Obsidian and Salt in the Khoy Plain: Uncovering the Early Bronze Age Obsidian Procurement System of the Salt Mine of Tappeh Doozdaghi, North-Western Iran - IRAMAT-CRP2A : équipe Université Bordeaux Montaigne de l'UMR 5060 CNRS Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2021

Obsidian and Salt in the Khoy Plain: Uncovering the Early Bronze Age Obsidian Procurement System of the Salt Mine of Tappeh Doozdaghi, North-Western Iran

Abstract

Located in the Khoy plain, in North-western Iran, the salt mine of Tappeh Doozdaghi lies at the crossroads of major interregional circulation routes linking the Urmiah and the northern Araxes basins. This area is rich in prehistoric and protohistoric settlements dating from the Late Neolithic to the Iron Age; a high concentration of pottery sherds related to the Early Bronze Age (3500−2500/2400 BC) is particularly noteworthy, which suggests that this region was fairly densely occupied during that time. Among the sites identified during the numerous surveys conducted in the area, Doozadghi is one of the largest, extending over 16 hectares and culminating about 24 meters above the surrounding landscape. The first sounding campaign, led in 2016 under the aegis of the West Azerbaijan Province Cultural Heritage Organisation and the Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research (ICAR), has revealed a breadth of materials attributed to the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. The 40 obsidian artefacts that were collected in the later levels (EBA) have been geochemically characterised to identify their geological origin. The provenance results indicate a high diversity of obsidian sources, with the use of seven different outcrops located in both the Southern Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia (Arteni, Geghasar-Gegham, Gügürbaba-Meydan, Gutansar, Sevkar-Syunik, Sicaksu-Nemrut-Dag, and one unknown source). This diversity suggests that the Khoy plain during the EBA attracted populations from various horizons, probably drawn by the presence of salt and other numerous resources available in the area (e.g., arable land, winter pasturelands, abundant water sources). The dynamism that seems to characterise the Khoy plain during the EBA is akin to what has been observed on the salt mine of Duzdaghi in Nakhchivan for the same period; this highlights the key role of natural resources in creating central places where populations from diverse horizons have interacted with one another and thus participated in the redistribution of materials (e.g., salt and obsidian) at an intra- and inter-regional level.
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hal-03336841 , version 1 (20-12-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03336841 , version 1

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Marie Orange, Akbar Abedi, François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec, Afrasiab Garavand, Fatemeh Malekpour, et al.. Obsidian and Salt in the Khoy Plain: Uncovering the Early Bronze Age Obsidian Procurement System of the Salt Mine of Tappeh Doozdaghi, North-Western Iran. International Obsidian Conference, Apr 2021, Berkeley, United States. . ⟨hal-03336841⟩
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