Located in southwestern Iran, Khuzistan province is one of the sites from which archeologists think agriculture originated. The part of Khuzistan known as the Deh Luran Plaines, which lies at the foot of the Zargos Mountains, was home to many ancient cities. These cities were the homes of the nomadic tribes during their transition into an agricultural people. Bus Mordeh was the first of the ancient cities. It existed from 7100-6600 BC. Ali Kosh, which archeologists think existed from 6600-6000 BC, was the second of many cities in the Khuzistan province. Then Mohammad Jaffar, 6100-5800, Sefid, 5800-5700, Surkh, 5700-5600, and many others. On these plains archeologists have found evidence of agriculture, irrigation, domesticated animals, such as goats, and obsidian tools.
Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Deh Luran Plain: An Early Village Sequence from Khuzistan, Iran by Hole, Flannery, and Neely was a study of this early agricultural site. The excavations were designed to recover evidence from the rise of early agriculture. The Deh Luran Plains, which were a part of lower Mesopotamia, were useful for farming, had marshes with wild animals, saline rivers with fish and mussels, and rocky hillsides with a variety of very useful wild plants. The authors regarding the Deh Luran plains identify two eras: the era of dry farming and domestication and irrigation and cattle domestication. The first was a low yield way of life that could not support large populations. This era lasted from Bus Mordeh (7100) through Mohammed Jaffar (5800). The second era was a more intensive, productive strategy that could support a much larger population. This strategy eventually lead to the rise of states in Khuzistan.
Evidence of winter-grown wheat and barley was found in Ali Kosh. The hundred or so residents of Ali Kosh also possessed pottery in the period between 6000-5500 BC. The residents of this area also traded with other villages and nomads in lower Mesopotamia. With the high level of obsidian in the Ali Kosh area as well as other sites in the Deh Luran Plains, many tools useful to other peoples were constructed. The many other artifacts in the sites were found largely elsewhere in Mesopotamia and were most likely traded for obsidian.
“The Deh Luran Series Book Review,” February 7, 2000, http://www.umma.lsa.umich.edu/pub/reviews/luran.html
“Archeological Research on the Deh Luran Planes,” February 6, 2000, http://www.umma.lsa.umich.edu/Oldworld/Deh_Luran/Deh_Luran.html
“Untitled,” February 7, 2000, http://www.ukans.edu/~hoopes/110-h3.htm
“Archaeobotany-Iran,” February 7, 2000, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~nmiller0/iran.html
Written by: Chris Goettl