The technical knowledge of Early Neolithic Iranian Societies. The bone industries of Tappeh Sang-e Chakhmaq and Tepe Abdul Hosein, Iran National Museum

Document Type : Original Article


1 Researcher / Archaeozoology, Archaeobotany: Societies, Practices and Environments, AASPE (UMR 7209), National Museum of Natural History, CNRS, Paris, France

2 Archéozoologie, Archéobotanique: Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnements, AASPE (UMR 7209), Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CNRS.

3 Researcher / Bioarchaeology Laboratory, Central Laboratory, University of Tehran, Iran


The paper presents the first results of an on-going study on the characterisation of the technological and socio-economic aspects of bone objects from the Iranian Early Neolithic period. The systematic study of hard animal material products on large collections from the Iranian Plateau is lacking while larges series exist for iconic Early Neolithic sites of Tappeh Sang-e Chakhmaq and Tepe Abdul Hosein, stored at the National Museum of Iran. The advent of a new way of life with the domestication of plants and animals has undoubtedly introduced new transformation sequences (chaîne opératoire) in the exploitation of raw material, namely bone and shells.
We present here case studies, on osseous materials from these two sites, and highlight the technological characterisation of the Early Neolithic industries based on the exploitation of animal resources, wild and domestic.
Some technical peculiarities of the Early Neolithic industries are illustrated (debitage schemes by bipartitioning and fracturation) that indicate adaptability of techniques to the morphological features of raw material blocks for the production of certain tool classes (awls, smoothers, intermediate objects etc.). These preliminary results are important to establish the state of technical knowledge of prehistoric communities of Iran and to initiate a debate on the technological evolution for the hard animal mater (bone and shell) during the Early Holocene of the Iranian Plateau.


Main Subjects