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No Aryans Needed: Toward explaining the distribution of Burnished Grey Ware Ceramics of the Third Millennium in Northeastern Iran

Author(s): Kyle Olson

Year: 2015

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The Gorgan Plain in Iran has long been considered to be an important part of the northern frontier of the Ancient Near East. Only recently, however, has this region been considered a center of complex society in its own right during the third millennium BCE. While no society in this frontier zone would achieve literate statehood until much later, there is nevertheless mounting evidence that the societies of northeastern Iran developed incipient urbanism, craft specialization, and organized irrigation networks, among many other hallmarks of ‘civilization’ during the Bronze Age. Unfortunately, considerable confusion remains regarding basic cultural sequences of ceramics, architecture, craft production, agriculture, and animal husbandry. Due to the nature of the published materials, discussion tends to revolve around a few key issues; the most widely published and commented upon cultural materials from northeastern Iran are the Burnished Grey Wares made famous by Erich Schmidt’s excavations at Tepe Hissar. This paper focuses on integrating the available Burnished Grey Ware materials into a framework that adequately describes the variation in this assemblage over time and space and evaluating different hypotheses that could possibly account for the observed distribution.

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No Aryans Needed: Toward explaining the distribution of Burnished Grey Ware Ceramics of the Third Millennium in Northeastern Iran. Kyle Olson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397710)


Bronze Age Ceramics Iran

Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America