Vegetation Dynamic of Southern Sistan during the Bronze Age: Anthracological Studies at Shahr-i Sokhta

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

2 Independent Researcher, Archaeobotanist

Abstract

To recognize the dynamic of vegetation in eastern Iran as well as to ascertain interactions of human societies with their
environment, the present study is carried out on charcoal samples collected from Shahr-i Sokhta dated back to the Bronze Age.
This research will present two different vegetal formations used by the inhabitants of Shahr-i Sokhta: riparian formation
with species such as tamarisk (Tamarix) and willow (Salix) and steppe taxa like Chenopodiaceae and saltwort (Salsola).
By comparing charcoal data with those of present flora, certain changes concerning the vegetation structure in this part of
Iran have been identified. These changes are best explained in terms of anthropogenic or environmental factors. The major
presence of riparian taxa in the studied samples indicates that Sistan had favorable environmental conditions in the third
millennium B. C. The study also concludes that the ancient vegetation of southern delta of Sistan have been relatively
richer than the existing situation.

Keywords