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29 January 2007
Bronze to Iron Age transition studied in Iran

The Archeology Research Center of Iranís Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) has started talks with the Archeology Department of the British Oxford University to study the chronology of Iranís prehistoric sites, especially focusing on the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age. The Center is planning to send samples of some prehistoric evidence found in these areas to the University for exact dating.
     In an interview with CHN, archeologist Mehrdad Malekzadeh said that the main objective foreseen in this plan is to fill the historic gap that occurred toward the end of the Bronze Age and the years that fall between this prehistoric period to the advent of the Iron Age. "The Archeology Research Center is intending to send datable organic materials found in Iranís prehistoric sites to Oxford University in order to perform radiometric analysis using dating techniques such as radiocarbon and potassium-argon for a more specific dating of Iranís prehistoric site with an emphasis on transition from Bronze to Iron Age," explained Malekzadeh.
     Malekzadeh further said that the new project will also focus on subdivisions of the Iron Age in Iran with Iron Age I having been dated between 1500 and 1250 BCE, followed by the second phase which lasts to 850 BCE and finally the last stage or Iron Age III that is believed to have taken place between 580-550 BCE. Nonetheless, Malekzadeh believes that the chronological map of the Iron Age as provided by archeologists based on their excavations at Iranís prehistoric sites is not accurate enough: "Such conclusions are not based on physicochemical studies and laboratory analysis and are approximations based on archeological findings and thus cannot be accurate."

Source: CHN (27 January 2007)

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