At the onset of the Iron Age, after c. 1200 BC, Iran was a place of major social transformation. After the collapse of the Bronze Age urban civilisations, the land was inhabited mainly by groups of mobile pastoralists that gradually transitioned from tribal organisation into loose federations, before finally developing into the Median and Persian early states (Potts 2014). This transition is still poorly recognised, as settlement sites from this period are scarce and most evidence is from cemeteries that were excavated many decades ago. Here we report results of excavations at a recently discovered cemetery that may provide new insights into the social complexity and cultural affinities of Iron Age nomads in Iran.
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