Research carried out by the Hasanlu Project in the Ushnu-Sulduz region has provided a crucial dataset for understanding the development of ceramic technologies in the ancient Near East, ranging in time from the earliest fired ceramics of the Neolithic to the sophisticated glazed and decorated wares of the Islamic era.
The Hasanlu Project primarily used ceramics for determining the relative chronology of Hasanlu Tepe and surrounding sites. One of the main contributions of the project was the development of the Hasanlu Sequence, an archaeological periodization now used for a large portion of northwest Iran. The sequence was originally comprised of ten periods (I-X) that were mainly distinguished on the basis of changes in the style and form of ceramic vessels, although other categories of archaeological evidence such as metal artifacts and architecture were used. The presence of trade goods and the adoption of cultural attributes from neighboring regions, primarily Mesopotamia, the Iranian Plateau, Anatolia, and Transcaucasia, provided a means for cross-dating the Hasanlu Sequence. The Hasanlu Project was one of the first archaeological expeditions to make use of radiocarbon dating techniques, and large numbers of age determinations were obtained, providing a range of calendrical dates for most periods.