عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
Due to exciting discovery of major Bronze Age urban centers in southeastern Iran, such as Shahre Sukhte, Shahdad and Konar Sandal (Jiroft) in Kerman province, most scholarly attention has been given to the 3rd millennium BC. As a result, the cultures preceding the Bronze Age in particular the 4th millennium BC have been often neglected. In early 2011, the Iranian Center of Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) of Kerman Province conducted a rescue excavation at Khaje Askar cemetery near the city of Bam, in which several graves and complete funerary vessels were discovered (about 15 graves had been bulldozed previously). Khaje askar cemetery is located on the east bank of Chelleh Khane River in the Bam plain. From the construction activities 14 complete potteries and some bone fragments were found which proved the existence of a cemetery so the construction activities were postponed and a rescue excavation was conducted by a team of archaeologists of ICHITO under the supervision of Nader Alidadi Soleimani. As a result of the excavations 9 graves and 53 funerary goods were uncovered; the burial goods included ceramics, stone and clay beads, stone vessels, shells and a unique metal arrowhead. In addition to the damages of construction activities, existence of a channel (70 cm wide and 1 m deep) through the eastern part of the hill had caused so many damages to the cemetery especially grave 105 which was barely recognizable.
In khaje askar cemetery 7 trenches named A-G were opened which covered 460 square meters of the hill. 9 graves were uncovered from the trenches of eastern part of the hill. They were labelled from 101 to 109. The aim of the rescue excavations at Khaje Askar was to identify the intact graves and to liberate the parts of natural hill on which the cemetery was located .according to the landlords during the construction activities 15 graves had been bulldozed in the west side of the natural hill. All the graves found through excavations were in the eastern part of the hill. The interesting point is that no graves were discovered in the southern part of the site.
According to the comparative chronology done based on the ceramics of the excavated settlement sites of southeastern Iran and Pakistan such as Tall e Iblis, Mahtootabad, Mehrgareh and Shahi tumb, Khaje Askar cemetery belongs to the Aliabad culture( Iblis IV) and goes back to 4th millennium BC.
The comparative analysis of the ceramic assemblage and other items as well of khaje Askar cemetery, suggest the date of 4th millennium BC (Aliabad culture) and shows that the cemetery was a single period site.
There are many third millennium excavated cemeteries in southeastern Iran such as Shahr-e Sukhte (tosi, Sajjadi), Shahdad (Hakemi 1977),Mahtoot abad (Majidzade 2008), Kenaroo Esfandaghe ( Rahbar 1376), khoorab (Stein 1937), Rameshk ( Choobak 1383), which prove that using of cemeteries was frequent in this period and give us some information about the burial patterns. But not until the excavations of Khaje Askar no cemetery belonging to 4th millennium had been found in southeastern Iran. So we suggest that the culture of using cemeteries dates back to the 4th millennium BC in southeast of Iran.
In this article, we state the results of excavations at Khaje Askar cemetery and describe the burials and funerary goods and according to a comparative analysis based on the ceramics of other excavated settlement sites of southeastern Iran and Pakistan such as Tal- e Iblis, Mahtot abad, Meh rgarh and Shahi Tump, we argue that Khaje Askar cemetery belongs to the Aliabad culture (Iblis IV) and dates to the 4th millennium BC.