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Durham University

Research & business

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Socio-Economic Transformations in the Tehran Plain

A research project of the Department of Archaeology.


Motivated by the destruction of sites in the Tehran plain, the Universities of Tehran, Durham, Leicester and Bradford, and the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (ICHTO) developed a study of settlement from the beginning of the Holocene to the end of the Chalcolithic.

With funding from The British Academy, the British Institute of Persian Studies and the ICHTO, we have focused on the transformation of simple, egalitarian Neolithic communities into hierarchical ones (c. 6200–3000 BC) with settlement survey, and excavations at Cheshmeh Ali and Tepe Pardis allowing us to model the growth of specialisation, standardisation and networks of exchange.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Socio-economic Transformations (£30077.72 from The British Academy)

View of step trench I/II at Tepe Pardis

Published Results

Journal Article

  • Fazeli H., Coningham R.A.E. & Batt C.M. (2004). Cheshmeh-Ali Revisited: Towards an Absolute Dating of the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic of Iran's Tehran Plain. Iran 42: 13-23.
  • Coningham R.A.E., Fazeli H., Young R.L. & Donahue R.E. (2004). Location, Location, Location: A Pilot Study of the Tehran Plain 2003. Iran 42: 1-12.
  • Fazeli H., Donahue R.E. & Coningham R.A.E. (2002). Stone Tool Production, Distribution and Use During the Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic on the Tehran Plain, Iran. Iran 40: 1-14.
  • Fazeli H., Coningham R.A.E. & Pollard A.M. (2001). Chemical Characteristics of Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic Pottery from the Tehran Plain, Iran. Iran 39: 55-71.


From the Department of Archaeology

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