the remains of a multilayered settlement of the fifth to the first millennium B.C.; located 5 km southwest of city of Kashan in Iran. The site was investigated by a French archaeological expedition from 1933 to 1937.
Six periods in the history of the settlement have been traced. Sialk I through Sialk IV reflect the gradual development of a settled farming culture. Sialk I is typified by packed-clay houses, painted pottery, and copper articles. Sialk II features vessels decorated with animal figures. Finds from Sialk III indicate a period of flowering of the local culture; they include pottery made on a potter’s wheel, cast copper articles, and seals. This period was evidently interrupted by the advance of the Elamites into the region in approximately 3000 B.C., which is evident from the proto-Elamitic pictography and cylinders of the Sialk IV complex. Sialk V dates from the end of the second millennium B.C.. and is typified by pit burials, unpainted pottery, and various bronze articles (necropolis A). Among the finds were two iron objects. Sialk VI, which dates from approximately 670 B.C.. to the beginning of the Common Era, had a citadel. Researchers have associated the rich burials in stone boxes of necropolis B with early Median tribes.
REFERENCESMasson, V. M. Sredniaia Aziia i Drevnii Vostok. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Ghirshman, R. Fouilles de Sialk, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1938–39.
V. M. MASSON