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Antiquity Vol 83 Issue 320 June 2009

Survey of a multiperiod mound at Tall-e Jidun in Kazerun, southern Iran

Alireza Hejebri Nobari, Hamid Khatib Shahidi, Mohammad Hossein Rezaei & Hassan Basafa

The plain of Kazerun and Tall-e Jidun

Kazerun county and city are located to the west of Fars province, with Mamasani and Behbehan to the north, Shiraz to the east and north-east, Firuzabad to the south-east and parts of Borazjan and Bushehr counties to the west and south-west (Figure 1). The terrain is mountainous: Kazerun is surrounded by high mountains running north-west to south-east, as is the case for other regions in the province of Fars (Mozafarian 1995: 65).

The mound at Jidun (Tall-e Jidun) is one of the most important mounds in Kazerun. It lies 1km from the causeway linking Kazerun to Naserabad, 500m from the village of Naserabad. Its coordinates are: E 51° 39' 56" and N 29° 35' 28"; altitude is 100m above sea level. The mound is 280m long, 270m wide and 15m high (Figure 2). The surface of the mound is ploughed annually and used to grow wheat. The causeway towards Naserabad crosses the northern part of the mound, and pottery was revealed as a result of this damage.

Figure 1
Figure 1. Location of Kazerun and Tall-e Jidun.
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Figure 2
Figure 2. Tall-e Jidun seen from the north.
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Figure 3
Figure 3. Contour map of Tall-e Jidun showing grid.
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Systematic survey and material recovered

First a contour map of the mound was prepared at a scale of 1/1000. The surface of the mound was divided into squares measuring 10×10m and subjected to random sampling. The western side of the grid was conventionally assigned numbers (with number 1 southernmost) and the southern side was assigned letters (with letter A the westernmost) (Figure 3).

Out of a total of 255 pottery fragments collected, 56 sherds (24 per cent) were identified as belonging to the Elamite period, 65 (29 per cent) to the Achaemenid period, 63 (27 percent) to the Parthian period and 47 (20 per cent) to the Sasanian period (Figure 4). Diagnostic sherds are described in Table 1. Overall, finds occurred in greater densities in the northern part of the mound (Figure 5).


Figure 4
Figure 4. Proportions of ceramic per period at Tall-e Jidun.
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Figure 5
Figure 5. The squares sampled at Tall-e Jidun.
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The Elamite period

The distribution of the Elamite pottery shows that it is concentrated in the central and southern part of the mound (red on Figure 6). The greatest number of sherds of this period came from square O18 (seven sherds). The Middle Elamite pottery (Figure 7) is comparable to that recovered at Susa (Gasche 1973: Plate 4.17) and Malyan (Nickerson 1983: Figure 48b). Four pottery sherds of the Late Elamite period are similar to examples found at Tall-e Nurabad (Potts & Roustaei 2006: Figure 3.130 TNP.2336), Susa (Gasche 1973: Plate 4.17) and Choghazanbil (Ghirshman 1966-70: Plate XGV.1058).


Figure 6
Figure 6. Middle and Late Elamite (red), Achaemenid (blue), Parthain (black) and Sasanian (brown) pottery distribution at Tall-e Jidun.
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Figure 7
Figure 7. Pottery of the Middle and Late Elamite period.
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Figure 8
Figure 8. Achaemenid pottery.
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The Achaemenid period

The pottery attributed to the Achaemenid period is prevalent in the central and southern part of the mound (blue on Figure 6). The largest number of sherds of this period came from square G10 (eight sherds). The Achaemenid pottery (Figure 8) is comparable to that of Pasargad (Stronach 1978: Plate 117.20 & 119.24), Persepolis (Schmidt 1957: Plate 73.7), Tepe Suruvan (Atarashi & Horiuchi 1963: Plate XVII.1), Tall-e Nurabad (Potts & Roustaei 2006: Figure 3.134.TNP.214) and Dasht-e Nurabad.


Figure 9
Figure 9. Parthian pottery.
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The Parthian period

Parthian pottery was mainly found in the northern, western and central parts of the mound (black on Figure 6). Most of the sherds from this period came from square N13 (eight sherds). Pottery finds of this period (Figure 9) are comparable to those from Ghale Yazdgerd (Keall & Keall 1981: Figure 19.22), Ghale Zahak (Kleiss 1973: Abb. 22.8 & 14) and Bisotun (Kleiss 1970: Abb. 25.17).


