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Varamin Plain Project (Iran)

The Varamin Plain Project (VPP) is a cooperation between the Institute for Western Asian Archaeology at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR), under the direction of Prof. Dr. Morteza Hessari, Prof. Dr. Susan Pollock, and Prof. Reinhard Bernbeck.

Started in 2018, the project has been funded since 2019 by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and carried out within the framework of the Priority Program 2176 “The Iranian Highlands: Resilience and Integration of Premodern Societies”.

In this project, we examine settlement dynamics and mobility patterns in the Varamin Plain from the late 5th to the early 3rd millennium BCE. Topographically and hydrographically, the Varamin Plain is shaped by the Jajrud river which exits from the Alborz mountain chains in the north and forms a large gravel fan. Changing river patterns over the ages have produced a challenging, highly dynamic natural environment. Our project investigates the changing strategies of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age societies to cope with this environment. We posit that varying rhythms and forms of social and economic mobility were crucial factors in enabling resilient lifeways in this region.