عنوان مقاله [English]
This paper presents general information on the typology of various ancient sites in the Kohgilouyeh region, which have been identified and recorded as a result of the second and third seasons of archaeological surveys in this important region. These surveys were carried out in an area of about approximately 3,000 square kilometers in Cheram, Qaleh Raeesi, and some parts of Dishmouk and Lendeh districts. The main aim of the survey was to identify the ancient sites of this region. We adopted an extensive and relatively intensive approach in our survey, and our basis was topographic maps at the scale of 1/25000 to obtain a general understanding of the geographical situation of the Kohgilouyeh region. At the end of these surveys, a total of 374 sites from the Middle Paleolithic to the Late Qajar and the Early Pahlavi periods were identified and studied. In general, the identified sites can be divided into 15 groups: sites, mounds, caves, rock shelters, public utility buildings, ossuaries, fortified manor house, religious monuments, mountain fortresses, cemeteries, paved roads, water conveyance channels, water stones, petroglyphs, and trenches. The most important sites identified from the prehistoric period encompass open sites, caves, and rock shelters such as Kamkenak, Eshkaft Siyah, Ghafelehbeh 1, 2, and 3 rock shelters, and Kabgi rock shelter and cave, providing evidence of the Middle Paleolithic, Epipaleolithic, and possibly Proto-Neolithic periods. Historical sites include some sites with stone architecture, ossuaries, and cemeteries. Due to today’s semi-sedentary lifestyle of people in Kohgilouyeh region, it was predictable that the majority of the identified sites were of the nomadism type. Moreover, many of these sites belong to the Islamic era and are most likely related to the prosperity of the ancient city of Dehdasht in the Middle and Late Islamic centuries and the subsidiary regions around it.
Keywords: Kohgilouyeh, Typology of Ancient Sites, Archaeological Survey.
Kohgilouyeh region is located in southern Zagros and western and northwestern parts of Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad province (Figure 1). The approximate difference in altitude of this area ranges from 500 to 3600 m above sea level, resulting in two different climates with different vegetation. In general, the northern half of Kohgilouyeh region is more elevated and colder, with its tropical and low-altitude region composed of hilly areas and small southeastern and central plains.
During the last two decades, a series of archaeological surveys have been conducted in Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad province, leading to the identification of a large number of archaeological sites belonging to various periods throughout the province. The archaeological surveys of Kohgilouyeh region were conducted by the author in two periods of 1999-2002 and 2007-2012. The second and third seasons of archaeological surveys in Kohgilouyeh region presented in this paper were completed in areas such as Cheram, Qaleh Raeesi, Dishmuok, and Lendeh with an area of nearly 3,000 square kilometers. In addition to identifying and documenting ancient sites in this region as a general goal, we considered other goals in our long-term research perspective, the most important of which were: 1. to be aware of settlement patterns in different periods of the region, 2. to study the possible cultural interactions of the two major cultural zones of Khuzestan and Fars in this region, and 3. to find out the possible influence of cultures in Fars and Khuzestan on Kohgilouyeh region or its independent nature.
Our research approach was an extensive and relatively intensive survey, and our basis for the survey was topographic maps at the scale of 1/25000 to obtain a general understanding of the geographical situation of the area. In these surveys, the regional landscape was divided into three units of mountains, valleys, and hills, and we investigated different parts of this landscape at different proportions by considering the time of the surveys, the number of people, and the topographic status. The locations of ancient sites were recorded using a GPS tracker, and the sampling of surface findings was performed arbitrarily with emphasis on index species.
At the end of these surveys, a total of 374 archaeological sites from the Middle Paleolithic to the late Qajar and early Pahlavi periods were identified and surveyed (Figure 2). To provide information about these surveys, we categorized the identified sites based on the site type and then discussed the characteristics, distribution patterns, and environmental context of their formation, and finally presented the suggested periods for them based on cultural materials and other characteristics.
Description of the Survey
As noted above, the second and third seasons of archaeological surveys in Kohgilouyeh region led to the identification of 374 archaeological sites from prehistoric, historic, and Islamic periods (Figure 2). In order to familiarize our readers with different environmental conditions of Kohgilouyeh region and its inhabitants’ exploitation of the available potentials, we divided the ancient sites of different periods identified in these surveys according to the site type. In general, the types of identified sites can be classified into 15 groups in the following order: sites, mounds, caves, rock shelters, public utility buildings, ossuaries, fortified manor house, religious monuments, mountain fortresses, cemeteries, paved roads, water conveyance channels, water stones, petroglyphs, and trenches. The identified sites are located in various geomorphological landscapes of Kohgilouyeh region. In the prehistoric period, the use of caves and rock shelters seems to have been more common in foothills and near water sources. Possibly, hunters’ easy access to mountain resources in Epipaleolithic and Proto-Neolithic periods is one of the reasons for choosing these locations for temporary settlements. In addition to identifying a number of historic sites, the majority of the identified sites belong to the Islamic periods. From this period, nomadic sites with stone architecture are the most identified sites in these surveys. Tropical and cold climates in Kohgilouyeh region have led to the fact that from the past until the last decade, a semi-sedentary lifestyle has been widespread in this region (for more information on the semi-sedentary lifestyle in this region, see Azadi, 2010). The settlement patterns in these sites are almost identical to those of the villages in the past decades and even today. Such sites are generally located in foothills, the mouth of the gorges, highlands, and, of course, near water sources.
It appears that all environmental potentials of Kohgilouyeh region have been used at different periods. The most important sites identified from the prehistoric period include caves, very important shelters such as Eshkaft Siyah, Ghafelehbeh 1, 2, and 3 rock shelters, Kabgi rock shelter and cave, and some open sites such as Kamkenak which have been used during the periods of Middle Paleolithic, Epipaleolithic, Proto-Neolithic, Historic, and possibly Middle Islamic centuries.
The most important sites of the Historic periods encompass a number of sites with stone architecture, ossuaries, and cemeteries. Evidence from this period indicates that this region has received significant attention. It has been noted that Kohgilouyeh region has two distinct tropical and cold climates. This climatic diversity has led to the fact that from the past until the last decade, a semi-sedentary lifestyle has been common in this region. Given this type of lifestyle, it was predictable that a significant number of the identified sites would be of the nomadic type. The majority of these sites belong to the Islamic period and are most likely related to the prosperity of the ancient city of Dehdasht (e.g. Gavbeh, 1980; Hosseini Fassaei, 1989; Stein, 1940) in the Middle and Late Islamic centuries and the existence of subsidiary regions around it.