Archaeological Discovery
2013. Vol.1, No.2, 23-31
Published Online October 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 23
Analyzing Typical Characteristics of Central Zagros Potteries
during the Chalcolithic Period
Behzad Balmaki1, Kamal Aldin Niknami2*, Mohammad Reza Saeedi Harsini3
1Department of Archa e ology, Islamic Azad U niversity (Hamedan Branch), Hamedan, Iran
2Department of Arc h aeology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
3SAMT, Humanities Research Centre, Tehran, Iran
Email:, *,
Received June 19th, 2013; revised July 20th, 2013; accep t e d A u g u s t 1 st, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Behzad Balmaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
Some 152 Chalcolithic sites were identified by the means of an archaeological surface survey in the Cen-
tral Zagros mountainous region. As a whole, the analysis of data shows that the majority volume of find-
ing pottery groups is classified as Red-Slipped Wares belonging to the Late Chalcolithic period. Beside
this, the Black on Buff Wares and also the Impress Dalma Wares (Middle Chalcolithic) are the two types
dominating the samples. The altitude of the settlements has risen by transition from the Early to the Late
Chalcolithic periods. By Middle Chalcolithic we confronted different kinds of potteries indicating an im-
provement in the pottery making techniques or communicating with the neighboring regions. The Late
Chalcolithic societies have witnessed a decline in the pottery types produced, but dramatic increases in
the production rates. All factors show that in the Late Chalcolithic, population has been increased and a
category of settlement systems have been propagated in the region which includes agricultural vil-
lage-based pastoralism and nomadism.
Keywords: Iran; Central Zagros; Chalcolithic Period; Pottery Types; Archaeological Survey
The Central Zagros Mountains (CZM) has been considered
as a most prominent region in the archeological studies of the
Middle East and Iran as part of the so-called Fertile Crescent.
Central Zagros, as a bridge connecting the Iranian central pla-
teau to the Mesopotamian lowlands, takes a special place in the
Middle Eastern archaeological studies (Braidwood et al., 1983;
Braidwood, 1958, 1960a, 1960b; Meldgard et al., 1963; Hole,
1987, 2011; Mortensen, 1972, 1974; Gilbert, 1975; Zagarell,
1975; Smith, 1976, 1990; Smith & Mortensen, 1980; Henrick-
son, 1985; Abdi, 2003, Niknami & Nikzad, 2012).
In this region the concealed hints of culture before the his-
torical eras can be revealed as its natural and geographical
characteristics has led to turn out to be the noticeable earliest
period of human communities. The advent of various changes
in the human-ecology relationships, the growing population,
outbreak of cultural exchanges, craft specialization, develop-
ment of tools technology, further concentration on food produc-
tions and productivity of nature and rural life are being re-
garded as highly significant cultural criteria of this period.
Fundamental changes in texture, pottery production technique,
mass production and high quality of some pottery types are the
most important features of Chalcolithic pottery production stra-
tegies. All these changes were a continuing process in the men-
tioned period and at the end of this period, potters were equip-
ed with sufficient experience of production. Variety of potteries
belonging to Chalcolithic period can be found in the CZM. This
diversity in the Early Chalcolithic (EC) to the Late Chalcolithic
(LC) is accompanied with changes in the quality as well as its
decorations, that it would be different from place to place. In
the regions of the Early, Middle and Late Chalcolithic, the
traces of potteries and chipped Stones were studied based on
the broad excavations carried out for example in Godin Tepe,
Seh Gabi; Shahnabad (Young, 1969, 1974) and Giyan (Con-
tenau & Ghirshman, 1935) project. But more generally the
Mahidasht/Kermanshah studies (Levine & Mcdonald, 1977;
Levine, 1975), Malayer (Howel, 1979), north east of Luristan
(Goff, 1971; Mo rtensen, 1974) and Kangavar valley can be con-
sented as the base for the Chalcolithic recognitions (Young,
1975; Young & Smith, 1966).
