Survey and Excavation at the Jowšātū Fort (Šāhīndezh, West Āzerbāyjān, Northwest Iran)

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Archaeology, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.


The southern Lake Urmia Basin witnessed significant political, military, cultural, and artistic transformations in the first millennium BCE. The region was an integral part of Manna right from the formation of the kingdom. Assyrian records contain allusions to some important and central Mannean fortresses. Jowšātū fort perches on an isolated mountain next to Šāhīndezh in southwestern West Āzerbāyjān Province. The fort covers a total area of about 13 hectares, and includes architectural remains visible on the surface as a defensive wall system of two outer and inner circumvallations constructed in a unique style in a strategic location. The attested surface pottery and architecture support a date in the Iron III. Architectural and pottery evidence suggests two construction phases belonging to a single period. Occupation at the site apparently continued into the Achaemenid period as is evidenced by the presence of a pottery flask.


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