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Until about two decades ago, the Neolithic of north-east Iran was known only from a few brief excavation reports: the sites of Yarim Tappeh (Stronach 1972) and Turang Tappeh (Deshayes 1967) on the Gorgan Plain, and preliminary reports of large-scale excavations at the twin mound of Sang-e Chakhmaq in the southern foothills of the eastern Alborz Mountains (e.g. Masuda 1984). In the absence of absolute chronologies, these sites were dated by ceramic assemblages to the sixth millennium BC, and were considered to relate to the so-called ‘Jeitun Culture’ of southern Turkmenistan (Figure 1; Roustaei 2016a).
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