Research Paper

The Bampur Valley: A New Chronological Development

Authors: Mehdi Mortazavi

Year: 2006, Volume: 1, Page/Article: 1-9, DOI:

Download PDF


The study of history gives one access less directly but often no less vividly – to hundreds of years of recorded time. But it is only archaeology, in particular prehistoric archaeology, that opens up the almost unimaginable vistas of thousands and even a few millions of years of past human existence (Renfrew & Bahn, 2001: 117). The stratigraphical sequence at Tepe Bampur, which has been divided into six periods, was firstly studied by De Cardi in 1966 (Lamberg-Karlovsky & Schmandt-Besserat, 1977: 114). Her chronology is mostly based on pottery classification compared with other sites in Iran (Tosi, 1970a: 12), demonstrating similarity over the whole sequence. According to De Cardi’s chronology, the Tepe Bampur sequence begins with the mid-third millennium BC and ends in the early centuries of the second millennium BC (Tosi, 1974a: 31). The present paper aims to re-examine the comparative chronology of Tepe Bampur and present a new comparative chronology for the third millennium BC settlements in the Bampur Valley for the first time. The study is mostly based upon the first systematic survey of Tepe Bampur and a non-probabilistic survey in the Bampur Valley during July 2002 (Mortazavi 2004: 147). These surveys are the first systematic and non-probabilistic surveys of the valley since the time of Stein, and has provided important information concerning the settlement patterns and the chronology of the third millennium BC sites. This paper represents the first systematic study of the Bampur Valley in the Iranian Baluchistan during the third and second millennia BC. This study also pilots the first application and review of concepts of settlement patterns and comparative chronology of the valley based upon the ceramic typology using a combination of published data and new data recovered during fieldwork in 2002 and a survey in 2005.