Spheres of Exchange in Southern Iran (A-6-2)

Research project

This research project analyzed 5th millennium pottery from the Iranian site of Tepe Sohz which was excavated briefly in the early 1970s. The goal of the pottery analysis was to evaluate two competing models for the socio-economic and political development of 5th millennium BCE societies in southwestern Iran, one proposal by William Sumner (1994) and the other by Abbas Alizadeh (1988, 2010). Both models assign craft specialization an important position. However, while Alizadeh attributes such specialization to surplus from herding activities, Sumner claims that it is due to a surplus stemming from agriculture.