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Jiroft civilisation

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Jiroft civilisation

History of Iran
ANCIENT
Proto-Elamite 3200–2700 BCE
Elam 2700–539 BCE
Mannaeans 850–616 BCE
IMPERIAL
Median Empire 678–550 BCE
  (Scythian Kingdom 652–625 BCE)
Achaemenid Empire 550–330 BCE
Atropatene 320s BC – 3rd century AD
Seleucid Empire 312–63 BCE
Parthian Empire 247 BCE – 224 CE
Sasanian Empire 224–651
  (Dabuyid dynasty 642–759/760)
  (Paduspanids 665–1598)
  (Bavand dynasty 665–1349)
MIDDLE AGES
Umayyad Caliphate 661–750
Abbasid Caliphate 750–1258
Justanids
791–974
Samanid Dynasty
819–999
Saffarid Dynasty
867–1002
Ziyarid Dynasty
928–1043
Sallarid dynasty
941–1062
Sajid dynasty
889/890–929
Buyid Dynasty
934–1055
Ilyasids
932–968
Ghaznavid Empire 963–1186
Kakuyids 1008–1141
Great Seljuq Empire 1037–1194
Atabegs of Yazd 1141–1319
Ghurid Dynasty 1148–1215
Khwarazmian Empire 1077–1231
Mihrabanids 1236–1537
Kurt Dynasty 1244–1396
Ilkhanate Empire 1256–1335
Chobanid Dynasty
1335–1357
Muzaffarid Dynasty
1335–1393
Jalayirid Dynasty
1336–1432
Sarbadars
1337–1376
Afrasiab dynasty 1349–1504
Timurid Empire 1370–1405
Qara Qoyunlu
1406–1468
Timurid Dynasty
1405–1507
Agh Qoyunlu
1468–1508
EARLY MODERN
Safavid Empire 1501–1736
  (Hotaki Dynasty 1722–1729)
Afsharid Empire 1736–1747
Zand Dynasty
1760–1794
Afsharid Dynasty
1747–1796
Qajar Empire 1796–1925
MODERN
Pahlavi Dynasty 1925–1979
Interim Government 1979–1980
Islamic Republic 1980–present

A "Jiroft culture"[1] has been postulated as an early Bronze Age (late 3rd millennium BC) archaeological culture, located in what is now Iran's Sistan and Kermān Provinces. The hypothesis is based on a collection of artifacts that were confiscated in Iran and accepted by many to have derived from the Jiroft area in south central Iran, reported by online Iranian news services, beginning in 2001.

The proposed type site is Konar Sandal, near Jiroft in the Halil River area. Other significant sites associated with the culture include; Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City), Tepe Bampur, Espiedej, Shahdad, Tal-i-Iblis and Tepe Yahya.

The proposition of grouping these sites as an "independent Bronze Age civilization with its own architecture and language", intermediate between Elam to the west and the Indus Valley Civilization to the east, is due to Yousef Majidzadeh, head of the archaeological excavation team in Jiroft. He speculates they may be the remains of the lost Aratta Kingdom, but his conclusions have met with skepticism from some reviewers. Other conjectures (e.g. Daniel T. Potts, Piotr Steinkeller) have connected the Konar Sandal with the obscure city-state of Marhashi, that apparently lay to the east of Elam proper.

Discovery and excavation

Many artifacts associated with Jiroft were recovered from looters described as "destitute villagers" who had scavenged the area south of Jiroft before 2001, when a team led by Yousef Majidzadeh began excavations. The team uncovered more than two square kilometers of remains from a city dating back to at least the late 3rd millennium BC.

The looted artifacts and some vessels recovered by the excavators were of the so-called "intercultural style" type of pottery known from Mesopotamia and the Iranian Plateau, and since the 1960s from nearby Tepe Yahya in Baft. The "Jiroft civilization" hypothesis proposes that this "intercultural style" is in fact the distinctive style of a previously unknown, long-lived civilization.


This is not universally accepted. Archaeologist Oscar Muscarella of the Metropolitan Museum of Art criticizes that the excavators resorted to sensationalist announcements while being more slow in publishing scholarly reports, and their claims that the site's stratigraphy shows continuity into the 4th millennium as overly optimistic. Muscarella does nevertheless acknowledge the importance of the site.

Earlier excavations at Kerman were conducted by Sir Aurel Stein around 1930.

One of the most notable archaeological excavations done in Kerman Province was one done by a group led by Professor Joseph Caldwell from Illinois State Museum in 1966 (Tal-i-Iblis) and Lamberg-Karlovsky from Harvard University in 1967 (Tepe Yahya Sogan Valley, Dolatabad).

