Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 301–327

The Emergence of Complex Metallurgy on the Iranian Plateau: Escaping the Levantine Paradigm

Original Paper

Abstract

Models for the development of metallurgy in Southwest Asia have for a long time been focussed on research carried out in the lowland regions of the Levant and Mesopotamia. These models do not take into account the different developmental trajectories witnessed in the resource-rich highlands of Anatolia, the Caucasus, and Iran. In this paper, the beginnings of the use and production of metals in Iran will be juxtaposed with a cursory overview of the lowland model (the ‘Levantine Paradigm’) in order to highlight these differences. By synthesizing data from a number of current research projects exploring the early metallurgy of the Iranian Plateau, this paper demonstrates how at least one of the highland regions of Southwest Asia was at the very forefront of technological innovation from the seventh through the second millennium BC.

Keywords

Iran Metallurgy Copper alloys Levant Chalcolithic Gold Silver Crucibles Slag 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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