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Document Details :
Title: Iron II Warrior Burials at Hasanlu Tepe, Iran
Author(s): DANTI, Michael G. , CIFARELLI, Megan
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 50 Date: 2015
The Hasanlu Project excavated approximately 100 graves of the Iron II period (Hasanlu IVb, 1050–800 BC) on the Low Mound of Hasanlu Tepe, located in the Western Azerbaijan Province of northwest Iran, between 1957 and 1964. The majority were simple, primary inhumations; however, some graves stand out, as do others excavated by earlier expeditions to the site. In Operation LI on the northern Low Mound, a stone-built hypogeum was encountered containing the secondary or disturbed burials of two probable male warriors. Ali Hakemi and Mahmud Rad excavated a similar Iron II hypogeum in 1949 on the northeastern Low Mound. Other warrior inhumations were found in and near the Operation LI hypogeum as well as in another part of the Low Mound cemetery not far from the Hakemi and Rad hypogeum. The presence of hypogea containing multiple burials and other Iron II burial types, the secondary nature of some interments, the inclusion of weapons and armor, and the contents of some surrounding Iron II graves suggest variability in Iron II mortuary practices, an interpretation at odds with previous assertions of uniformity in the 'Grey Ware Horizon' of western Iran. Rather than representing a wholesale shift in population or culture, the patterns seen in high status 'warrior graves' and their sudden proliferation in the Iron II suggests the onset of societal changes in the region indicative of militarization and/or the selective migration of young warriors into the autochthonous population.