Chronological Overview

Hasanlu Tepe is located south of Lake Urmia in what is now the Western Azerbaijan Province of Iran.  The site lies within the lush Qadar River Valley at an important crossroad with routes leading west to the Kel-i Shin Pass and northern Mesopotamia, east to the Iranian plateau, north to the Caucuses, and south into Kurdistan.  The western end of the valley is known as Ushnu and the eastern as Sulduz.  The valley is surrounded by low hills.  The southern Urmia Basin provides its inhabitants with agricultural land in the river valley and surrounding low hills.  The higher elevations of Ushnu-Sulduz offer pastures for livestock in summer.

 

 

Hasanlu is quite an impressive ruin, the largest tepe in the Qadar River valley (37°00'N 45°35'E).  The site consists of a High Mound, approximately 25 meters in height and 3.14 HA in area, surrounded by a Low Mound 8 m in height and covering at least 33 HA.  The exact extent of the Low Mound has been obscured by modern agricultural activity and the villages of Hasanlu and Aminlu located on the eastern and southern Low Mound respectively.  The ruin mounds of Hasanlu were formed through deposits of stone, earth, and debris left from the repeated construction and destruction of stone and mudbrick architecture and the accumulation of occupational debris.  The excavators of Hasanlu and sites in the surrounding region distinguished 10 chronological periods based on archaeological remains, primarily changes in ceramics.  The Hasanlu Sequence became one of the main chronological periodizations for northwestern Iran.  It spans the Pottery Neolithic to the Iron Age, although it contains many gaps and has since been divided into subperiods and phases based on further analysis of the stratigraphy, architecture, and artifactual remains.  Hasanlu periods are designated by roman numerals.  During the early years of excavation, Dyson referred to the various periods with provisional popular names, such as the ‘Button Base Period’ rather than a sequential scheme since knowledge of the site’s stratigraphy was incomplete and the archaeological chronology of northwestern Iran was in its infancy.

The following chart represents the results of a recent reappraisal of occupation deposits and graves from Hasanlu. The published results from Dinkha Tepe (Muscarella 1968, 1974; Hamlin 1974; Rubinson 1991) were also incorporated into this study. An overview of this resarch will be available soon in the series Subartu (Danti, In Press.) and a more detailed presentation will appear in the monograph Hasanlu V: A Re-evaluation of the Late Bronze and Iron I Periods scheduled to go to press in May 2011.

                               

Hasanlu Period

Iranian Periodization

Dyson’s Initial Phases

Cultural Designation/Horizon

Notes

I

Medieval

Islamic Phase

Ilkhanid

 

 

-- Hiatus --

 

 

 

II

Iron IV

Mystery Phase

Seleucid

Badly eroded in most locations

IIIa

Iron IV

Triangle Ware Phase

Achaemenid

Badly eroded in most locations

 

--Hiatus --

 

 

 

IIIb

Iron III

Triangle Ware Phase

Urartian

At lease two phases

 

--Hiatus --

 

 

 

IVa

Iron II

‘Squatter Occupation’

 

Comprised of traces of post-destruction use of the site

IVb

Iron II

Grey Ware Phase

Late Monochrome Burnsised Ware

The Burned City

IVc

Iron I

Grey Ware Phase

Middle Monochrome Burnished Ware

This subperiod refers to early architectural phases found in the standing architecture of Period IVb

Va

Late Bronze II

Button-Base Phase

Early Monochrome Burnished Ware

Five exposures on the High Mound

Vb

Late Bronze I

Button-Base Phase

Early Monochrome Burnished Ware

(also Incised and Impressed MBW at Dinkha)

Not previously reported

VIa

Middle Bronze III

 

Dinkha Polychrome and Incised Monochrome Burnished Ware and Impressed MBW

Not well attested at Hasanlu Tepe

VIb

Middle Bronze II

Dinkha Ware or Ring Ware

Painted Khabur Ware

 

VIc

Middle Bronze I

 

Unpainted Khabur Ware

Not previously reported

VIIa

Early Bronze Age

Orange Ware

Late Orange Ware

Not previously reported

VIIb

Early Bronze Age

Orange Ware

Early Orange Ware

The earliest material reached on the Low Mound, directly on sterile soil.

VIIc

Late Chalcolithic/ Early Bronze Age

 

Streaky Ware and Early Transcaucasian

The earliest strata reached in controlled excavations in the U22 Sounding

VIII

Late Chalcolithic

Pisdeli

Pisdeli

Not reached in controlled excavations at Hasanlu, but present in the Well Sounding

IX

Chalcolithic

Dalma

Dalma

Not reached in controlled excavations at Hasanlu, but present in the Well Sounding

X

Pottery Neolithic

Hajji Firuz

Hajji Firuz

Not attested in primary contexts at Hasanlu Tepe

 

 

 
l Content © 2011 Michael Danti
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