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By Cameron A. Petrie

The fourth millennium BC was once a severe interval of socio-economic and political transformation within the Iranian Plateau and its surrounding zones. this era witnessed the looks of the world's earliest city centres, hierarchical administrative constructions, and writing platforms. those advancements are indicative of important alterations in socio-political constructions which were interpreted as proof for the increase of early states and the improvement of inter-regional exchange, embedded in longer-term techniques that started within the later 5th millennium BC. Iran used to be an incredible participant in western Asia specifically within the medium- to long-range alternate in uncooked fabrics and complete goods all through this era. The 20 papers awarded right here illustrate forcefully how the re-examination of outdated excavation effects, mixed with a lot new examine, has dramatically accelerated our wisdom and realizing of neighborhood advancements at the Iranian Plateau and of long-range interactions throughout the severe interval of the fourth millennium BC.

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Additional resources for Ancient Iran and Its Neighbours: Local Developments and Long-range Interactions in the 4th Millennium BC

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As is inevitable, differences of opinion emerge in the following pages. The Iranian Plateau and its mountains and piedmonts The geography, climate, and resources of the Iranian plateau will be briefly introduced to outline the spatial and environmental context for the discussion that follows of the broader theoretical background to the archaeology of Western Asia and Iran in the fourth millennium BC. Geography, environment, and climate The broad geographical expanse of the Iranian Plateau and its mountains and piedmonts have several distinctive features, zones, and regions (Fig.

Damerow and Englund 1989; Englund 1998b), and there is no textual information from the fourth or early third millennia BC on long-distance trade. While the texts do not address many things that are evident in later periods, as Algaze (2005a; 2008: 77) has pointed out, they do list metals and metal objects, and also stone beads, including the signs for lapis lazuli, which translate to “beads of the mountain” (Englund 1998a: 98). , this volume). Although initially advocating the chronological primacy of developments in southern Mesopotamia (Algaze 2001a: 200), Algaze now acknowledges that cities developed early in the north (Algaze 2008: 117– 22).

Postgate 1994; Kuhrt 1997; Potts 1997; Van De Mieroop 2004, 2006). Given that there is clear evidence of cultural continuity from the fourth into the third millennium and beyond in many of the regions where early texts were used, particularly in Mesopotamia (Algaze 2008, 2012), there has been an inevitable temptation to draw on the textual resources of the later periods to frame explanations and draw analogies for the types of activities (socio-economic, religious, and/or political) occurring during the fourth millennium BC.

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