logo


Volume 22 : Articles

Village Morphology

The Distribution of Structures and Activities in Turan Villages

By: Lee Horne

The thirteen villages of central Tauran are small, highly nucleated, and irregular in plan. Beginning from the foothills of Mount Peighambar at the southwest, they lie scattered across the plain as it slopes down to the edge of the sand sea to the north. Viewed from the mountain’s heights, each village is marked by a […]


Dryland Settlement Location

Social and Natural Factors in the Distribution of Settlements in Turan

By: Lee Horne

Settlement in Turan takes three principal forms: year-round permanent villages, summer milking stations, and winter sheep stations. This three-way division follows local usage in distinguishing among sites on the basis of seasonality of occupation and activities, but they usually differ in a number of other ways as well: size and composition of social groups, location […]


Cultural and Ecological Perspectives from the Turan Program, Iran

By: Brian I. Spooner and Lee Horne

Introduction The Historical Significance of Deserts A zone of arid and semi-arid country stretches from the Atlantic through north­ern Africa and the Middle East into Central Asia and India. Besides the Sahara and the Arabian and Iranian deserts it includes vast areas which although not totally barren are subject to low and unreliable rainfall. They […]


New Directions – Summer 1980

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

`… nor will they knowingly support this illegal trade by authenticating or expressing opinions concerning such material, and will actively discourage the collection of such material. . . .’ These words in The University Museum’s Acquisition Policy of May 2, 1978, published in the spring issue of Expedition, deal with one particular aspect of the […]


University Museum Announcements

Grants Received From the National Endowment for the Humanities, $74,915 toward Phase II research on the Gordion Project. Also from the National Endowment for the Humanities, $94,357 to support an archival program for field records. From the National Historical Publica­tions and Records Commission, $18,500 fo an archival program for Museum adminis­trative records. From the Smithsonian […]


The Temporal Dimension

Monitoring the Changing Ecology of Settlement in Turan

By: Christopher L. Hamlin

The settlement system in Turan is changing continously. Some of the changes are cyclical, related to such regular processes as the seasonal variations in climate. Others are slow, non-reversible alterations in the organization of life on the plain. For example, gradual deteriora­tion in soil quality slowly induces people to move away from the land. Still […]


Traditional Pastoralism

An Evolutionary Perspective

By: Endre Nyerges

Archaeological evidence indicates that the earliest domestication of sheep and goats occurred in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. Originally a part of a mixed farming economy, sheep and goat herding came to predominate over vast regions of African and Asian grazing lands. When pastoralism developed as a specialization in its own right we […]


Pastoral Production

Milk and Firewood in the Ecology of Turan

By: Mary Martin

Pastoral production in Turan focuses on milk. Goats are the major producers because they are in milk from late February or March until late September. They are usually milked twice a day from April until midsummer and once a day thereafter. Sheep are in milk from March until mid­summer, but milked less so that the […]


Making A Living In Turan

Animals, Land and Wages

By: Mary Martin

Ten years ago Sohrab Alavi was home in his Turan village only five or six months of the year. Since his return from the army he had been a shepherd for the Sangsari, the transhumant pastoralists who bring their flocks out of the mountains northeast of Tehran into Turan for the winter. His father’s land […]


The Uncertain Fate of a Princely Diversion

An Historical Survey of Tops

By: Douglas W. Gould

Sculptured on the walls of the palace of Ariris (formerly read Araras) at Carche­mish, ca. 780 B.C., is the representation of the king’s sons at play. Each prince grasps a whip in his right hand and holds a top in the left. A third top, perhaps 8 cm. high, upright and presumably spinning, is shown […]