In the search for Chalcolithic pottery in the CZM, the re-
searchers explored fine-made but often painted buff wares such
as those have been found before at Halaf and Ubaid of Meso-
potamia which were fired at a high temperature furnace. Frank
Hole believes that buff ware began in some earliest villages
from sixth millennium BC and in some other from fifth mil-
lennium BC (Hole, 1987). Thus all pottery types found from
Chalcolithic regions are hand-made, chaff tempered and have
the combination of a light brown to a red range slip (Henrick-
son, 1991: p. 278). The purpose of this paper is statistical study
of the characteristic pottery assemblages of the CZM Region, in
the Early, Middle and Early Late Chalcolithic. By this way and
based on preliminary pottery data, in fact we try to determine a
settlement pattern in the next studies.
*Corresponding author.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Geographical Location of the Study Area
Regarding the administrative divisions of the provinces of
Iran Central Zagros includes center of Kermanshah province,
some areas of the eastern parts of Hamedan, some northern
parts in Kurdistan and northern proportions of Luristan and
Ilam provinces (Figures 1 and 2).
Based on geographical maps, a number of researchers con-
sider this region much broader than the Kermanshah, Hamedan,
Ilam, Kurdistan and Luristan provinces, but Young believes
that this region belongs to the center of Kermanshah province
and its surrounding valleys (Young, 1963: p. 16).
This geographical area possess high mountains, vast plains
and various valleys (Stocklin, 1968) that was accounted as an
individual feature for people who provided their place of living
and then left settlements and frequent traces.
The data for this study comes from an archaeological survey
carried out in the eastern parts of CZM range such as Asad
Abad, Nahavand, Kangavar, Harsin and Sahne. Totally from
Figure 1.
Map showing location of study a rea in Iran.
Figure 2.
Map showing location of study a rea in Iran.
152 archaeological sites sherds were collected and studied (Fig-
ures 2 and 3). Potteries were classified into 10 known groups
according to the Chalcolithic pottery types of western Iran.
Materials and Methods
The needed information of this study is obtained through the
archaeological survey and sampling. In order to number the
sites, the first and second letter of each province is used. Ac-
cording to that (As) stands for Asad Abad, (Nh) for Nahavand,
(K) for Kangavar, (S) for Sahne and (H) for Harsin. Totally
about 152 sites were identified and random sampling strategy
was used to collect surface data.
The abbreviation used for pottery classifications are as fol-
J Ware (JW), Impress Dalma Ware (IDW), Dalma-Painted
Ware (DP), Dalma-Ubaid Painted (DUP), Seh-Gabi Painted
(SGP), Black on Buff (BOB), Red on Buff (ROB), Red-Slipped
Ware (RS), S-Shaped Ware (S), Chipped Stone (CHS).
Classification of Sites Based on the Surface
The chronology of the sites is concluded based on the survey
and classifying of the assemblages as well as the analogy to the
previous studies. In many cases, regarding the similarity of the
pottery in different sites the possibility of accurate relative
chronology is very complicated and requires data coming di-
rectly from excavations sherds gathered from the sites were
divided into three groups of Early, Middle and Late Chalco-
lithic as well as an unknown group of Chalcolithic wares which
were confronted for the first time. Table 1 shows the number of
pottery sherds classified into three Chalcolithic periods and an
unknown class of sherds (see also Figure 4).
Figure 3.
Distribution of archaeological sites across the study area.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 25
Table 1.
Number of pottery sherds classified into three Chalcolithic periods and
an unknown.
Period Number of sites Area (m2) Elevation (m)
E. C. 26 5235.11 1517.26
M. C. 51 10597.45 1531.56
L. C. 110 11278.18 1549.90
Unknown C. 21 8972.14 1453.42
E = Early; M = Middle; L = Late; C = Chalcolithic.
Figure 4.
