The Bronze Age of the Little Zab Basin in the Light of the Excavation of Rick Abad Tepe

Document Type : Original Research Article


Department of Archaeology Bu-Ali Sina University Hamedan- Iran


Rick Abad Tepe is located north of the Zab River in Northwest of Iran, close to the border with Iraq. The excavation at this archeological site was carried out in the summer of 2019. The materials and evidence obtained from there showed Rick Abad belonged to the Bronze Age, with some monuments not documented yet from any site in the Zab Basin. The Tamarchin passage, west of Piranshahr, connects this region to northern Mesopotamia. This research tries to respond to the following questions: What was the status of Zab Basin settlements in the Bronze Age? How was the regional and extra-regional communication with the surrounding areas? As a matter of fact, seven levels belonging to the Bronze Age were identified in the course of the excavation. In the south of Lake Urmia, Kura-Araxes potteries were less visible; however, typical black-burnished ceramics similar to those of the Kura-Araxes tradition were recovered from some sites. Surprisingly, Painted Orange Ware (POW) and beveled-rim Bowl were seen in the early Bronze Age of the Zab Basin. Furthermore, the impression of the seal from Rick Abad is remarkable as well since this type of object had an administrative function and it is a sign of economic and social activities as well as regional and extra-regional relations. The location of this region between northwest of Iran and the north of Mesopotamia (Iraqi Kurdistan) somehow turned this basin into a meeting place of various cultures. Probably these sites played a key role in trade and commerce, although, they never attained an urban status.


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