Settlement Patterns, Ceramics, and the Appearance of Full-Time Nomadism in the Kur River Basin of Southwestern Iran


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  • Speaker: Dr. John Alden, Adjunct Associate Research Scientist University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology
  • Host Department: Museum of Anthropology
  • Date: 01/31/2013
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

  • Location: 2009 Ruthven

  • Description:

    Seasonally transhumant pastoral nomadism is well known from ethnographic studies of tribal societies in western Iran, but the behavior's antiquity is a matter of spirited dispute. With the aid of an eclectic collection of movie posters, cylinder seal impressions, ideographic signs on clay tablets, and sculptural objects, I'm going to argue that the archaeological settlement  patterns in the Kur River Basin of highland Iran during the Proto-Elamite era indicate that this adaptation appeared around 3200 BC. The preliminary results of a large INAA study of ceramics from this same region seem to support this interpretation.