Percentage of archaeological sites during each Chalcolithic pe-
Classifying Pottery Types According to
Chronological Sequence of the Region
Early Chalcolithic Period, Shahnabad Phase
(Godin XI)
Through the studies conducted in the region the traces of this
phase have been observed in Mahidasht and Kangavar of CZM
and Nahavand and Malayer valleys. These regions are located
toward the old great Khorasan road to the west (Henrickson,
1991: p. 279; Henrickson & Mcdonalds, 1983: pp. 630-643).
Among the potteries of this period found in Seh Gabi Tepe/
Mound C, there have been buff straw-tempered wares known as
Shahnabad which are regarded as representative to the potteries
of this period (Levine, 1975: pp. 31-44). Some types of Shah-
nabad wares have been painted by motif of stacked solid train-
gles on a line in the inner edge. The forms are almost plain and
invariant. The radiocarbon samples of Shahnabad phase at
Mound C, declare the date of the end of sixth millennium B.C.
(Levin & Young, 1986: p. 17). By our survey no potteries of
Shahnabad kind were found, but we have been able to found the
well-known wares called as J ware (JW).
This is characterized by a thin and fine body, tan to reddish
buff paste, usually red- or black-slipped or both and decorated
with various combinations of black, red and white-painted lines
or simple geometric motifs. The J wares may be a derivation of
the painted wares of Halaf in Mesopotamia, although they are
technically simpler (Henrickson, 1985a: p. 69). Through our in-
vestigation J wares were found at 3 sites which were generally
associated with other kinds such as DUP, BOB, ROB and IDW
types (Table 2 and Figure 5). From 23 sites of Chalcolithic
period we have found Chipped Stone remains were spread on
the surfaces.
Figure 5.
JW sites location on t he map of the study area.
Middle Chalcolithic, Dalma Phase (Godin X)
Dalma refers to an Early MC site in the south western part of
Urmia Lake (Hamlin, 1975: p. 127). It is a name has been given
to the pottery styles which were produced in this site. Apart
from Dalma itself, this kind of pottery were also found from the
sites located in western Iran such as Godin and Seh Gabi. In
Seh Gabi the Dalma ware was found in the Mound B and some
holes (Young, 1963: pp. 38-39) and they were classified as
DPW and IDW. DPW were divided into four sub-classes stylis-
tic groups of Monochrom e, Bichrome, Streak y and Dalm a-Ubaid .
The Monochrome Dalma wares were not well baked and
were generally crude, chaff-tempered and its surface slipped by
a cream or dark red slip or covered using gloss matt. The
Bichrome Dalma wares are simpler and rarer than the Mono-
chrome samples. These types of samples are found in the first
layers of Seh Gabi/Mound B with decoration in red and black
on a cream ground. The important point is that no Bichrome
was found at Dalma Tepe itself or any of the Azarbayjan sites
from this period (Levine & Young, 1986: p. 21) and this type is
specific of Kangavar valley. The type of Dalma streaky is quite
different. These wares are often burnished after painting. The
mentioned wares are confined to the early levels of Seh Gabi/
Mound B. The Dalma Bichrome wares were found during these
surveys from 4 sites. In the sites possessing Dalma Phase other
kind of potteries including RS, BOB, ID, DUP and SGP were
found (Table 2 and Figure 6).
Dalma-Ubaid Painted Wares
This kind of pottery was discovered from 4 sites. One site is
located in Kangavar valley, two sites in Sahne plains and Har-
sin and the other in Nahavand plain. There have been findings
such as potteries of RS, BOB, IDW, JW, DP and Chipped
Stones (Table 2 and Figure 7).
Impressed Dalma Wares
These wares possess impress drawings and have been deco-
rated with variant methods on the surface. The entire outer
surface is manipulated in a wide variety of impressions, exci-
sion and the in a very dense and random patterns. In fabric it is
similar to the DP, with a surface that has a thick dark red or
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Table 2.
