Cultural contacts and cultural developments in Lorestān

Neumann, Georg. 2024. Kulturkontakte und Kulturentwicklungen in Lorestān (West-Iran) im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Münster: Zaphon.

In the 3rd millennium BC Lorestān (Western Iran) was characterized by diverse cultural developments. The subject of this study is the cultural development of early societies and their network of relationships, i.e. their cultural contacts. To structure the diversity of these relationships, the region has been divided into 6 zones (with a total of 46 sites) and three temporal phases – phase 1: time after the collapse of Late Chalcolithic complexes; Phase 2: period of Sumerian city-states and their economic “expansion”; Phase 3: time of the first larger territorial states in Mesopotamia. By evaluating both the excavations and the survey findings and taking into account written sources, it was possible to create a comprehensive, data-based and culturally geographically meaningful picture of the region. To achieve comparability of the extensive material, it was necessary to develop a uniform vocabulary of terms based on objective criteria that could be linked to the EWI chronology developed as part of the ARCANE project. As a result, it is possible to stabilize Lorestān’s chronology and to create diachronically comparative analyses. Overall, based on the finds and findings in Lorestān in the 3rd millennium BC. It is clear from that the specific “cultural contacts” are characterized in their complexity by different economic and social networks, some of which overlap and influence each other. The respective “cultural developments” are also based on such a network of relationships, which is equally influenced by internal and external political and economic developments. In addition, it was possible to demonstrate that a study that takes into account the local topography of a region makes it easier to establish “settlement chambers”, to better relate archaeological findings to one another and, accordingly, to understand historical (topographical) and associated cultural developments.