Archeological excavations in Jiroft led to the discovery of several objects belonging to the fourth millennium BC.

According to Majidzadeh, geophysical operations by French experts in the region indicate the existence at least 10 historical and archaeological periods in the region belonging to different civilizations who lived in this area during different periods of time in history. According to the French experts who studied this area, the evidence remained from these civilizations may be traced up to 11 metres under the ground.

“What is obvious is that the evidence of Tal-i-Iblis culture in Bardsir can be traced in all parts of the region. Tal-i-Iblis culture, known as Ali Abad period (fourth millennium BC) was revealed by Joseph R. Caldwell, American archaeologist,” said Majidzadeh.

Jiroft site

Main article: Konar Sandal

The primary Jiroft site, consists of two mounds a few kilometers apart, called Konar Sandal A and B with a height of 13 and 21 meters, respectively (approximate location 28°30′N 57°48′E / 28.5°N 57.8°E / 28.5; 57.8). At Konar Sandal B, a two-story, windowed citadel with a base of close to 13.5 hectares was found.

Writing system

The inscription, discovered in a palace, was carved on a brick whose lower left corner has only remained, explained Yousof Majid Zadeh, head of the Jiroft excavation team.[2]

“The two remaining lines are enough to recognize the Elamite script," he added.

“The only ancient inscriptions known to experts before the Jiroft discovery were cuneiform and hieroglyph,” said Majid Zadeh, adding that” The new-found inscription is formed by geometric shapes and no linguist around the world has been able to decipher it yet.”

Archeologists have found many artifacts confirming the existence of a rich civilization dating back to the third millennium BC, during the 5 previous excavational phases.

The sixth phase of Jiroft excavations will focus on the temple and the sites where the tablets were found during previous phases.

Archeologists believe the discovered inscription is the most ancient script found so far and that the Elamite written language originated in Jiroft, where the writing system developed first and was then spread across the country.[3]

See also

References

  • Jiroft, Fabuleuse Decouverte en Iran, Dossiers Archeologica 287, October 2003.
  • Yousef Mazidzadeh, Jiroft earliest oriental civilization (2004).
  • O. White Muscarella, Jiroft and “Jiroft-Aratta”: A Review Article of Yousef Madjidzadeh, Jiroft: The Earliest Oriental Civilization, Bulletin of the Asia Institute 15 (2005) 173-198.
  • Andrew Lawler, Ancient Writing or Modern Fakery?, Science 3 August 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5838, pp. 588 – 589.
  • Andrew Lawler, Iranian Dig Opens Window on New Civilization, Science 21 May 2004: Vol. 304. no. 5674, pp. 1096–1097.
  • M.R. Maheri The Early Civilizations Of Kerman (تمدّن های نخستین کرمان), Markaze Kerman Shenasaee (2000), 1st edition, ISBN 964-6487-21-1
  • lost civilization documentary [1]
  • [2]
  • Jiroft, Fabuleuse Decouverte en Iran, Dossiers Archeologica 287, October 2003.
  • Yousef Mazidzadeh, Jiroft earliest oriental civilization (2004).
  • O. White Muscarella, Jiroft and “Jiroft-Aratta”: A Review Article of Yousef Madjidzadeh, Jiroft: The Earliest Oriental Civilization, Bulletin of the Asia Institute 15 (2005) 173-198.
  • Andrew Lawler, Ancient Writing or Modern Fakery?, Science 3 August 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5838, pp. 588 – 589.
  • Andrew Lawler, Iranian Dig Opens Window on New Civilization, Science 21 May 2004: Vol. 304. no. 5674, pp. 1096–1097.
  • Jiroft and “Jiroft-Aratta” A Review Article of Yousef Madjidzadeh
  • Jiroft civilization
  • mehrnews.ir: "New studies show Jiroft was ancient trade link"
  • chnpress.com: Jiroft Inscription, Oldest Evidence of Written Language
  • chnpress.com: New Discoveries in Jiroft May Change History of Civilization
  • chnpress.com: Jiroft was an international trade center 5000 years ago

External links

  • Jiroft in Encycloapedia Iranica
  • Jiroft and “Jiroft-Aratta” A Review Article of Yousef Madjidzadeh
  • Jiroft civilization
  • پایگاه خبری جیرفت /issue/200405/Jiroft.Artifacts/popup_content.html image gallery)
  • mehrnews.ir: "New studies show Jiroft was ancient trade link"
  • chnpress.com: Jiroft Inscription, Oldest Evidence of Written Language
  • chnpress.com: New Discoveries in Jiroft May Change History of Civilization
  • chnpress.com: Jiroft was an international trade center 5000 years ago
  • The Writing Tablet from Konar Sandal B (Jiroft)

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