Major pottery types of Chalcolithic period classified for the study area.
Attributes Chronology (Site) Other Findings (Site)
of Sites Altitude
Average (m) Area
Average (m2)
JW 3 1640 5699.66 3 3 2 0 3 0 1 2 0 0 3 02
DP 4 1561.75 5636.75 2 4 3 1 1 4 0 1 0 0 3 02
DUP 4 1525.75 17940 1 4 3 1 0 1 4 1 1 0 3 02
IDW 29 1545.72 10488.79 10 29 21 7 2 0 1 29 4 4 16 121
SGP 9 1512.77 8813.77 2 9 7 1 0 1 0 4 9 0 3 16
ROB 6 1509.5 7322.83 3 6 5 2 1 0 0 4 0 6 4 05
BOB 29 1545 12684.75 8 29 25 5 3 0 3 16 3 4 29 124
SW 5 1532 17455 0 1 5 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 52
RS 105 1556.6 11290.628 18 40 105 162 2 2 21 6 5 24 3105
Figure 6.
DP sites location on the map of the study area.
Figure 7.
DUP sites location on the map of the study area.
brown slip. All the potteries are hand-made and their most
common form is a wide-mouth pot with a short vertical neck
and ledge just below the neck (Levine & Young, 1986: p. 21).
In this case, we can refer to other groups of wares. The DUP
and the BOB are appeared during a limited period in Dalma
collection. Both of these buff wares are fine, thickness and hard
(Levine & Young, 1986: p. 29). In our project, the IDW types
have been obtained from 29 sites 10 of which just from Naha-
vand vicinity (Table 2 and Figure 8).
Middle Chalcolithic/Seh Gabi Period (Godin IX)
Following upon the Dalma assemblage is the Data from the
Seh Gabi assemblage indicates technical progress in pottery
production than Dalma wares. The buff wares were finer than
before with a distinctive thick, shiny and vitrified black paint. A
series of red slipped wares usually burnished and sometimes
fingertip impressed are obvious on it like ID wares (Levine &
Young, 1986: p. 29). Potteries for the Godin IX sites in Kanga-
var valley are similar to those from Nahavand and Malayer
(Young, 1966: pp. 228-239; Howel, 1979: pp. 156-157).
Seh Gabi Painted Wares (SGP)
During the second part of the MC, upper Seh Gabi/Mound B,
is characterized by the Seh Gabi Painted (SGP) wares, it is
likewise seen to be contemporary with the Pisdeli-wares occu-
pations in Solduz-Ushnu (Henrickson, 1985: p. 70). We ob-
served this kind of pottery in 9 sites of which 4 sites in Kanga-
var valley, 4 sites in Sahne plain and Harsin and one in Naha-
vand plain (Table 2 and Figure 9).
Middle Chalcolithic/Godin Period VIII
The pottery wares of Godin VIII are often smaller and their
characteristics are presented to have a fine black on buff similar
to the BOB wares which at first were recognized by Levine in
the Mahidasht plain. Although this kind of pottery can be
viewed as the continuation of Seh Gabi traditions, but in the
course of motives and production techniques they are different
from each other. The significant point is that, the potteries as-
signed to this period were not presented in Kangavar and might
be collected from the surface of Tepe Giyan (Levine & Young,
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 27
Figure 8.
IDW sites location on the map of the study area.
Figure 9.
SGP sites location on the m ap of the study area .
1986: p. 33). In chronological order Godin VIII is assumed to
be the terminal phase of MC before starting the LC phase.
Red on Buff Ware (ROB)
This thin buff wares which are mostly observed in Nahavand
plain, have been represented in 6 sites (Table 2 shows the
number of sites producing ROB and associated findings, see
also Figure 10).
Black on Buff Ware (BOB)
These buff wares discovered from 29 sites of the inter-moun-
tainous plain of Sahne. Sites possessing BOB, associated with
other data including IDW, ROB, RS, SGR, JW and DUP (Ta-
ble 2 and Figure 11).
