Analysis of the Relationship between the Formation and Continuity of Neolithic Period Settlements with their environment in the Sarfirouz Abad Plain of Kermanshah, West Central Zagross

Document Type : Full length article


1 Postdoctoral research in Archaeology

2 Full Professor-Department of Archaeology


One of the important dimensions of human life is its interaction with nature. Establishment in ancient sites in each region indicates the close connection of humans to the natural environment. The geographic environment, especially its natural background, is the area of all actions and reactions from ground-based phenomena. Natural environment is the most important factor in the formation of human habitats, especially in different periods. Locating and distributing human settlements has a lot of natural phenomena, which means that the structure of the establishment, while influencing human foundations (culture, economics, etc.), has formed in relation to natural foundations. Environmental powers provide the establishment of human settlements in a geographic space, and the spatial structure of each location also manifests the interaction between man and his surroundings. Environmental powers are referred to as the set of abilities, talents and environmental capabilities that exist in the natural- environment, social and economic. These powers include altitude, slope degree, slope direction, geological structure, fault, water resources, soil, vegetation and land use, each of which is a natural platform, which their influence on the distribution of human settlements, has an important role. According to the principle that humans are not habitually settled by accident, but the settled based on the type of resources and resources available, residential areas are chosen that have more primary resources and provide long-term productivity opportunities; Therefore, the ancient people in their choice of place of residence have considered environmental factors such as easy access to water and suitable land for agriculture, natural nutrients and minerals.
Geographical location
Sarafirozabad plain is one of the small Zagros plains that is located in the eastern and southeastern parts of Mahidasht and extends along it. This plain is located 38 kilometers south east of Kermanshah, and in terms of the natural position one of the marginal plains, but from the point of view of its adjacency to Mahidasht and finding of different past period, is important. This plain along with Mahidasht plain in Kermanshah due to its climatic features, special geographic location and strategic, resources and rich soil for agriculture and its location along the high road or high road of Khorasan in the area has long been attracted by human groups.
In fact, this plain is a synclinal that is drained by the Merek River, and there are also large and small cones. In addition to that, there are two mountains southwest and northeast of the plain. In general, the Northeastern mountains is called the White or Sefid Mountain ( Kohe sefid), and has several peaks including the Comajar Peak (Kame Jar), Zangalian, Khora Taw and White Mountains. The southwest mountains are Less height and are known as the Nesar And includes the peaks of Nasar, Kellamol, Lal-Abad (Laleh-van), Sivolex, Shirnarmy, Bariqa and Ghale Qazi (Qela qazi). As we know, due to their favorable conditions in many parts of the world, cones have provided a good position for settle and human settlements since prehistoric times, and this has caused the area to be selected for this research.
Materials and methods
The purpose of this study was to study of the role of environmental factors and their impact on the locating of the Neolithic sites of Sarfirouz Abad Plain, which was selected in 17 Neolithic sites of this region. To achieve the research objectives, 11 natural factors were considered including altitude, slope, direction of slope, distance from the river, streams and springs, distance from main roads and adjacent roads, type of vegetation, type of soil and distance from today's villages as environmental or Independent variable and area of ancient sites were considered as dependent variable. ArcGIS software was used to investigate these factors and generate and analyze maps. During this process base maps were first provided and then analyzed the settlements in relation to each layer. Finally, SPSS software and quantitative analysis method especially Pearson correlation was used to determine the correlation between natural factors and spatial distribution of settlements. In addition, multiple linear regressions were used to examine the effect of independent variables on the dependent variable.
Discussion and results
In the distribution of settlements of the Neolithic period of Sarfirouzabad plain, the distance from seasonal sources of water such as streams and seasonal rivers with a correlation coefficient of /665 and distance from subordinate or dirt-road with the significant level of 0/01 have the most effect. The degree of slope of the area around the sites with a correlation coefficient of /546 with a significant level of 0/05. Is in the next position Other factors, such as distance from the river and main sources of water, vegetation type and altitude, have been effective, but their degree of influence is moderate and low. It is noteworthy that the intensity of these factors in relation to the Neolithic sites with using multiple linear regression analysis is equal to 0.920. This number is extremely high correlation between environmental factors and the extent of sites and the results of the regression indicate that the distribution of Neolithic settlements in relation to ecological and environmental constraints have discipline. The Neolithic settlements in this area indicate easy access to pastures and water and express the dependence of the people of this period on animal husbandry. In the newer period, most of the Neolithic sites in the central Zagros have been scattered on fertile lands and within low distance from the seasonal sources of water or springs. In fact, these types of sites are located close to the foothills of the mountains and the hills, and it also reveals the theory of exploiting the foothills resources., in addition to the resettlement of new fertile areas in the late Neolithic period in the region, has been exploited more intensively due to the development of agricultural activities, the fertile and water-rich areas that were previously inhabited. Proximity to fertile lands and focusing on near- meadows and habitats on low sloping is likely to be a sign of relying on agriculture, as well as relying on livestock farming and exploitation of mountainous natural resources.


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Volume 52, Issue 2
July 2020
Pages 313-331
  • Receive Date: 15 July 2019
  • Revise Date: 08 April 2020
  • Accept Date: 08 April 2020
  • First Publish Date: 21 June 2020