We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Archaeology

All Research Projects

Publication details

Alizadeh,A. Kouchoukos, N. Wilkinson, T.J. , Bauer A. & M. Mashkour (2004). Human-environment interactions on the Upper Khuzestan Plains, southwest Iran. Recent investigations. PaleOrient 30(1): 69-88.

Author(s) from Durham


Evidence from archaeological excavation, intensive surface survey, geoarchaeological investigations, and remote sensing conducted in fall 2002 establishes parameters for the long-term history of human-environment interaction on the eastern margins of the Upper Khuzestan plains. During the 6th-4th millennia ВСЕ (the Susiana and Protoliterate periods), human settlement in this region was dispersed, intermittent, and shifting, due in part to a subsistence economy based on opportunistic floodwater farming and small-scale sheep and goat herding. Dense settled occupation of the region began only in the later 2nd millennium ВСЕ (during the Middle Elamite period), though little is yet known about land use practices at this time. By the early 1st millennium CE, large-scale canal irrigation is already well developed on the plains and has significantly altered their morphology. Observations along the modern Gargar River reveal its origin as an artificial canal, confirming the testimony of 10th century geographers. Archaeological and historical evidence supports reconstruction of the function and history of this channel and assessment of its effects on the agricultural potential of its catchment and on the accumulation and preservation of archaeological deposits.

Department of Archaeology

Scottish Soldiers Project

Cooperating with the Palace Museum in China