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  • Print publication year: 1968
  • Online publication date: March 2008


There is no fossil evidence from the Middle East as a whole, let alone Iran, for anything but the most limited traces of very early human occupations. Even this limited evidence is sufficient to prove that Palaeolithic man lived in many parts of Iran, ranging from Lake Rezāʾiyeh (Urumiyeh) in the north-west to Shiraz in the south-west, to the south-eastern littoral of the Caspian and eastward into southern Khurāsān. The cave of Bīsitūn, located some thirty miles east of Kirmānshāh, has provided evidence of one ulna fragment and one human incisor tooth, in association with a highly developed Mousterian industry. The skull discovered in a cave in Teshik Tash distinctly resembles that of a western Neanderthaler, though it is morphologically more modern than those of most, if not all, the western Neanderthalers, particularly because it has a higher cranial vault.
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The Cambridge History of Iran
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054928
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