Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Candidate in Historical Arcaeology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Along the foothills of the Marvdasht plain, a significant number of rock-cut burial monuments have been made during the Achaemenid to early Islamic period. These burials are made in various forms which with the exception of the royal tombs and some samples with the middle persian inscription, the chronology of the rest of the samples is in dispute. By performing the archaeological field survey with the aim of determination the  funeral monuments attributable to the post-Achaemenid period, the authors, in addition to accurately describing the structural description of such samples, has thoroughly analyzed all the cited chronological evidence. These cited evidence are: Structural and spatial patterns, studying the stone-cutting tools, decorations, surveying the peripheral boundary within a radius of about 1 km in order to place the monuments in the relevant archaeological context, as well as assisting negative reasoning  Instead of positive reasoning. In negative reasoning, In order to prove the chronology, instead of presenting positive evidence in favor of post-Achaemenidchronology, we present reasons that negate the Achaemenid and Sassanid chronology. This article deals only with the southeastern half of the plain, the southern and western foothills of Rahmat Mountain, and in another article we will address the northeast half of the plain. Based on the surveys conducted in line with the present study, the remains of the rock-cut burials in the eastern half of the Marvdasht plain are located without exception on the southern and western slopes of Rahmat Mountain. These studies have also shown that the burial complexes of Tang-e Zendan, Akhor-e Rostam, North Barzan and Laneh Tavous can most likely be dated to the post-Achaemenid period. In an interpretive and general conclusion, it can be argued that the rock-cut burials that can be dated to the post-Achaemenid period in the Marvdasht plain, like any other period or place, imprimis considered as a type of dignitizad burial which were made and used for members of powerful families in the highest level of social power pyramid. Monuments that on the one hand increased credibility, legitimacy and power of mentioned families among the indigenous population and other regional powers. On the other hand, these evidence were considered as a valid document for aristocrats dynastic descendants to acquire and maintain dominion over their ancestral estates. In this way, they could continue to dominate the ancestral property in the future


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