Document Type : Research Paper

Author

Assistant Professor in Prehistoric Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran

Abstract

Prehistoric investigations in the southeast of the Caspian Sea started over a century ago. Today, the region is now well known mainly with its four caves: Kamarband, Hotu, Komishan and Altappeh. Hotu has been re-excavated in 2021, as a result of which 124 contexts have been uncovered spanning from Mesolithic to Historic period, based on the stratigraphy and archaeological finds. Totally 1477 chipped stones have been collected and the assemblage is uniformly made of local Behshahr chert in various colors. Local raw material procurement, which is a shared element in all the prehistoric assemblages from southeast of the Caspian Sea, is reflected in the technological structure of the assemblage, larger size of the tools (including “macro-geometrics”), as well as high values of evenness index which reflects the diversity of activities taken place in those sites. Technological changes are evident in the chipped stone assemblage from recent excavations at Hotu Cave from Mesolithic to Neolithic (introduction of pressure technique in removing blade-lets and sickle trapezoids); same change has been observed in the subsistence pattern based on the archeozoological research on animal bones. But whether such a change has occurred locally and gradually or it is a result of demic/idea movement from other regions could not be concluded solely from Hotu material because of the chronological gap between these periods.

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