history of Iran, which was commonly known until the mid-20th century as Persia in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and the Syr Darya …earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran were found in the Kashafrud and Ganj Par sites that are thought to date back to 100,000 years ago in the Middle Paleolithic. Mousterian stone tools made by Neandertals have also been found. There are more cultural remains of Neandertals dating back to the Middle Paleolithic period, which mainly have been found in the Zagros region and fewer in central Iran at sites such as Kobeh, Kunji, Bisitun Cave, Tamtama, Warwasi, and Yafteh Cave. In 1949, a Neanderthal radius was discovered by Carleton S. Coon in Bisitun Cave. Evidence for Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic periods are known mainly from the Zagros Mountains in the caves of Kermanshah, Piranshahr and Khorramabad and a few number of sites in the Alborz and Central Iran. During this time, people began creating rock art.
Neolithic to Chalcolithic
Early agricultural communities such as Chogha Golan in 10,000 BC along with settlements such as Chogha Bonut (the earliest village in Elam) in 8000 BC, began to flourish in and around the Zagros Mountains region in western Iran. Around about the same time, the earliest-known clay vessels and modeled human and animal terracotta figurines were produced at Ganj Dareh, also in western Iran. There are also 10,000-year-old human and animal figurines from Tepe Sarab in Kermanshah Province among many other ancient artifacts.
The south-western part of Iran was part of the Fertile Crescent where most of humanity’s first major crops were grown, in villages such as Susa (where a settlement was first founded possibly as early as 4395 cal BC) and settlements such as Chogha Mish, dating back to 6800 BC; there are 7,000-year-old jars of wine excavated in the Zagros Mountains (now on display at the University of Pennsylvania) and ruins of 7000-year-old settlements such as Tepe Sialk are further testament to that. The two main Neolithic Iranian settlements were the Zayandeh River Culture and Ganj Dareh.
Records become more tangible with the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and its records of incursions from the Iranian plateau. As early as the 20th century BC, tribes came to the Iranian Plateau from the Pontic–Caspian steppe. The arrival of Iranians on the Iranian plateau forced the Elamites to relinquish one area of their empire after another and to take refuge in Elam, Khuzestan and the nearby area, which only then became coterminous with Elam. Bahman Firuzmandi say that the southern Iranians might be intermixed with the Elamite peoples living in the plateau. By the mid-first millennium BC, Medes, Persians, and Parthians populated the Iranian plateau. Until the rise of the Medes, they all remained under Assyrian domination, like the rest of the Near East. In the first half of the first millennium BC, parts of what is now Iranian Azerbaijan were incorporated into Urartu.
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