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Journal Articles Archaeological Research in Asia Year : 2020

The Neolithic regional settlement of Darestan, Southern Lut Desert, Iran

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Abstract

This article presents results from recent archaeological survey in the southern Lut Desert area (Kerman Province, southeastern Iran). This fieldwork was conducted in the Bam region between 2016 and 2017 and has recorded numerous Neolithic sites, probably among the largest concentrations of Neolithic sites reported so far in southeastern Iran. This region is located in the lowlands east of the Jebal Barez Mountains, while all other Neolithic sites known in southeastern Iran are west of these mountains. It is also halfway between India and the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. As such, this fieldwork not only has brought important new data about the Neolithic period in the southern Lut Desert area and southeastern Iran, but it also has allowed us to address broader research questions relating to the development of agriculture east of the Fertile Crescent, across the Iranian Plateau into South Asia. In this article, we describe the main characteristics of the Neolithic regional settlement we have surveyed and offer preliminary interpretations as to its chronology and spatial distribution. We first provide information about the ancient climate and topography of the Bam region, for these are key aspects to understanding settlement pattern during the Neolithic period. We also summarize results from three excavation-seasons at Tell-e Atashi, the single Neolithic site that has been excavated in the southern Lut Desert area. We conclude by discussing our results with consideration of current knowledge on the Neolithic period in southern Iran and Pakistan and questions relating to the emergence of agriculture east of the Fertile Crescent.
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Dates and versions

hal-03856120 , version 1 (27-11-2022)

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Benjamin Mutin, Omran Garazhian, Maryam Shakooie. The Neolithic regional settlement of Darestan, Southern Lut Desert, Iran. Archaeological Research in Asia, 2020, 24, ⟨10.1016/j.ara.2020.100230⟩. ⟨hal-03856120⟩
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