عنوان مقاله [English]
East Mazandaran including Sari, Neka, Behshahr and Galoogah and the Caspian Sea located in its South and South-east has always been a good choice for human settlement because of its geographical conditions and environmental capacities. We are also aware of the fact that the first human settlements during the history have always been affected by the environment. Archaeology as a scientific system is indeed indebted to geography processing the models and comparative studies on the reconstruction of paleo-environments and paleo-landscapes, as well as human settlement patterns. It is obvious that the different types of existing settlements on the earth are the results of consequential interaction between human behaviors and environmental situation. This communication is obviously clear, in particular, in the case of soil and sedimentary lands, which are very important elements for husbandry and food production. Human impressibility of environment has always been main reason for spatial differences of settlement and population aggregate and has formed specific settlement pattern in the ancient time; as East Mazandaran is not an exception for this issue. Although there have been great development on prehistoric studies during the recent years, the lack of scientific and systematic studies about chalcolithic period is still felt. The current study is one of the important pioneer archaeological efforts in order to recognize the chalcolithic period of East Mazandaran. The aim of this paper is to focus and analyze the role of natural and geographical as well as the environmental factors in the appearance of the human settlements of the Chalcolithic period of east Mazandaran province, Northern Iran. There are 27 chalcolithic settlements in East of Mazandaran have found which their relative date back to the early 5th millennium up to the late 4th millennium B.C. After relative dating the chalcolithic settlements which were done by the typology of potteries, the geographical positions of the settlements were entered to the GIS and had been analyzed regarding to the different geographical factors. Cultures and pottery traditions of eastern part of Mazandaran are were very similar to the contemporaneous cultures from Central Plateau and Gorgan Plain. These cultural similarities may be a result of interactions between nomadic societies, commercial exchanges or economic activities of travelling artisans. Results suggest that 93% of the settlements are in areas with Mediterranean climate and 85% in non-forest areas. 85% of them are in areas which have an average precipitation of 600-800 millimeters and 48% of them are in areas at an altitude of 0-500 meters and 37% at -26 – 0 altitude. 89% percent of the settlements have less than 2 kilometers distance from the river, 85% of them have 0 – 4 kilometers distance from the transportation paths and 96% of them are in non-pasture areas. Therefore, almost most of the Chalcolithic settlements are in non-pasture areas. Nevertheless, we can’t claim to contribute these settlements to the nomadic communities; the reason is that the nomadic economics makes the settlements to develop in pasture areas. Whereas, the placement of most settlements near rivers and non-forest plains suggests that the dependence of Chalcolithic societies of the region to agriculture economics and sedentary. Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the settlement patterns of Chalcolithic sites, despite the prior assumptions, are quite impressed by the physiography while the human geography had less effect.