Ali Kosh: Agriculture and Domestication
Ali Kosh is a small mound on the Deh Luran plain of western Iran, close to the Iraqi border (32033′26 18″ N and 47019′30 11″ E). The site’s prominence owes to its having revealed the first substantial evidence from charred plant remains of early stages of domestication in the Near East. Using the (at the time) new method of flotation, archaeologists recovered tens of thousands of seeds from Ali Kosh (Neolithic) and nearby Tepe Sabz (Chalcolithic), whose analysis by Hans Helbaek, a Danish paleobotanist (Helbaek 1969), showed an evolving competence in agriculture.
Excavated in 1961 and 1963 by Frank Hole and Kent Flannery, Ali Kosh is divided into three phases denoted by changes in plant and animal use, building types, burials, grinding stones, chipped lithics, and other artifacts (Hole et al. 1969; Hole 1977). The Bus Mordeh and Ali Kosh Phases are preceramic, while the Mohammad Jaffar Phase has some of the oldest ceramics in Iran. Radiocarbon dates show that...
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