عنوان مقاله [English]
The assemblages of archaeological sites is the matter of the greatest importance in the spatiotemporal divisions, so any error in identifying the internal patterns of those, will be a direct reflection on their comprehensive archaeological analysis. The prehistoric chronology and periodization of the Iranian Central Plateau generally have based on tepe Sialk’s, more than eighty years chronology. According to it, the fourth millennium B.C. includes the sub-periods of Sialk III4-5, Sialk III6-7b, Sialk IV1, and parts of Sialk IV2. The way in which these sub-periods are distinguished and differentiated have always been unclear and very generalized. While the sialk periodizatiom was based on architectural strata, its comparative studies have all been based on ceramic styles led to many errors in the process of inter-regional transformations and their chronological recognition. Most of these problems seem to be caused by insufficient attention to evidence of short-term events in archaeological studies. The results of recent studies in Meymanatabad has indicated the inability of such a generalized division, due to the lack of attention to the short-term cultural events and the inflexible normative perception of the concept of culture. This, despite the fact that over the past century, due to the great changes in the definition of the concept of cultural change and its various stages chronology and periodization, archaeological studies in the interests of the inter-regional and site distinctions and short-term criteria endorsement, passed over the old rigid normative and generalized definitions of culture. Continued studies of excavations such as tepe Meymoon-abad in Robat-karim, presenting sufficient evidence of such that errors, which emphasize on the necessity of review the Iranian central plateau prehistoric periods old studies and their divisions. Therefore, this paper in addition to the fluidity of spatiotemporal dimensions of cultural boundaries emphasized to the recognition and differentiation of cultural processes in short-term divisions.
Keywords: Periodization, Chronology, Central Plateau, Sialk, MeymanatAbad.
The main subject of periodization, cultural classification and archaeological chronology are the temporal and spatial patterns of remained collections. The findings of archaeological sites are very important in the chronological division and periodozation, because they are basic materials to compare of the cultural similarities. Therefore, any error in identifying the internal characteristic of these, which have an inherent conjunction with their spatiotemporal dimensions, will be a direct reflection on wider spatial and temporal patterns that are based on. The prehistoric chronology of the Iranian Central Plateau, especially due to its vast geographical scope, has been one of the cases faced with such a challenge. During the recent decades, there have been done many archaeological excavations and surveys in this area, the most of them have focused on prehistoric periods and their chronologies. Nevertheless, Despite the good quantity of them, the prehistoric chronology and periodizations of Central Plateau generally have based on the chronology and periodization of tepe Sialk that has not changed for eighty years. According to this Chronology, Ghirshman divided the chronology of the tepe sialk, from the Neolithic to the beginning of the Bronze Age (Proto Elamite) into four cultural periods and seventeen sub-periods (Sialk I1-IV2). As Mentioned above, the fourth millennium B.C., as the main subject of this paper, includes the sub-periods of Sialk III4-5, Sialk III6-7b, Sialk IV1, and parts of Sialk IV2. The second half of this millennium includes the important socio-political developments played a major role in increasing of social inequalities, the formation of early states, the proto literate and some technological changes. The results of recent studies in Meymanatabad tepe which was done to get a precise image from the process of cultural transformation of various prehistoric periods in this area, has indicated to the inability of such a division. This paper tries to recognizing the reasons that caused to past divisions inefficiencies in applying for the new chronological studies of sites such as Meymanatabad, and the weaknesses and strengths of each of them. We will do this work by re-analysing of approaches of periodization used for this region and re-evaluation of them on the basis of theoretical changes in archaeology during the recent decades. Our main hypothesis about the reasons of this issue is that, the archaeological approaches in field studies of the region have so far been generalized and careless, and have ignored many details in the process of cultural transformations.
Critics and Analysis
The division of the important period between the Sialk III6-7b and IV1-2 strata is in a way that emphasizes on the serious discontinuity between them. Regardless of whether the detection of this discontinuity is correct or not, the way in which these sub-periods are distinguished and differentiated have always been unclear and very generalized. So that, for example, the Sialk III6 has never been individually mentioned and has always been considered a participant with the Sialk III7. Of course, Sialk’s multiple chronological problems are not limited to that. While the Sialk divisions was based on architectural strata, its comparative studies have all been based on ceramic styles, which has led to many errors in the process of chronological recognition. Most of these problems seem to be caused by insufficient attention to short-term Transformations processes. Meymoon-abad was a late chalcolithic site that have been excavated in the 2012. The chronological evidences of the site included a set of four cultural phases and seven sub-phases, which consist of a collection of nine different types of ceramic styles, that some of them emerged successively. This cultural phase, related sub-phases and ceramic styles were comparable with two sub-period of Sialk III6 and III7, which were established more than eighty years ago by just one ceramic style. This, despite the fact that some of meymoon-abad late chalcolitic ceramic styles were completely not seen among Sialk III6-7b styles, and some also had different characteristics in comparison with similar styles of the Silk. In addition, the comparison of the ceramic styles of this period indicates that, at the beginning of the late chalcolithic, not only there has been serious differences between the northern, central, and southern styles, but also at the end of that even the site such as tepe Qabristan has never been inhabited after Sialk III6.
The results of recent studies have emphasized to the inability of previous generalized divisions of late chalcolithic chronology in Sialk, due to the lack of sufficient attention to the short-term cultural events processes and the inflexible normative perception of the concept of culture. This study, in addition to acceptation the fluidity of the temporal and spatial dimensions of cultural boundaries, emphasize to the carefulness in the recognition and differentiation of short-term spatio-temporal cultural processes in the field archaeological activities. Meymoon-abad is an excellent site to study that how the transition between the significant sub-periods of Sialk III6-7b was happened. Continued studies of excavations such as tepe Meymoon-abad, presenting sufficient evidence of old chronological division errors, which emphasize to the necessity of review in the Iranian central plateau prehistoric periods old studies and their divisions. Such as a detailed study which focus on shorter periods of time, can refine the typological and stylistical sequence of the late chalcolithic ceramic traditions in the Iranian central plateau area. This new chronological division and periodization also can throw considerable light on some of the problems related to the emergence of complex societies in this region and time.