Prehistoric Evidence of Sonqor Koliyaie Plain in Central Zagros

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.

2 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Art, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran.


Sonqor Koliyaie is a mountainous plain in central Zagros that has attracted the attention of human societies because of its appropriate environmental characteristics from long ago. Generally, the findings obtained from systematic archaeological surveys show that human settlements have been established in this area from Middle Paleolithic period through contemporary period. Three seasons of survey in this area have shown that among 301 discovered archeological sites, many belonged to Paleolithic, Epipaleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age. The present study attempts to study the prevalent prehistoric cultures and traditions of the region since the beginning up to the first millennium BC. The research method is descriptive-analytic and the materials are cultural artifacts such as pottery and stone tools. The obtained results prove that although the number or size of the settlements has decreased during some periods, the common pottery traditions such as Dalma, Seh Gabi, Godin VII, VI, IV, III, and II in West of Iran show the presence of a continuous sequence of cultural settlements from the start of the human settlement in the valleys. Regarding the distribution of the sites, it should be noted that the distribution and size of the discovered settlement patterns have been different indifferent periods and have been influenced by various environmental factors such as height, water access, pasture, and communicative roads.


Beshkani, Amir.2009 “A Preliminary Repot of Caves and Rock shelters in Songhor County,” Submitted
by the Research Center of Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism
Organization. Kermanshah (Unpublished).
Beshkani, Amir.; Maryam Dehqan; Mojgan Jayez & Yadolah Heydari. 2009 “Bohlul Cave; a Paleolithic Settlement in
Songhor Koliyaie Plain,” Bastanpazhoh, 18: 24-33.
Beshkani, Amir.; Mojgan Jayez; Maryam Dehqan; Mana  Jami Alahmadi & Yadolah Heydari. 2012 “An Introduction to Caves and Rock shelters of Sonqor, Kermanshah Province, Iran,” Journal of Archaeological Study, 4, Issue 1, Summer and Autumn 2012, P-P:33-58.
Burney, Charles. 1961 “Excavations at Yanik Tepe, North-West Iran,” Iraq, 23: 138-153.
Burton Brown, T. 1951 “Excavation in Azerbaijan, Iran,” 1948. London: Thon Murray.
Dyson, Robert H. Jr. 1999 “Triangle-Festoon Ware Reconsidered,”Iranica Antiqua, 34: 115-144.
Dyson, Robert H. Jr. & T. Cuyler Young, Jr. 1960 “The Solduz Valley, Iran: Pisdeli Tepe”, Antiquity 34: 19-27. Goff, Caler.
1968b “Luristan in the First Half of the First Millennium B.C. A Preliminary Report on the First Seasons Excavation at Baba
Jan and Associated Surveys in the Eastern Pish-i-Kuh,” Iran, 6: 105-134.
1971 “Luristan before the Iron Age,” Iran, 9: 131-151.
Hamlin, Carol. 1974 “The Early Second Millennium Ceramic Assemblage of Dinkha Tepe,” Iran, 12:125-153.
1975 “Dalma Tepe,” Iran, 13: 111-128.Henrickson, Elizabeth F.
1985 “The Early Development of Pastoralism inthe Central Zagros Highlands (Luristan),”Iranica Antiqua 20: 1-42.
Henrickson, Robert C.1986 “A Regional Perspective on Godin III:Cultural Development in Central Western Iran”, Iran, 24: 1-55. Heydarian, Mahmood.
2004 “Final Report of Archaeological Survey in Songhor Koliyaie Plain, (first season),” Submitted by the Research Center of IranianCultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization. Kermanshah (Unpublished).
2006 .“Prehistoric Pottery of Songhor Intermountain Plain, Systematic Surveyat Tepe Khodaei,” Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of Arts (M.A) In Archaeology- prehistoric, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology. Tarbiat Modares University (Unpublished).
2009 “Final Report of Archaeological Survey in Songhor Koliyaie Plain (second season),” Submitted by the Research Center of IranianCultural Heritage, Handicrafts and TourismOrganization. Kermanshah (Unpublished).
2014 “Analyzing the Role of Natural Factors in Spatial Distribution of Prehistoric Sites of Songhor Plain,” Pazhohesh-ha-ye
Bastanshenasi Iran 3, Number 4, winter 2014. Page: 139-152.
Heydarian, Mahmood; Alireza Khosrowzadeh; Majid Sarikhani; & Aman-Allah Fathnia.
2013 “An Assessment on the Spatial-Temporal Patterns of Songhor's Archaeological Sites in GIS,” Physical Geography Research Quarterly 45, Issue 3, autumn 2013, Page 1-124.
Khatib Shahidi, Hamid; Mahmood Heydarian & Hasan Basafa.2012 “Prehistoric Cultures of the Songhor Plain,”
Archaeological Reports (8), Proceedings of the international Symposium in Iranian Archaeology: Western Region, Research
Center of Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Iranian Center for Archaeological Research.
Levine, Louis D. & Carol Hamlin. 1974 “The Godin Project: Seh Gabi,” Iran 12: 211-213.
Levine, Louis D. & T. Cuyler. Young, Jr.1987 “A Summary of The Ceramic Assemblages of the Central Western Zagros form the Middle Neolithic to the Late Third Millennium B.C.,” Colleques International in Prehistoric de la Mesopotamia, 15-54, Paris.
Mascarella, O. W. 1974 “The Iron Age at Dinkha Tepe, Iran,” The Metropolitan Museum Journal 9: 35-76. Masoumi, Gholamreza.
1978 History of the Science of Archaeology in Iran, Tehran, the Organization for Researching and Composing University Textbooks in the Humanities (SAMT).
Mousavi Kouhpar, S. Mahdi & Mahmood Heydarian. 2008 “A Comprehensive Archaeological survey of Sonqor Koliyaei,” Journal of the faculty of letters and humanities- the University of Tehran 59, No. 185-4 Spring. Page 193-214.
Rubinson, Karen S. 1991 “A Mid-Second Millennium Tomb at Dinkha Tepe,” American Journal of Archaeology, 95 (3): 373-395.
Voigt, Mary M. 1983 Hajji Firuz Tepe, Iran: The Neolithic settlement, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania
Voigt, Mary M. & Robert H. Dyson, Jr. 1992 The Chronology of Iran, Ca. 8000-2000 B.C. in Chronologies in Old World Archaeology , Edited by R. W. Erich, 122-178. Chicago. university of Chicago Press.
Young, Jr. T.Cuyler. 1965 “A Comparative Ceramic Chronology for Western Iran, 1500-500 B.C.,”Iran 3: 53-83.
1966 “Survey in western Iran” 1961 Journal of Near Eastern studies 25(A): 228-239.
1969 “Excavations at Godin Tepe, First Progress Report,” Royal Ontario Museum.
1974 “An Archaeological Survey of the Kangavar Valley,” proceedings of the IIIRD Annual symposium on Archaeological research in Iran: 23-30 Tehran-Iran.
Young, Jr. T.Cuyler. & Louis D. Levine. 1974 Excavations of the Godin Project: Second Program Report. Royal Ontario Museum