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Book Chapter

Geoarchaeology and the value of multidisciplinary palaeoenvironmental approaches: a case study from the Tehran Plain, Iran

By
G. K. Gillmore
G. K. Gillmore
1
Centre for Earth and Environmental Sciences Research (CEESR),
Kingston University
,
Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 2EE,
UK
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T. Stevens
T. Stevens
2
Department of Geography, Royal Holloway,
University of London
,
Egham TW20 0EX,
UK
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J. P. Buylaert
J. P. Buylaert
3
Nordic Laboratory for Luminescence Dating, Department of Earth Sciences,
Aarhus University
,
Risø DTU, DK-4000 Roskilde,
Denmark
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R. A. E. Coningham
R. A. E. Coningham
4
Department of Archaeology,
University of Durham
,
South Road, Durham DH1 3LE,
UK
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C. Batt
C. Batt
5
Archaeological Geographical and Environmental Sciences,
University of Bradford
,
Bradford BD7 1DP,
UK
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H. Fazeli
H. Fazeli
6
Iranian Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organisation
,
Tehran,
Iran
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R. Young
R. Young
7
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History,
University of Leicester
,
University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH,
UK
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M. Maghsoudi
M. Maghsoudi
8
Faculty of Geography,
University of Tehran, Tehran
,
Iran
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

Tepe Pardis, a significant Neolithic–Chalcolithic site on the Tehran Plain in Iran, is, like many sites in the area, under threat from development. The site contains detailed evidence of (1) the Neolithic–Chalcolithic transition, (2) an Iron Age cemetery and (3) how the inhabitants adapted to an unstable fan environment through resource exploitation (of clay deposits for relatively large-scale ceramic production by c. 5000 BC, and importantly, possible cutting of artificial water channels). Given this significance, models have been produced to better understand settlement distribution and change in the region. However, these models must be tied into a greater understanding of the impact of the geosphere on human development over this period. Forming part of a larger project focusing on the transformation of simple, egalitarian Neolithic communities into more hierarchical Chalcolithic ones, the site has become the focus of a multidisciplinary project to address this issue. Through the combined use of sedimentary and limited pollen analysis, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating (the application of the last still rare in Iran), a greater understanding of the impact of alluvial fan development on human settlement through alluviation and the development of river channel sequences is possible. Notably, the findings presented here suggest that artificial irrigation was occurring at the site as early as 6.7±0.4 ka (4300–5100 BC).

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Human Interactions with the Geosphere: The Geoarchaeological Perspective

L. Wilson
L. Wilson
University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada
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Geological Society of London
Volume
352
ISBN electronic:
9781862396005
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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