New Evidence of the Emergence of Complex Societies Discovered on the Central Iranian Plateau

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Archaeology, Art University of Isfehan, Isfahan, Iran


The archaeological mound of Sofalin south of the Alborz Mountains of Northern Iran (Eastern Rey plain) sheds considerable
light on at least four problems connected with the emergence of complex societies in this part of Iran. The first, it helps
fill a chronological gap in an important archaeological sequence by revealing a previously unidentified late fourth and
third millennium B.C. sequence of occupations. Second, the remains recovered from the mound illustrate a surprising
sophistication in the use of proto-Elamite economic and numerical tablets, as well as cylindrical seal impressions. Third,
it shows an early stage of an administration system in this area which has not been identified before. Finally, the data may
reflect a development from a rather generalized subsistence economy based on agriculture to an economy based on longdistance
trade connected with the import and export of goods.