Parthian Settlement Patterns in the Central Zagros Region of Western Iran
International Journal of Archaeology
The study area in this research lies in the region of the Central Zagros, western Iran. An archaeological survey was conducted and approximately 340 Parthian (ca 250 B.C.225A.D.) archaeological sites were discovered and recorded. The aim of the project was to develop a set of simple procedures that could be widely used to build basic models of site location and settlement patterns of Parthian sites. Two methodological issues are addressed in this paper: (1) technical aspects regarding basic
... regarding basic methods of data collection and GISbased processing and analysis; and (2) modeling archaeological site distribution patterns using the available archaeological and environmental data. In order to explore further the location of archaeological sites, a Geographical Information System (GIS) was developed combining all information from the recent survey of the area. The incorporation of this information into a GIS resulted in a digital archive of the survey area that enables the user to simultaneously visualize and analyze all data within their original spatial contexts making it possible to develop a more comprehensive investigation into the sites. The digital database was developed to synthesize information on site type, size, dating, and function. These data are subsequently used to address issues concerning changing settlement patterns in the study area. We suggest that the settlement patterns are, to a large extent, directly shaped by wideranging cultural needs which offer a strategic point for functional interpretation of the Parthian culture.