Smith, R.M. Palfenier-Vegter, M. Suwijn, and W.A. Casparie
1984(1986) An Archaeobotanical Study of Ganj Dareh Tepe, Iran. Palaeohistoria 26: 201-224.
Iran//Neolithic//Ganj Dareh


Willcox, George W.
1990 Charcoal Remains from Tepe Abdul Hosein. In Tepe Abdul Hosein: A Neolithic Site in Western Iran, Excavations 1978, J. Pullar. Pp. 223-227? BAR International Series 563. Oxford.
Iran//Tepe Abdul Hosein//Neolithic


Woosley, A.-I and F. Hole
1978 Pollen evidence of subsistence and environment in ancient Iran. Paleorient 4: 59-70.
Iran//pollen//Ali Kosh


Wright, Henry T., Naomi F. Miller, and Richard W. Redding
1978 Time and Process in an Uruk Rural Center. In L'archeologie de l'Iraq: Perspectives et limites de l'interpretation anthropologique des documents Pp. 265-282. Colloques internationaux du CNRS 580. Paris.





Allan S. Gilbert, Jerold M. Lowenstein, and Brian C. Hesse
Biochemical Differentiation of Archaeological Equid Remains: Lessons from a First Attempt
Journal of Field Archaeology 17 (1990) 39--48


The difficulty of distinguishing different taxa of equids from one another on the basis of skeletal morphology has led to the search for alternative means by which archaeologically recovered bones may be separated according to species or hybrid. The recently evolved biomolecular technique of protein radioimmunoassay (RIA) offers much promise in this regard because it identifies specimens using constituent proteins that differ from species to species and that tend to blend in selectively bred crosses. The method works for ancient bones only when sufficient amounts of the appropriate proteins survive.

Bone samples were assayed from wild, hunted onagers recovered from Neolithic levels of Ali Kosh Tepe in lowland SW Iran and from possible hybrids recovered from Bronze Age Levels of Godin Tepe in highland western Iran. Although insufficient albumin remained with which to accomplish the intended goal of species identification, the pattern of collagen retention provided important information on the relationship between taphonomy and protein survival.

The authors encourage excavators to reserve parts of their archaeological fauna for RIA if the depositional context suggests favorable conditions for preservation of the ancient proteins.


Oscar White Muscarella
The Location of Ulhu and Uise in Sargon II's Eighth Campaign, 714 B.C.
Journal of Field Archaeology 13 (1986) 466--475


In 714 B.C., Sargon II, king of Assyria, conducted a major military campaign across the Zagros Mountains into western Iran. It was the eighth campaign of his reign, and the fourth into Iran. This time, Sargon's main goal was to contain the state of Urartu within its territory and to subdue its allies. The itinerary of the Assyrian army and the events of the campaign were written in the form of a long letter from the king to the god Assur, and it is preserved almost in its entirety. The text is of great importance because it gives one of the most extensive itineraries of an Assyrian campaign and, unlike other Assyrian reports, it mentions by name, and often describes, a large number of cities and fortresses as well as many geographical features. For over 70 years scholars have attempted to reconstruct the route of Sargon from Assyria to Iran and to identify by epigraphical and archaeological research and survey the cities and features he mentions. Unfortunately, there has been little agreement among the modern researchers with regard to the specific directions taken by Sargon and equally so with attempts to link a site on the archaeological map with one mentioned in the ancient text. The present article gives a summary of the various solutions offered over the years and argues for the identification of two archaeologically known sites with two of those mentioned by Sargon.


James A. Neely and Paul S. Storch
Friable Pigments and Ceramic Surfaces: A Case Study from SW Iran
Journal of Field Archaeology 15 (1988) 108--114


The loss of friable pigments, as well as the ceramic surfaces to which they were applied, was researched in an attempt to stay the destructive processes affecting sherds recovered by survey in SW Iran. Prior to experimental treatment, the pigments and salt efflorescences were identified using optical and instrumental analyses. A technique for cleaning the calcareous encrustations from the pigment and ceramic surfaces without the use of acids was developed. This cleaning technique also solved a problem encountered in x-ray diffraction analysis when studying pigments applied to ceramics affected by salt encrustations. Several consolidant solutions were tested and applied to polychrome painted sherds recovered from one of the sites in the Deh Luran Plain. An acrylic resin was found to be acceptable as a consolidation agent. The authors feel that the experiments and results presented will serve as useful models for archaeologists and conservators facing similar problems.



Rose L. Solecki
More on Hafted Projectile Points in the Mousterian
Journal of Field Archaeology 19 (1992) 207--212


It has been suggested that Mousterian points, characteristic tools of many Middle Paleolithic industries, should be reclassified as converging side scrapers. This paper reviews the data from the two Zagros Mousterian sites used in a recent study, and also discusses problems inherent in the basic assumptions and comparative evidence. It is concluded that the question of hafted projectile points in the Mousterian is still an open issue. Furthermore, the classification of Mousterian points as side scrapers obscures their most obvious morphological attribute, that is, a sharply pointed end.



Simon Holdaway
Were There Hafted Projectile Points in the Mousterian?
Journal of Field Archaeology 16 (1989) 79--85


A test based on the pattern of use-related damage seen on projectile points from American Paleoindian sites is proposed to determine whether artifacts identified morphologically as points were in fact used as hafted projectiles. Thes test is applied to artifacts identified, based on Bordes' typology, as Mousterian points from two Iranian Mousterian sites (Warwasi and Bisitun). The results show that the ``Mousterian points'' from these sites do not have a breakage pattern consistent with a projectile point function.





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