Early Late Chalcolithic Period
The Late Chalcolithic is started with Godin VII period. Two
of the most significant assemblages of late Chalcolithic are
recognized through accurate chronology. These two collections
Figure 10.
ROB sites location on the map of the study area.
Figure 11.
BOB sites location on the map of the study area.
are known as period VII (Hoseinabad) and period VI (Chesh-
mehnosh) (Levine & Young, 1986: p. 33). All the obtained wares
of this stage are hand-made and are classified into 4 groups of
coarse, semi-coarse, plain and fine wares (Young, 1969: p. 5).
Despite an increase in kinds of buff wares the amounts of
coarse wares have decreased compared to the previous period.
The form of wares includes hemispheric bowls with inverted
rim and hemispheric bowls with vertical walls which possess
low to average depth. Pots and jars have appeared during this
Based on an outstanding and special form, the plain buff
wares are typical of this period. Red-Slip wares (RS) are propa-
gated as before but with lesser percentage, such as eight to ten
The upper concaved walls are the other typical wares of this
period as well as the painted wares which characterize Godin
VI from the previous periods. Motives were primitive and sim-
ply geometric, in some wares abstracted designs of animals and
birds were used as motives (Levine & Young, 1986: p. 40).
Some parts of potteries belonging to Godin VII and VI have
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
been also identified in Tepe Giyan (Henrickson, 1985, Table 1).
Moreover, a recent classification divided the Early Late Chal-
colithic period itself into two levels of Early Godin VI and
Middle and Late Godin VI periods (Badler, 2002: pp. 80-109).
S-Shaped Wares
Pottery Fragments of S-shaped wares were obtained from 5
sites which include 3 sites from Kangavar valley, 1 site from
Sahne and 1 site from Nahavand plain. In the sites consisting of
S wares, other data such as the RS, BOB and ID potteries were
also presented (Table 2 and Figure 12).
Red-Slipped Wares (RS)
These wares are chaff-tempered, have a smoothed surface
and are made up into vessels which are coarser and thicker-
walled than those in the Buff ware groups. The potteries of this
group were found from the most sites; Kangavar 47 sites, Sahne
38 sites and Harsin 20 sites. Table 2 indicates the amount of
sites producing RS as well as its associated findings (Figure
These wares are chaff-tempered, have a smoothed surface
and are made up into vessels which are coarser and thicker-
walled than those in the Buff ware groups. The potteries of this
group were found from the most sites; Kangavar 47 sites, Sahne
38 sites and Harsin 20 sites. Table 2 indicates the amount of
sites producing RS as well as its associated findings (Figure
Discussion and Conclusions
Analyzing pottery type assemblages collected from the sites
of the study area shows that the types of RS, BOB and ID of
LC period, dominated the assemblages respectively (see Figure
14 and Table 3). Regarding the location of pottery types lo-
cated on the different elevations it is shown that sites containing
the J Wares of EC period have been located at the highest ele-
vations than the other.
Considering the pottery types location elevations indicate an
increasing change in the settlement elevations occurred by tran-
sition from EC to LC. This trend is highly recognizable for all
other types of the assemblages. The lowest altitude concerning
the CHS type which begins from the EC and then is continued
with ROB and SGP types at the beginning of Godin XI and VII,
and finally ended up with RS wares in Godin VII. In this case
the J Wares are considered as exceptions because of their rare
representations on the sites (Figure 15).
The Settlement Pattern and Distribution of Ware
Types in the Region
As has been identified, 57.89 percent of our visited sites are
located in the altitude of 1500 - 1800 m on the eastern inter-
mountainous face of Zagros The area are drained by several
stream branches and because of the steep slopes of regions,
there have been a number of seasonal flows drained by the
melting ices through the warmer times (Figure 16).
