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Oriental Institute Publications (OIP)

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OIP 128.

The Origins of State Organizations in Prehistoric Highland Fars, Southern Iran: Excavations at Tall-e Bakun.

Abbas Alizadeh with contributions by M. Kimiaie, M. Mashkour, and N. F. Miller.

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The late prehistoric Bakun A culture in Fars is a major source of information on the initial development of the evolutionary path which vertical mobile pastoralists of highland Iran may have taken to develop state organizations. Long before the appearance of administrative technology and physical segregation of administration, production, storage, and residential units in urban centers of the second half of the fourth millennium B.C., Tall-e Bakun A, near Persepolis in the Marv Dasht region of Fars, stands as one of the precursors to the complex societies of the fourth-millennium B.C. early urban centers.

The present publication presents the final report of the last season's excavations at Tall-e Bakun A. The archaeological materials from this season are combined with the results of other pertinent data from surveys and excavations in the Near East to provide a foundation upon which pre-state social evolution in late prehistoric highland Fars has been reconstructed and interpreted.

Based on the analysis of the available archaeological data as well as historical and ethnographic sources, Alizadeh argues that the specialized manufacture and administrative aspects at Tall-e Bakun A indicate the existence of differential status at the site, where a few families or ranking individuals controlled the manufacture and flow of goods. Alizadeh further proposes mobile pastoralism as a crucial variable in the socio-economic and political development of highland Fars.

  • Oriental Institute Publications 128
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2006
  • Pp. xliv + 276 + 42 charts, 76 figures, 26 plates, 51 tables
  • Hard cover, 9.00 x 11.75 inches, 23 x 50 cm
  • $75.00

Revised: October 8, 2013

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