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A Landscape Archaeology Approach to the Settlement Patterns and Population Changes in Shahdad Plain, SE Iran, During 5th-3rd Millennium B.C.
Etude des schémas d'implantation des sites de la plaine de Shahdad (sud-est de l'Iran) et des mouvements de sa population du 5° au 3° millénaires avant J.-C., selon une approche d'archéologie du paysage.
Archaeologically, South East of Iran is one of the most important regions of the Near East in the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age. This region due to existence of some glorified Bronze Age urban centers such as Shahr-i Shukhte, Jiroft and Shahdad, has been played an important role in the ancient Near East. This study will develop a landscape approach to studies of the human-environment interactions, settlement patternsand population changes in the Shahdad plain during 5th-3rd Millennium B.C. Shahdad (ancient Khabis) plain located on the eastern flank of Kerman range, in an alluvial north-south pocket, and bordering the western fringes of (paleo-Lake) Lut desert. In 2011 and the early 2013, a two season archaeological project carried out by the author in the Shahdad Plain. The first season was an extensive archaeological survey in Shahdad Plain to identify the settlement patterns of the region through the ancient times, investigate the population changes and the human-environment interactions during prehistoric times in a region where previous excavations had documented the existence of a very significant Bronze Age urban center. The second season of Shahdad Project included stratigraphic excavations at two prehistoric sites –Tepe Dehno dating to 4th and 3rd Millennium B.C and Tepe East Dehno related to 5th Millennium B.C.– in Shahdad Plain. The recent Shahdad archaeological project brought to light new data for studying of the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age cultures of the Shahdad region which form the focus of this research. The juxtaposition of Shahdad plain and Desert of Lut has led to the formation of a particular ancient landscape in the Near East. The present research introduces a phenomenonal archaeological feature in Ancient Near East named Kalut (natural hill in the desert landscapes) and discusses its relation with the prehistoric occupations in the Shahdad Plain. Furthermore, the Bronze Age regional patterns of urbanization in the South East of Iran will be studied based on new data from Shahdad.