Since the changes of slopes are concaved according to mor-
phology of region, the slope ends up in the neighboring plains
from summit. Density of sediments eroded from the mountains
and deposited by the seasonal canals created the widespread
alluvial plains inland attracting dwellers to occupy throughout
the history of the region.
Figure 12.
SW sites location on the map of the study area.
Figure 13.
RS sites location on the ma p o f t h e st u d y area.
Table 3.
Area covered by each pottery group.
Pottery type Total Area (m2) Percent
DP 71,760 3%
S 87,225 4%
SGP 79,324 3%
DUP 22,545 1%
CHS 150,480 6%
JW 17,099 1%
ROB 43,937 2%
IDW 311,019 13%
BOB 367,858 16%
RS 1,185,516 51%
Moreover, about 62.5 percent of the sites have been located
in a distance less than 1000 m from the rivers and seasonal
canals (Table 4). For the settlement patterns of Chalcolithic
sites it is evident from Table 4 and Figure 16 that distance to
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 29
Figure 14.
Percentage of each pottery group identified from the pottery assem-
Figure 15.
Different locations of each pottery group (elevation in m).
the water sources in the region could be assumed as an influ-
encing factor to affect distribution of sites to shape a pattern by
which dwellers found easy access to the water sources.
The following results are extracted regarding the samples of
their period:
About 17/1 percent of sites have been assigned to the EC pe-
riod covering a space of about 5235 m2 23 sites of which pro-
duced CHS pottery type and 3 sites provided JW type. 15 sits of
this period were located in a distance less than 1000 m from
rivers while some other more than 3000 m. 23 sites are in av-
erage altitude of 1491 m and 3 sites are at 1640 m. The inter-
esting fact of this case is the form of J Ware. Such wares are
mostly of open-mouth and of tray shape (Levine & Young,
1986: pp. 19-20). As they stated these form of wares are not
convenient for the migrating people to handle but suitable to
utilize by the sedentary villagers.
On the other hand the environmental characteristics of site
locations such as altitude may account to the point that the
consumers of such wares were probably the people who lived in
the permanent villages and used sedentary way of life for their
living economy. The changes immediately occurred after the
Late Neolithic in the open valleys of Western CZM, indicate an
increase in the settlement areas of the region (Godin XI Period)
so that the smaller villages were inhabited near the rivers, streams
or springs (Smith & Young, 1983; Abdi, 2003). The sites pro-
liferation pattern and increasing the number of villages were
clearly seen from Mahidasht plain during the Neolithic to
Chalcolithic periods (Levine & Mcdonald, 1977: p. 45).
Figure 16.
Map showing the overa ll distances of Chalcolithic sites of the study.
Table 4.
Overall distances of sites from the rivers.
Number of
Sites Percentage Distance from
Water Source s ( m)
95 62.5% 0 - 1000
39 25.65% 1000 - 2000
13 8.5% 2000 - 3000
5 3.28% <3000
152 - -
During the MC period various types of wares represent de-
velopments in pottery productions and also communications
with the adjacent regions. The reports concerning presence of
IDW types even in Azerbaijan region verifies this fact of inter-
actions (Hamlin, 1975; Henrickson & Vidali, 1987). Archaeo-
logical evidences from CZM, show two distinct economic stra-
tegies taking place in the MC period. The eastern CZM seems
to have maintained village-based agricultural economy while
western CZM shows more interactions with the lowland plains
such as Hamrin, Diyala and Dehloran (Abdi, 2003: p. 436).
Evidently in this research, 33/5 percent of the total sites dis-
covered belong to the MC period which accounts for 10,597 m2
(Table 1). This represents a 16.4 percent growth in the settle-
ments expansions and subsequent population increases over the
previous period.
