Sea shells are natural-biological objects. For a long time, in the geological layers in the form of fossils and later in the ancient layers as a result of human activities, they were discovered and datable. Archaeologists can use the provenance of shells in the functional analysis of ancient places; Social archeology and trade are placed. The results of archeological excavations in the plateau of Iran have shown that from about the third millennium B.C., we are suddenly faced with many sea shells of Lambis, Dentalium , etc. These shells have been discovered from ritual cemetery contexts such as Shahdad, Tepe Hesar, Kale Nisar cemeteries, Bani Surma, etc. These objects are mainly used as natural or polished shells.In some cases, they are used only as a raw material for making all kinds of beads, buttons, and other ornamental objects and ornaments. The main question is to understand and recognize the relationship between the use of seashells and the contexts of the excavation site. Also, the importance of some such objects in the societies of the Bronze Age of the Iranian Plateau for ritual use. In this article, the descriptive, analytical method has been used in the biological recognition of all types of shells. The analogy method is also used based on similar studies on this issue in Mesopotamia's archeology of the Sumerian-Akkadian period. The distribution of recognizable species shows that these objects are concentrated in the settlements from south to southeast of Iran in the coastal strip of the Persian Gulf, Oman Sea to Zagros valleys, and northwest and northeast of Iran. The biological origin of these shells belongs to the northern shores of the Oman Sea to the Gulf of Kutch on the northern coast of the Indian Ocean. It seems that with the growth and development of urbanization in Southwest Asia and especially the development of sea trade, oysters have been traded as valuable goods and other prestige goods.The importance of shell finds is more than the value of the shells themselves because they belong to religious affairs as sacred goods. Analysis of the fields where the shells were discovered is more related to cemeteries and temples as sacred spaces. Also, the significant presence of lambis shells in the form of bowls known as spiritual cups, along with bronze axes in men's graves, is a reflection of the formation of a social and political tradition based on patriarchy in the societies of the third and second millennia B.C. Is. Unfortunately, despite many excavations and the discovery of many samples of these types of shells, no further action has been taken to describe and introduce them. This vacuum of cognitive information reveals more valuable findings in the archeology of the Iranian plateau. Therefore, one of the article's final goals is to focus more on analyzing the context of the discovery of seashells in future Excavation.
عنوان مقاله [English]
Shell Vessels from Prehistoric Iran and Neighboring Areas
Shell vessels are rare grave objects that have been found in many third and 2nd millennium B.C.
cemeteries in Mesopotamia. Archaeological excavations in the Iranian plateau have yielded shell
vessels from Barde Zarde cemetery, Kalle Nisar cemetery, Bani Surmeh cemetery, Shahdad
cemetery, and Tepe Hissar. Barde Zarde produced a relatively complete Lambis vessel and other
objects (including a bronze axe) from a destroyed tomb; physical anthropological studies suggests
these tombs suggest these were graves of adult men. Archaeological studies show that the majority
of the shell vessels are made from three known species of shells, Lambis, Turbinella pyrum,
and Pleuroploca trapezium. The source of these shells is the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean at
the south of the Indus valley. Analysis of these burials informs not only of the social structure but
also of the beliefs of those societies. The locations on the map shows that the closest place to trade
Lambis is in the Iran plateau in Shar-i Sokhta which then leads to Shahdad, Susa, behind the
Luristan Mountain, and Barde Zarde of west Azerbaijan. Based on the sites where Lambis were
found, it can be said that all of these sites were located on the trade path of the third millennium
B.C. Shells may have entered Iranian plateau through two trade routes.