Nishapur Revisited: Stratigraphy and Ceramics of the by Rocco Rante

By Rocco Rante

Nishapur in japanese Iran was once a massive Silk highway urban, its place supplying hyperlinks to important Asia and China, Afghanistan and India, the Persian Gulf and the west. regardless of past excavations there are various unresolved questions surrounding the location; whilst used to be the town based? Is Nishapur a Sasanian urban? was once it based by way of the Sasanian king Shapur I or II? The query of chronology of profession and the ceramic series can be complicated relatively for overdue antiquity and the medieval interval, in addition to a whole topography of the positioning. The Irano-French archaeological undertaking at Nishapur (2004 to 2007) (CNRS-MAEE-Musee du Louvre) all in favour of the Qohandez, or fortress, the oldest a part of Nishapur. Excavations have been carried out in several parts of the mound, so one can tackle those questions. After an advent to the positioning and the previous American and Iranian excavations, this booklet offers the stratigraphy and the pottery of the positioning. The problems excited about setting up an exact historical past of the location, in addition to the complexities of learning the pottery ended in a application of research undertaken via the study Centre of French Museums (C2RMF). Chemical and petrographic research, thermoluminescence (TL) courting and archaeomagnetism research as help to the TL effects have been performed. A pottery database has been created regrouping the stratigraphical and laboratory analyses information, for you to deal with and current an organised corpus of one thousand samples. the combo of the information from the stratigraphical and laboratory analyses supplies a correct and entirely new chronology of the location. additionally, the examine additionally delivered to mild a brand new typological series of the ceramic, in addition to new facts concerning the pottery construction at Nishapur.

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Therefore, the most important occupation phases issuing from the stratigraphical and archaeometrical analysis will be considered. Later, in order to achieve the objectives of this study, the pottery will be presented and analyzed in a final chronological framework. The extreme heterogeneity of the site, as previously mentioned, means that the stratigraphical sequence shows different characteristics for each test-pit. The test-pits analyzed here will not include all those on the Qohandez. The most representative among them were selected to give a general, but complete, framework of the site.

11 II. The Excavation and the Absolute Chronology 29 can be recovered from the magnetic properties of well-dated baked clay archaeological materials, such as fragments of kiln, oven, tile, brick or ceramic. g. Dunlop and Özdemir 1997). Structures found in situ, such as kilns which have not moved since their final heating– cooling, can provide information on both the direction and intensity of the ancient magnetic field. In contrast, for displaced artefacts, such as ceramics for which one cannot retrieve their original position during their manufacturing (and thus during the acquisition of their TRM), the directional information is lost but it is still possible to determine the ancient geomagnetic field intensity.

Chapter II The Excavation and the Absolute Chronology with contributions by A. Zink1, E. Porto2, A. Genevey3 and Y. Gallet4 1. Introduction to the Irano-French excavation The Qohandez of Nishapur covers a surface area of c. 60 m above sea level (Figs 8–9). Today, the site presents an extremely damaged and jumbled mass, rendering archaeological analysis arduous (Fig. 10). In fact, the landscape of the citadel is composed of shapeless masses of mud brick, resulting from the active exploitation of this material for agricultural purposes as well as by treasure-hunters.

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