Number of sites representing various pottery types of the MC
period are as following: 29 sites represent IDW type, 29 sites
BOB, 9 sites SGP, 6 sites ROB, 4 sites DP and finally 4 sites
represent DUP type. Among them 57 sites are located in non-
pasture land and are placed in a distance less than 2000 m from
rivers. The average altitude of their location is about 1500 -
1550 m showing that these regions mostly meet the needs for
sedentary communities. In addition, the overall characteristics
of this period’s pottery types seem to have been as storage
wares appropriate for food supplies.
By the beginning of LC period the number of sites was in-
creased to reach 110 sites (about two times more than the pre-
vious period (Table 1). This increase may due to the establish-
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
ment of the new settlements or the increase of the average areas
used, but not merely because of the population growth. By
comparing the average areas used by LC and MC peoples, it is
clear that there is no considerable differences existed (Table 1)
thus; it may be used to conclude that the LC peoples were by no
means sedentary peoples living in the permanent villages in-
stead; they were living in a mobility condition. Gilbert (1983: p.
111) on the basis of his study in Kangavar region came to the
same conclusion stressing that settlement density may have
persisted relatively unchanged through several villages’ strata
until about 3500 BC. But it is noted that, in the Late-Middle to
Late Chalcolithic, the number of permanent settlements dropp-
ed precipitously in favor of temporary campsites with increas-
ing distance from the agricultural zone (Abdi, 2003: p. 425).
Though during the LC the variety of pottery types has been
decreased but their production rates were highly increased as
the greatest parts of the assemblages of this period contain just
RS type. Approximately from this period 72/3 percent of total
sites discovered. The average areas occupied by these sites is
11,287 m2; indicating a highly expansion rate than other periods.
An increase of about 38.8 percent in settlements growth may
imply to reflect the growing populations and their distribution
throughout the region.
105 out of 110 sites possess RS and just 5 remaining sites
represent S shaped type. The average altitude of this group is
about 1549 m (Table 3). The distance of these sites from the
rivers and their tributaries is less than 1000 m. During this pe-
riod pottery wares were produced for their functional purposes
and production lines followed manufacturing all forms in bulk
such as plain wares rather than paying attention to a specific
one. This period witnessed a great demand for pottery wares.
Nevertheless different forms of wares were still in use includ-
ing opened and closed mouth vessels and shallow and deep
vessels as well as trays of various types constituting some types
of S shaped wares (Levine & Young, 1986: p. 33).
In summary, based on the above reasoning, our study pro-
vided a category of settlement system for the region which
includes agricultural village-based pastoralism and nomadism.
This system would be well described by the environmental
setting of sites such as altitudes as well as the many forms of
pottery vessels produced in the Chalcolithic sites which they
may well account to the point that the consumers of such ves-
sels were probably the people who lived in the permanent vil-
lages and used sedentary way of life for their living economy.
Such economy may be represented by an ideal capacity for
agriculture and animal husbandry. And as a final point, al-
though for the surveying strategy we applied “purposive” me-
thod by which any point of the surveying area were assessed. It
led to noticeable ancient sites to be discovered and recorded. As
a result, we have a considerable body of evidences about pre-
historic occupations of the region, allowing us to draw a more
precise picture of the settlement patterns during those times as
well as changing and transforming patterns of them through a
long-term process. So, a post surveying project conducted with
the aim to understanding settlement patterns and processes of
the valley during different periods of prehistory and their most
affective and influential factors.
We are grateful to the Iranian National Science Foundation
(INSF) for covering some parts of this research’s financial need.
We would like to thank all the members of the survey team for
their kindly cooperation. Grateful thanks to the Cultural Heri-
tage Organization of Hamadan and Kermanshah provinces that
provided our access to the site locations. We thank also Dr.
Yaghob Mohamadifar from University of Bu Ali Sina of Ha-
medan for their kindly co-operations in providing the neces-
sary data and maps.
Abdi, K. (2003). The early development of pastoralism in the Central
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Uruk in the Near East (pp. 79-109). Iraq Archaeological Reports.
London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq.
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