DEYLAMĀN (District)


DEYLAMĀN (Daylamān), district and town in Gīlān. The district is about 37 km north-south by 23 km and is located at an elevation of about 2,000 m on the northern slope of the western Alborz east of the Safīdrūd. It is bordered on the north by Lāhījān, on the east by the Jawāherdeh highlands, on the south by ʿAmmārlū, and on the west by the region of Raḥmatābād. It is relatively cool in summer, and the winters are harsh and cold (Fukai, p. 1; Sotūda, pp. 14-15).

The district includes the headwaters of the Polāmrūd and the valleys of various tributary streams (Fukai, pp. 1-5). Many ancient sites are found there, particularly including cemeteries: Morād Tappa and Moḥammad Sālār near Sīākārbon, the cemeteries at Pīla Šāh and Arūškī, Āqā Sayyed Moḥammad northeast of Langol, Zarkūl northwest of Āsīābar, the cemetery north of Īšakūh, Lūr-e Taḵt and Lūr near Lūr, Sū Gol northeast of Qešlāq, the cemetery at Sīāhkūh, Bābā Molḥed at Sīāhkal and another Bābā Molḥed south of the tomb of Bābā Walī, the cemetery at Yahūdī Maḥalla, and Ḵarsāḵānī near the town of Deylamān (Sotūda, pp. 49-50).

Clandestine excavations at these sites have produced material from the 2nd millennium B.C.E., indicating the archeological importance of the area, but much more valuable information has been provided by the scientific excavations conducted from 1960 to 1964 by the Institute of Oriental Culture of the University of Tokyo at several sites, including Ghalekuti (Qalʿa-ye Kūtī) I and II and Ḥasanī Maḥalla. The excavated tombs yielded grayish brown, burnished red-brown, and dark brown pottery vessels; bronze and iron weapons; bronze mirrors; glass vessels; bone implements; and personal ornaments.

The material from Ghalekuti I and nearby Lāsūlkān is of the early Iron Age, spanning the late 2nd and early 1st millennia B.C.E. (Fukai and Ikeda, p. 3). This period encompassed the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age and the period when native states were first established in the Alborz highlands. The tombs at Ghalekuti I include pit graves, stone chambers, and a few that do not fit either category. Grave goods included the kinds of objects already mentioned. Dwellings were also uncovered (Egami et al., pp. 10-21; Fukai and Ikeda, 1971, p. 3). The material from Lāsūlkān is of a later phase of the Iron Age; four circular stone tombs and two pit burials were excavated there. A study of the skeletons uncovered at both sites revealed both dolichocephalic and brachycephalic types as well as some with characteristics of both (Egami et al., p. 28). At Ghalekuti II stone chambers, pit burials, and shaft graves yielded an assemblage of material of the Early Iron Age and a second of the Parthian or Sassanian period, ca. 200 B.C.E.-600 C.E. (Fukai and Ikeda, pp. 3-4; Toshihiko and Fukai, 1968, p. 51), identified by comparative analysis of pottery and tool finds. At Ḥasanī Maḥalla, east of the village of Deylamān, eight grave shafts yielded iron and bronze implements (Toshihiko and Fukai, 1968, p. 27) of the same periods. At Nowrūz Maḥalla the Japanese excavated nine pit graves and six shaft graves, and at Ḵorramrūd seventeen horizontal underground tombs and one original type were discovered, all contemporary with those at Hasanī Maḥalla (Fukai and Ikeda, 1971, pp. 3-4).

All the tombs so far excavated in the Deylamān region have been tentatively assigned to two general periods: from the end of the Bronze Age to the early Iron Age (late 2nd millennium B.C.E.) and from the late Achaemenid through the Sasanian period.




N. Egami, Dailaman II. Tokyo University Iraq-Iran Archaeological Expedition, Report 7, Tokyo, 1966.

Idem, S. Fukai, and S. Masuda, Dailaman I. The Excavation at Ghalekuti and Lasulkan, 1960, Tokyo University Iraq-Iran Archaeological Expedition, Report 6, Tokyo, 1965.

S. Fukai, Study of Iranian Art and Archaeology. Glassware and Metalwork, Tokyo, 1968.

Idem and J. Ikeda, Dailaman IV. The Excavation at GhalekutiII and I, 1964, Tokyo University Iraq-Iran Archaeological Expedition, Report 12, Tokyo, 1971.

J. Ikeda, Human Remains from the Tombs in Dailaman 2, Anthropological Studies of West Asia 2, Tokyo, 1968.

H. L. Rabino, Mázandarán and Astarábád, GMS, N.S. 7, London, 1925.

M. Sotūda, Az Āstārā tā Estārbād II, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972.

S. Toshihiko and S. Fukai, Dailaman III. The Excavations at Hasani-Mahalleh and Ghalekuti, 1964, Tokyo University Iraq-Iran Archaelogical Expedition, Report 8, Tokyo, 1968.

(Ezat O. Negahban)

Originally Published: December 15, 1995

Last Updated: November 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 4, p. 337