Document Type : Research Paper


1 Master of Archeology, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Archeology, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.


During Neolithic time, increasing knowledge and various interactions paved the ground for the new experiments and products as well as spread of commodities and different ideas. Across the Near East, Neolithic archaeology has mostly focused on the beginning of domestication and sedentary life. Intensive interaction and exchange between societies, however, is amongst outcomes of Neolithization process that resulted in diffusion of some materials such as obsidian. To date, most of the researchers have taken the issue of long-distance contact in the light of geographical diffusion of obsidian, while various materials and commodities were exchanged via wide networks. In this regard, objects made of seashells are of particular importance. As  a result of recent excavation at Ali Kosh, a great number of different beads of shell and stone was found...along with seated burials dated to the second half of the 8th millennium BC. Tiny disc-shaped samples constitute the most common beads in the assemblage. They were previously known as stone beads. However, our recent examination shows that they are mostly made of a kind of bivalve sea shell known as Spondylus sp. It seems that such beads were produced on the Pesian Gulf shores, as the closest habitat of the shell, and then were transported or exchanged as finished goods. As evidenced by the recent stratigraphy and human isotopic analysis inhabitants of Ali Kosh had a high level of mobility. This highlights the role of interaction and exchange networks through which beads were diffused across lowlands of southwestern Iran. Accordingly, the site yielded remains of 18 levels indicating subsequent short-term occupations. Furthermore, as by the isotopic analysis, some of the buried individuals seem to have emigrated from shorelines to the site. This highlights the role of interaction and exchange networks through which beads were diffused across lowlands of southwestern Iran. Prevalence of shell beads at Ali Kosh reminds us that obsidian was not the only main exchanged material in the early Neolithic.  The main focus of the present article is  investigation of production and origin of oyster beads from the pre-pottery Neolithic levels at Ali Kosh, Deh Luran Plain


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