8000-year-old artifacts discovered in southern Iran

August 18, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- A great number of stone tools and animal bones dating back to the sixth millennium BC have recently been discovered during the second season of excavations at the Rahmatabad Tepe in Fars Province.

An archaeological team led by Mohammad-Hossein Azizi has identified the strata of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B eras at this site which is located near the Bolaghi Valley.
The team found layers of burned earth, ashes, and compact earth in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A stratum, which is two meters thick, Azizi told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.
A number of stone tools and a compact mass of chippings were discovered in the strata, he added.
Samples taken from the layers have been removed for precise dating and further analysis.
The Pre-Pottery Neolithic B stratum is 1.5 meters thick.
Naturally it was not expected that any pottery would be unearthed from this stratum, due to its name. However, Azizi said that they had actually discovered a number of buff colored pots bearing geometrical motifs.
Tools made of stones and bones, thin pieces of obsidian, mud-baked tokens, a number of statuettes, and seals have also been found in the layer.
In addition, several kilns along with clay instruments used inside them as thermometers have been discovered.
The kilns are rectangular and each comprises a fireplace and a platform on which pottery can be placed, Azizi said.
The site was part of a center manufacturing pottery for nearby regions. Thus neither traces of common people’s habitation nor of their everyday pottery have been found there.
The Rahmatabad Tepe was also one of the major centers for the mass production of large stone tools.
Azizi remarked that the upper layer of the mound was disturbed by the construction of the Achaemenid Royal Road. Thus, almost any traces dating back to the Bakun period (late 5th to early 4th millennium BC) have been obliterated at the site.
However, a number of shards from the Bakun period have been discovered in the mortar used in the construction of a mud-brick Achaemenid structure at the mound, he added.
He stated that some other Achaemenid structures once at the tepe have been totally destroyed by a cemetery established there by nomads during the early Islamic eras.
The Rahmatabad prehistoric industrial site was discovered during the first season of excavations in 2006 and a large number of ancient shards and kilns were unearthed.
Photo: Pottery works discovered during the second season of excavations at the Rahmatabad Tepe