Figure 10
Figure 10. Sasanian pottery.
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The Sasanian period

There are few pottery finds attributed to the Sasanian period, loosely distributed in the northern and central parts of the mound (black on Figure 6). Pottery from this period (Figure10) is comparable to examples from Dasht-e Nurabad (Potts & Roustaei 2006: Figure 6.28.MSP.533) and Ghasre Abu Nasr (Whitcomb 1985: Figure 57.U).


Conclusion

From the ceramic recovered in the systematic surface survey, it appears that occupation over a number of periods occurred in the central and northern parts of the mound. A comparison of Tall-e Jidun with other sites in the provinces of Fars and Khuzestan and in the northwest would suggest that the site was occupied continuously from the Middle Elamite period (second millennium BC) to the Sasanian period. The distribution of the pottery would further suggest that the greatest extent of occupation was in the Achaemenid period.

References

  • ATARASHI, K. & K. HORICUCHI. 1963. Fahlian I: the excavation at Tape Suruvan, 1959 (Tokyo University Iraq-Iran Archaeological Expedition Reports). Tokyo: Institute for Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo.
  • CARTER, E. & 1996. Excavations at Anshan (Tal-e Malyan): the Middle Elamite period (Malyan Excavation Reports 2, University Museum Monographs 82). Philadelphia (PA): University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.
  • GASCHE, H. 1973. La poterie Elamite du deuxi-me millénaire av. J.-C. (Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique en Iran 47). Leiden: Brill & Paris: Geuthner.
  • GHIRSHMAN, R. 1966-1970. Tchoga Zanbil (Dur-Untash).I: la ziggurat; II: temenos, temples, palais, tombes; III: textes Élamites et Accadiens de Tchoga Zanbil; IV: la glyptique (Mémoires de la Délégation Archéologique en Iran 39-42). Paris: Geuthner.
  • KEALL, E.J. & M.J. KEALL. 1981. Qaleh- i Yazdgird pottery: a statistical approach. Iran 19: 33-81.
  • KLEISS, W. 1970. Zur Topographie des Partherhanges in Bisutun. Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran (neue Folge) 3: 133-68.
    - 1973. Qaleh Zahak in Azarbaijan. Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran (neue Folge) 6: 163-96.
  • MIROSCHEDJI, P. de. 1981. Fouilles du chantier Ville Royale II à Suse (1975-1977): I, les niveaux Elamites. Cahiers de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Iran 12: 9-216.
    - 1987. Fouilles du chantier Ville Royale II à Suse (1975-1977): II, niveaux d'époques achéménide, séleucide, parthe et islamique. Cahiers de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Iran 15:11-143.
  • MOZAFARIAN, M. 1995. Kazeroon culture. Shiraz Press.
  • NICKERSON, J. L. 1983. Intrasite variability during the Kaftari period at Tal-e Malyan (Anshan), Iran. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
  • POTTS, D.T & K. ROUSTAEI. 2006. The Mamasani Archaeological Project stage one: a report on the first two seasons of the ICAR-University of Sydney expedition to the Mamasani District, Fars Province, Iran. Iranian Center for Archaeological Research.
  • SCHMIDT, E.F. 1957. Persepolis II: contents of the Treasury and other discoveries (University of Chicago Oriental Institute Publication 69). Chicago (IL): University of Chicago Press.
  • STRONACH, D. 1978. Pasargadae: a report on the excavations conducted by the British Institute of Persian Studies from 1961 to 1963. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • WHITCOMB, D. S. 1985. Before the roses and nightingales: excavations at Qasr-i Abu Nasr, Old Shiraz. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Authors

(* Author for correspondence)

  • Alireza Hejebri Nobari
    Tarbiat Modares University, Jalal Ale Ahmad Highway, PO. Box 14115-318, Tehran, Iran (Email: rhejebri@yahoo.com.
  • Haneid Khatib Shahidi
    Tarbiat Modares University, Jalal Ale Ahmad Highway, PO Box 14115-318, Tehran, Ira.
  • Mohammad Hossein Rezaei*
    Tarbiat Modares University, Jalal Ale Ahmad Highway, PO Box 14115-318, Tehran, Iran (Email: mh.Rezaei@yahoo.com.
  • Hassan Basafa
    Tarbiat Modares University, Jalal Ale Ahmad Highway, PO Box 14115-318, Tehran, Ira.

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