|This module covers some places that
are important for our quest. There is no special systematics; I write this as
places come up in my own research.
First a map. You may also want to look at a map of present-day countries in the general region or the various large-size maps here
|Below we see a map of a large part of Iran with the present-day provinces Gilan and Luristan highlighted. Note that the term "Luristan" (or Lorestab) in publications and Internet pages usually does not refer to the present-day province but to a more or less unspecified and usually larger area in the general region|
|Teppe Hasanlu is a rathrer famous ruin mound (also known
as tepe or tell) in northwest Iran (in the province of West Azerbaijan), a
short distance south of Lake Urmia, see the map above. The city was completely
destroyed by somebody (possibly the
Uruartians) in 806 BC
or so, leaving a layer of debris with known age (up to a point).
The site was inhabited fairly continuously from the 6th millennium BCE to the 3rd century CE
"The nature of its destruction at the end of the 9th century BCE essentially froze one layer of the city in time, providing researchers with extremely well preserved buildings, artifacts, and skeletal remains from the victims and enemy combatants of the attack. Hasanlu Tepe is the largest site in the Gadar River valley and dominates the small plain known as Solduz. The site consists of a 25-m-high central "citadel" mound, with massive fortifications and paved streets, surrounded by a low outer town, 8 m above the surrounding plain. The entire site, once much larger but reduced in size by local agricultural and building activities, now measures about 600 m across, with the citadel having a diameter of about 200 m. The site was inhabited fairly continuously from the 6th millennium BCE to the 3rd century CE. It is famous for the Golden bowl of Hasanlu" knows Wikipedia
|Hasanlu today is still a big tell or ruin mount in north Iran; see fore example this picture. It has been partially excavated (and most likely thoroughly looted) and now looks like this:|
|Hasanlu is of prime iomportance for
my topic here because:
|Alas! None of the swords found
matches our bi-metal
"Leitfossilien" and all finds are
badly corroded. Moreover, even so we know very precisely at what time the
objects were abandoned (at the violent destructon close to 800 BC), we do
not necessarily know where a sword comes
from. It might have belonged to the defenders of the city or to one of the
unknown (probably Uraturian) invaders.
The objects might also be much older. For examnple, a quite remarkable (all bronze) sword was very likely a much older (several centuries) "heirloom" of probably Hittite origin.
|While none of our "Leitfossilien" swords was found, some "Assyrian type swords" were found in Hasanlu. With "Assyrian type" swords " I mean the long straight swords with a distinctive hilt depicted on many Assyrian reliefs (which are, however, at least 100 years younger than Hasanlu objects). More to that here and here.|
|Last, it should be mentioned that V. Pigott considers the Hasanlu metal technology to be essentially adopted from the (Neo) Assyriians. That is interesting since we do not know much about the Assyrian metal technology from first-hand, i.e. from finds in the Assyrian core region..|
|Marlik today is antother tepe or ruin hill, partially excavated, and roughly comparable to Hasanlu (see above). It is of huge interest for the general early history of the area but not so much for us. Some swords of interest to us might have been unearthed during its long history of excavation but I could not find any relevant picture or other specific information.|
|Marlik is nevertheless is listed here for 2
|Sensational things were found in Marlik, here are examples:|
|Wonderful thinghs but not what we are after here.|
|Saruq al-Hadid is located 40 km
inland from the coast of the Emirate of Dubai. It`s right in the desert and
there seems to be nothing there except a lot of metal debris dispersed in the
sand, dating to ca. 1250 BC - 800 BC. Besides plenty of copper, bronze and
silver pieces, there are 200 kg of ferrous remains, including a few complete
Luristan type 2 swords plus innumerable
The map below displays the position:
|Saruq al-Hadid was discovered about 30 years ago and the local elite loved that. All of a sudden the area had a tangible history with remains of sophistiated technologies from times long begone. Dubai built a big museum for all that stuff and is proud of it.|
|Now to the good and bad news. The bad
Unfortunately the ferrous remains consist almost entirely of rust. Moreover, no good dating of the artifacts was possible; there are even indications of recycling, making old iron look younger. The picture below gives an idea of what the ferrous objects looked like.
|Now to the good news:
A large group of researchers did wonders with what was found. In particular an Australian group, centered around Prof. Lloyd Weeks and Ivan Stepanov from the University of New England used state-of-the-art analytics to unravel some of the secrets of those pieces of rust. They used, for example, neutron beam tomography, necessitating a running nuclear reactor plus some expensive hardware, for looking inside the specimens.
Their majort papers are listed and commented here. From all their work two results emerged that are of large interest to us: :
|Here are some places in alphabetical order with short explabations|
(also calles Guilan or Gilan).
Today Amlash is a county in the Guilan (or better Gilan) province of Iran, see the map above. However, in papers or In the antiquities trade, you find often references to "Amlash" for the provenance of objects and then the neaning is more general. Here is Wikipedia:
"The term Amlash culture refers to an assortment of historic materials and periods in Gilan and west of Mazandaran, in north of Iran. Amlash refers to the geographical region from which some archeological objects of certain types come. It does not have any real archeological meaning when used with the word culture. These objects which are attributed to Amla have been shown in many exhibitions in Europe and the United States and may often be seen in catalogues. ".
Here is a collectison of "Amlsh" objects:
Today one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It lies along the Caspian Sea (see the map above).
Part 1 Basics about Scythians and Their Akinakai
First Iron Swords - Provenance Problems
First Iron Swords - Large Pictures
First Iron Swords
First Iron Swords - Literature Digest
First Iron Swords - Miscellaneous Objects
First Iron Swords - Luristan Type 2 Iron Swords
First Iron Swords - Reliefs / Sculptures with Swords and Daggers
First Iron Swords - Luristan Type 1 Iron Swords
© H. Föll (Iron, Steel and Swords script)