Bam Archaeological Mission (BAM)

The Bam Archaeological Mission (BAM) is a long-term project that investigates trajectories of cultural development in the Bam County of Kerman Province, in southeastern Iran. BAM, which began in 2016, has to-date identified and recorded over 200 sites, including over 110 Pre-Pottery (PPN) and Pottery Neolithic sites. Tell-e Atashi is the largest PPN site identified in Bam. Excavations at Tell-e Atashi have uncovered approximately 6 meters of cultural deposits and 11 distinct architectural phases. Archaeological material consist of mudbrick wall bases, hearths, occupational floors, lithic and groundstone finds, ornamental objects, seeds, and animal bones. This site is critical for studies of the Neolithic period in Southwest Asia. Knowledge and theories generated about the origins of agriculture in the Near East are primarily based on decades of intensive and dedicated research in the Levant, Anatolia, and the Zagros Mountains. But little work has been conducted on the timing, tempo, and mechanisms of Neolithization in the more eastern parts of the region since work on Mehrgarh in Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s. Investigations at Tell-e Atashi are ongoing and identification of animal remains begins in Summer, 2019.

Other Team Members

Omran Garazhian – Neyshabout University, Iran (co-director)
Benjamin Mutin– Harvard University (co-director)
Maryam Shakooei – Mazandaran University, Iran (stone tools)
Zohreh Shirazi – Zahedan University, Iran (archaeobotany)

English Publications

Garazhian, O. 2009. Darestan: a group of Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) sites in south-eastern Iran. Antiquity 83(319), published online.

Garazhian, O., Rahmati, M. 2013. Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture and architecture in southeastern Iranian landscape: Tell Atashi’s first period. Iranian Anthropological Research 9: 111–114.

Garazhian, O., Shakooei, M. 2013. Tell-e Atashi (Bam, Southeastern Iran) and the Neolithic of the Eastern Near East. In Matthews, R., H.F. Nashli (Eds.), The Neolithisation of Iran: The Formation of New Societies. Oxbow Books, Oxford. pp. 284–312.

Mutin, B., Garazhian, O., 2018. Bam Archaeological Mission: A new archaeological research programme in Kerman Province, Iran. Antiquity 92(363), 1–7.