The Iron Age Culture of Sistan, Afghanistan

Author(s): Mitch Allen; William B. Trousdale

Year: 2018


Our knowledge of the cultural history of western Central Asia is spotty and incomplete between the collapse of complex societies of the Bronze Age and the middle of the first millennium BCE. This is particularly true of the little-studied Sistan region of southwest Afghanistan and eastern Iran. The Helmand Sistan Project, conducted by the Smithsonian Institution and Afghan Directorate of Archaeology and Historic Preservation through the 1970s but hitherto unpublished, uncovered through survey and excavation an extensive settlement system along the lower Helmand River dating to this time period. This presentation will outline the basic elements of the Iron Age culture of this region. We will document the construction of a regional irrigation canal system that allowed for extensive desert cultivation in the Sar-o Tar region and along the Helmand River, describe the series of platform-based sites that anchored this system, and show key elements of material culture on those sites uncovered by the project. The presenters will situate these finds in the context of other cultures known from neighboring areas in the late second and early first millennia BCE

Cite this Record

The Iron Age Culture of Sistan, Afghanistan. Mitch Allen, William B. Trousdale. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443227)

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Geographic Keywords
Asia: Central Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 46.143; min lat: 33.724 ; max long: 87.715; max lat: 54.877 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20698