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Ali Kosh, Iran

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology

Timothy Darvill

Ali Kosh, Iran 


Early Neolithic tell on the Deh Luran plain in lowland Khuzistan, western Iran, excavated by Frank Hole and Kent Flannery in the 1960s. The work was innovative in successfully using a flotation unit to sample deposits for carbonized plant remains. The cultural sequence begins at about 8000 bc and runs through for about two millennia, spanning the period when farming developed in the region. In the earliest, Bus Mordeh, phase (c.8000–7000 bc) the settlement comprised simple rectangular houses built of mud brick. The occupants lived through a combination of simple farming, hunting, and gathering. Domesticates included herded sheep and goats together with hulled barley, and emmer and einkorn wheat. The inhabitants collected a wide range of plants and also fished. In the succeeding Ali Kosh Phase (c.7000–6200 bc) the same range of domesticates were found and some hunting and fishing still occurred, but the contribution made by wild plants decreased dramatically as the use of cultivated plants increased. The settlement was larger, with more substantial buildings. In the third, Muhammad Jaffar, phase (c.6200–5800 bc) there were further innovations, including the introduction of pottery, and farming had become firmly established. The site appears to have been abandoned in the mid 6th millennium bc.


F. Hole, K. V. Flannery, and J. A. Neely, 1969, Prehistory and human ecology of the Deh Luran Plain. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan PressFind this resource:

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