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Architectural Innovation and Experimentation at Ganj Dareh, Iran

Philip E. L. Smith
World Archaeology
Vol. 21, No. 3, Architectural Innovation (Feb., 1990), pp. 323-335
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124833
Page Count: 13
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Architectural Innovation and Experimentation at Ganj Dareh, Iran
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Abstract

Ganj Dareh is an early neolithic mound site in the central Zagros mountains of western Iran in which the mud-based architecture is unusually well preserved. Level D, which was burnt, has clustered two-story structures with many small cubicles. It reveals several methods of brick making and wall construction, as well as unusual mortice-and-tenon devices, 'storage bins' made of prefabricated clay slabs, and many 'portholes' and 'plugs' in the walls. Level D and later levels may represent an ephemeral stage of architectural experimentation in the Zagros at a time when there was still no strong commitment to food production. It suggests the early Zagros architecture was more complex and innovative than is usually thought.

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