Early Iron Age Ceramics

Hasanlu Periods IVc and IVb

The Iron I or Hasanlu IVc (1250–1050 BC) is characterized by middle Monochrome Burnished Ware. The primary changes in relation to the preceding early Monochrome Burnished Ware of the Late Bronze Age are in the predominant forms of vessels. The assemblage also has Buff Ware and a slipped variety of Buff Ware. The tall pedestal-base tankards of Hasanlu V/LBA are no longer present in occupational deposits and graves, having evolved into short pedestal base cups. Period IVc sees the increased use of carinated mugs and beakers. Worm bowls, while attested in several types, tend to be more hemispherical and often have tripod feet, foreshadowing the large bowls with unattached and attached stands found in the Iron II. Far more common are incurving carinated bowl, often with holes drilled through the sides. Bridgeless spouted vessels continue in the graves of Dinkha, but are still absent at Hasanlu. Only a few bridgeless spouts were found on the High Mound of Hasanlu in Period IVc contexts (only one is known from a secure Period V context). The mid-body carinated jar with medium neck and simple rim is the most common jar type. Vessels of all form categories frequently have raised horizontal bands or ribs. Bowls and occasionally jars have bi-lobed, vertically-pierced lugs — the precursors of the animal-head lugs of the Iron II period.

The Iron II or Hasanlu IVb (1050–800 BC) continues the trend seen in the Iron I with MBW and BW making up the majority of the ceramic assemblages of Hasanlu and Dinkha. In graves and occupational deposits, the most pronounced shift is the appearance of the bridge-spouted jar. No graves with both a bridgeless-spouted and bridge-spouted vessel were found at Hasanlu and Dinkha. The only apparent overlap in the graves of both sites is the presence in a few early Iron II graves of "worm bowls". Bridgeless spouted vessels are frequently associated with large numbers of small jars/beakers in graves. Graves often also contain three-handled hydriae, tripods, and jars with inverted narrow necks. Mid-body carinated jars continue in the period.

Occupational deposits on the High Mound provide a much wider range of vessel forms, stylistic treatments, and wares compared to the mortuary assemblages of Hasanlu and Dinkha. Kylix cups, high stemmed tankards and goblets, carinated beakers, and several other types of drinking vessel are present. In Period IVb gadrooning, excising, incising, appliqué, and modelling are frequently used to decorate vessels. Glazed ware occurs in the destruction level of the citadel, as does so-called Palace Ware, a thin, fine variety of late MBW.

Monochrome Burnished Ware
Monochrome Burnished Ware
Monochrome Burnished Ware

Monochrome Burnished Ware type.  Monochrome Burnished Ware 


Further Reading:

Young, T. Cuyler
1965  "A Comparative Ceramic Chronology for Western Iran, 1500–500 B.C." Iran 3: 53–85.

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