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Human Settlement in Iran's Central Plateau Dates back to 10,000 Years Ago


Tehran, Mar. 7 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) -- Farmers activities in Togh Tepe of Mazandaran province, resulted in the accidental discovery of the oldest pottery ever found in the area. Studies carried out on the artifacts have shown that humans have lived in the central plateau of Iran since 9 or 10 thousand years ago.

Togh Tepe is one of the most ancient historical sites of Iran, located in the northern province of Mazandaran. The location of the site next to the historical caves dating to the Neolithic period had caused the archaeologists to categorize the site as a dwelling of that time, and the new discovery helps reinforce that belief.

According to an expert working with the archaeology office of ICHTO in Mazandaran, Ali Mahforoozi, farmers of the area dug a large cut in the hill, which accidentally revealed a great collection of primitive clay artefacts.

Studies on the discovered potsherds have shown that they were made without any instruments, just with hand. Moreover, to create the designs on the pieces, which are of the most primitive type so far found in the central plateau of Iran, people did not have any sharp tools and just used their little finger. The potteries are therefore indelicate and the designs lines are thick, explained Mahfroozi.

The new potsherds are older than the ones found in Cheshmeh Ali site, considered so far as the oldest settlement of the central plateau, and therefore Togh Tepe is dated far back in time than the Dah Kheir and Chakhmagh Hill, identified up to now as the oldest settlements of the area. However, to expand the knowledge of the new discoveries, more studies and excavations should yet be carried out.

The above article comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2004

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