عنوان مقاله [English]
Selseleh and Delfan counties located in the North and North West of Lorestan are very important with having Sites and remains of Parthian period. Abundance and dispersion of these Sites is the demonstrative of this area in Parthian period. The studied area is located in the divide of Sefidkouh and Garrein which is a part of central Zagros and its environment appearance includes Valleys, Mountain plains and mountainous with a land – measurement amount to 4000 Km square. According to Archaeological studies and surface data there have been found about 519 ancient monument and sites from Paleolithic to recent Islamic period in this area which 307 of them had remains of Parthian period. Although a number of temporary Sites are probably nameless. Dating of These Sites is generally accomplished based on the surface data (Clinky- painted – glazed and simple) and acquired results from archaeological studies allude to Parthian settlements and their different living methods that it can be acquired very important documents to reconstructing economic and living methods of their aboriginal according to digging in the main Sites. In addition, in the present paper, it has been attempted to address several questions including: how have the settlements been distributed during the Parthian period in these regions? What could have been the reasons for the increase of Parthian settlements compared to the previous and later periods in these areas? How can the lack of large-scale settlements of the Parthian period in these regions be explained? Dispersion appearance of these ancient Sites also indicates that the most of the settlements in this area have been in the form of relatively small rural units. Although in this area there are not any evidences of urban centers – but acquired results from the study demonstrates the continual and effective presence of Parthians in the area.
Keywords: Archaeological Survey, Parthian, Selseleh and Delfan, North and North Western Lorestan.
Introduction & Method
North and northwest of Lorestan are considered among the highland areas of this province, in most parts of which archaeological activities have not still been accomplished, although some areas of this region have frequently been considered by archaeologists, and in this regard they are considered among the less known regions or sometimes unknown regions. Undoubtedly, due to having rich environmental potentials, the study region has had abundant capacities for the settlement of human communities from the past time, including the Parthian period to this date, and according to high environmental potentials and the importance of neighboring areas, it has been of great importance in archaeological research. Almost all the Parthian-related sites in the study region lack the architectural remains and monuments, and apart from pottery pieces, no other remains have been observed, which is why the dating of these sites has been conducted based on pottery data. In general, it can be argued that the pottery of the study region in the Parthian period has been influenced by known patterns which have been common in the western part of the country. The most important point is that settlements of the Parthian period in this region are relatively dense, and it is interesting to note that today, like the Parthian period, one can see the density of settlements in this region.
Finally, it should be stated that according to the surveys performed, the density of the sites are mostly seen in intermountain plains of Aleshtar and Nourabad, which are among the most important intermountain plains of the Zagros Mountain Range. These are relatively small plains and are very cold during the winter season, and on the other hand, these plains have limited natural resources due to their small sizes, and it is unlikely that all the sites have been residential throughout the year, and therefore, a large number of them should be classified as temporary settlements. In general, during the Parthian period in the study region, the number of sites and population have significantly increased compared to the previous periods. And in this period, apart from the regions which had been inhabited before the Parthian period, other settlements were formed in other parts of the region, and the present study seeks to answer the following questions: 1- How have the settlements been distributed during the Parthian period in these region? 2- What could have been the reasons for the increase of Parthian settlements compared to the previous and later periods in these areas? 3- How can the lack of large-scale settlements of the Parthian period in these regions be explained?
The investigated works in the study region can be divided into ancient sites and mounds, nomadic sites, cemeteries, caves, shrines, roads, castles, bridges, buildings and stone structures that in general, based on the samples (including coins, pottery and stone tools) obtained from the surface of the mounds and sites, they belong to different periods ranging from the Paleolithic era to the present time; however, during the survey no evidence representing the remnants of the cities, dams, cisterns, etc. was observed. It should be noted that most of the identified Parthian sites in the region are less than three hectares, which should be considered as small villages, though this can be indicative of the lack of planning and organizing the population of the region’s inhabitants. In terms of environmental landscape, the study region includes valleys, intermountain plains, (extending along the north-west-south-east direction) and mountains. In the archaeological literature, this region is part of Pishkouh district of Lorestan province, which has abundant potentials in archaeological studies. Due to its suitable natural features, such as rich water resources and favorable agricultural lands, lush meadows, as well as its special connecting position it is considered as one of the most important regions of western Iran. The average total height of the settlements identified in this period relative to high seas is about 1702 meters, and the average area of these settlements is about 1.4 hectares, while the average distance between the sites and the existing water resources is about 218 meters. It is noteworthy that from a total of 307 identified Parthian sites, 19.54% of them exclusively belonged to the Parthian period, 27.68% had the works and remains of the Parthian period and the preceding periods, 22.42% had works and remains belonging to the Parthian period and the subsequent periods, and 30.29% of the total sites had remains belonging to pre-Parthian eras, Parthian and post-Parthian periods. It should be reminded that most of the sites identified during the survey in mountainous areas are regarded as seasonal settlements.
Due to the unique characteristics of their natural resources and factors, the cities of Selseleh and Delfan have traditionally paved the way for various human activities, such as agriculture and livestock, which have led to formation and prosperity of many settlements and monuments in these areas, so that according to surface archaeological evidence, the continuity of settlements from the Paleolithic Era to the present time is seen. Therefore, during our survey, a total of 519 works (remains) were identified, from among which 307 sites had remains related to the Parthian period. In general it can be stated that the increase of Parthian sites in this region may have been due to population growth (because population growth sometimes causes people to use areas that are not environmentally desirable and then they inhabit in them), the long-standing (about 500 years) Parthian rule, the multiplicity of seasonal movements, productivity, and easy access to resources, and finally the stability of the region in terms of political, economic, and physical status. Also, the lack of large and central sites in this region during the study period probably indicates an administrative vacancy in the region, although the absence of such settlements can be explained by the presence of larger settlements in other areas such as Kermanshah, Nahavand, Harsin and Malayer