Document Type : Original Research


Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran.


The Mesopotamian cities in the Early Bronze Age were centers of technological innovation and had lasting influence on the history of mankind. A decisive factor in the urban culture of Mesopotamia was the trade network for the imports of metals and stones. The outstanding importance of the Central Zagros as a passway between the Central Asia and the Mesopotamian lowlands through which the regional leading east-west route, the Great Khorasan Road, proceeds west across the Zagros Mountains into the Qasr-e Shirin Plain and Iraq is widely acknowledged. The Mesopotamian archaeological finds (metals, stones) and the rich textual evidence in cuneiform bear testimony to this. Despite its significance, particularly with respect of its archaeology and historical geography, it has been the subject of relatively little study. In view of the position of the area in the Near Eastern archaeology in virtue of its strategic location between two major cultural realms, namely Central Asia and Mesopotamia, the present paper draws on written and glyptic evidence to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the region in the period contemporary with the Akkadian Mesopotamia. The astonishing upsurge in the Mesopotamian texts in this period, which underpin our study, has furnished important information on the status of the area in question. Results of the present study suggest that a number of Akkadian glyptic designs probably represent the eastern mountain of Mesopotamia.