Volume 22, Issue 1 (2018)                   MJSP 2018, 22(1): 1-21 | Back to browse issues page

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Hejebri nobari A, khanali H, yilmaz A, Mousavi Kouhpar S M, hajizade bastani K. Analysis and Investigation of Effective Geographical and Socio-Cultural Variables on Formation and Development of Shahryeri . MJSP 2018; 22 (1) :1-21
URL: http://hsmsp.modares.ac.ir/article-21-16478-en.html
1- department of archaeology in tarbiat modares university
2- PhD candidate of archaeology in Tarbiat Modares University,Tehran, Iran
3- Department of Archaeology,Tarbiat modares Univesity, Tehran, Iran
4- Department of Archaeology in University of Mohaghegh Ardabili
Abstract:   (8634 Views)
Northwestern of Iran reveals different geographical appearances including plain, semi dry and mountainous regions. Geographically, east of northwestern of Iran is mountainous with montane valleys that highly attracted societies through history for potential sources and geographical variables. Arjaq Plain is among the most important montane valleys of east of north-west of Iran, of where settlements date to Chalcolithic period. It was only during recent decades that archaeologist considered the regions, while earlier researches and chronologies generally limited to two coasts of Lake Urmia and conclusions generalized to the whole region of northwestern Iran, especially during Iron Age.
 Data of research are consisted of archaeological and geographical ones. The geographical data are collected and analyzed following bibliographic, according geographical researches; while Archaeological data are collected following field works, according archaeological surveys and excavations. The main question of the research is effective cultural, environmental, and geographical variables in formation and development of Shahryeri site. Present research attempts to answer the question considering archaeological surveys and excavations and analysis relying on theories of landscape archaeology that is one of the most important attitudes in recognizing and interpreting behavioral patterns of ancient societies, considering expansion of surficial data. Landscape archaeology is a conceptual, interactional, processual, and interdisciplinary attitude that provide a framework at define patterns, and determining explainable and interpretable behavioral data. Considering landscape archaeology, time and space are significant in investigating archaeological data. Ecological theory of Kennethe F.watt used to study category of location. Kennethe F.watt enjoyed ecological variables of material, energy, space, time, and variation that effected formation, expansion, continuity, and destruction of settlement. He believed that if one could present interaction of these five variables, therefore, all ecological parts integrate in a single theoretical framework.
Results and discussion:
 Shahryeri ancient site at Mshkin Shahr is among the most characteristic sites of northwestern of Iran that covers some 200 hectares on a promontory, 1.5 Km east of Pirazmian village at suburbs of Meshkin Shahr and Noqdi County. For the first time, it discovered following surveys of Charles Burney at 1978 at northwestern Iran, where introduced as Qaleh Arjaq. It was only at 1381 that it registered in National heritage list by no. 6162. There have been three seasons of archaeological excavations since 1382 to 1384 under Alireza Hozhabri Nobari.
The site formed and firstly settled following Herding and semi pastoralism subsistence strategy during Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. The most important architectural remains of the periods is an early temple that included an stone wall, mud mortar, mud brick, and monoliths that laid back to the wall. It is semicircular whereas the monoliths positioned in front of each other. There is a 4.5×3 m chamber at west with a platform. It appears it is an adjunct space to the temple that used as tribute chamber and altar.
Three features indicate development at Middle Iron Age at Shahryeri including:
Castle with fortifications: the enclosure covers about 35 hectares area. Length of the wall of castle is 522 m and it is about 0.16-2.5 m thick. There are traces of 5 towers and 4 gates in the wall, whereas the main gate is located at southernmost of lower city and another gate at east of lower city that is protected by huge walls and two towers. The gate is 5.5 m wide. There is a precipice at northwest of the castle that glorifies the castle and creates a natural enclosure at this part of the castle.
Temple with anthropomorphic monolith: the temple covers about 2200 m with 7 corridors from 15 to 25 m length and 1 to 3 m width. There are some more than 500 anthropomorphic monoliths with 2.3 to 35 cm with different forms, while there are platforms as altar in front of each.
Expansion of cemetery: there are two groups of burials at the cemetery of Shahryeri. The first group, which sums up to 278 burials, is scarce burials around the castle that spread within 5 km radius. The second group consists of a dense cemetery with 200 burials 5 km away from the castle. Distribution of the burials generally is at northwest of the castle and around the temple area and surrounding plains and valleys. There are traces of 5 towers and 4 gates along the wall, whereas main gate is at southernmost of the lower city and the other entrance is at eat of the lower city that protected by huge walls and two towers. The defensive wall constructed using huge rough stones, while they filled by smaller stones. The enclosure is 140-150 cm thick and reaches to 200 cm next to the entrance.
Ecological potentials to settle societies that Kennethe F.watt classified assessed at landscape of Shahryeri at the phase of formation and development. Results of the formation phase indicate water, soil, availability of mines, weather, accessibility, location at connecting roads, plain and mountain pastures, and natural shelters to protect herds were among the most important factors to locate the landscape of Shahryeri by semi pastoral people of Late Bronze Age. Architectural remains from archaeological excavations, from the same period, affirmatively including pastoral settlements with an early structure of temple and few burials. The phase of development at Middle Iron Age, is coincided to accumulation of wealth following location at main road, flourish of Shahryeri's temple, and collection of tributes from different regions. Archaeological evidences of development of Sharyeri are a 534 m fortification and a temple, with expansion of cemetery to more than 10 hectares. Considering lack of residential area, it appears that people's lifestyle and subsistence strategy were semi pastoralism, whereas the vast cemetery indicates an increase of population across the landscape, however, they partially resided at the castle.
 Conclusions indicate that assembling of five factors of material, energy, space, time, and varieties of facilities at the site during Late Bronze Age are caused settlement of the site, whereas flourished at Middle Iron Age for location at main roads and accumulation of wealth in addition to former factors.
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Subject: Earth-Surface Processes
Received: 2017/11/10 | Accepted: 2018/03/7 | Published: 2018/04/15

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