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Paper Information

Journal:   PAZHOHESH-HA-YE BASTANSHENASI IRAN   fall 2016 , Volume 6 , Number 11 ; Page(s) 7 To 24.

A New Look at the Neolithization of the Southeastern of the Caspian Sea

The investigation of Neolithization Process is one of most important issues in archaeological literature in recent decades. However the spread of Neolithic life style to Marginal area such as southeastern of Caspian Sea is interested to some Archaeologists. The Neolithization and spread of it was a long process that comprised economic, social and even ideological changes. Today, the archaeologists are utilized neo-diffusionism hypothesis to explain why spread Neolithic life style to east (North eastern of Iran and Central Asia) and west (Europa) of the Fertile Crescent. The southeastern of Caspian Sea is a region which has very important in the studies of origin of Neolithic life style in northeastern of Iran and west central Asia. In spite of importance of south east of Caspian Sea in this field of studies, a little information is available about this transition process. The area was surveyed and excavated by C. S. Coon and C. M. McBurney in the late 1940’ s and early 1950’ s and 1960’ s. By occurrence of Islamic revolution of Iran, archaeological studies were encountered a long cessation in this region such other areas of Iran. The archaeological research is restated in the area at the recent decade. The results of one of that research has been published In volume 3, number 4 of the Archaeological Researches of Iran journal, entitled: Neolithic and Neolithization of the eastern Mazandaran lowlands: based on new archaeological surveys, written by Ramezani et al. publication of the mentioned article and some of the proposed ideas by its authors was reason for us to once again reconnaissance some well-known concepts such as Neolithization, neo-diffusionism hypothesis, and localization of the Neolithic process in the region. The present article has two sections. The first section, the article entitled: Neolithic and Neolithization of the eastern Mazandaran lowlands: based on new archaeological surveys, written by Ramezani et al. published in In volume 3, number 4 of the Archaeological Researches of Iran journal, was reviewed in a critical perspective. In this essay we criticized some parts of the article, most notably those concerning the data derived from the excavations at the four famous caves of the southeastern of the Caspian Sea and their lithic and fauna materials. In the second section, in order to studies of Neolithization process, we are reviewed settlements, subsistence and paleo-climate data at the southeastern of the Caspian Sea. In north and northeastern of Iran and western of Central Asia, The beginning of agriculture returns to Jeitun-Chakhmaq Culture which identified by Masson’ s excavations at Jeitun Mound and Masuda’ s excavations at Sang-e Chakhmaq mound. Then, Neolithization process of southeastern of Caspian Sea was explained on the basis of present data (archaeological evidence, fauna data and climate changes). Based on archaeological data collected from the Mesolithic sites of the southeastern of the Caspian Sea and concerning the proximity of this geographical region to the well-known candidates of the origins of early domestications (Zagros-Tauros and Levant), it sounds pale to announce that the Neolithization process was imported to the region, and the southeastern Caspian Sea archaeological sites did not contribute to the domestication of any of the known plant and animal species. In addition, similarities between architecture, burial customs and artifacts such as rectangular single room buildings with limestone plastered surfaces and inside oven, clay figurines, lithic industries, small handaxes, use of obsidian from Jitun-Chakhmaq culture sites with per-pottery Neolithic sites of the Central Zagros region has been supported this idea. However, our information about the spread Neolithic to southeastern Caspian Sea is low and imperfect. It is clear that the picture is complex and non-linear, involving different modes, such as migration, infiltration, acculturation, etc., all taking place simultaneously
Keyword(s): Neolithization,Southeastern of the Caspian Sea,New diffusionism,Preemptive domestication
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