Habitation spans the 6th to 2nd millennia BCE and the 10th to 4th centuries BCE. In the 3rd millennium BCE, the city was a production center of chlorite pottery which were exported to Mesopotamia. In this period, the area was under Elamite influence, and tablets with Proto-Elamite inscriptions were found. 
The site is a circular mound, around 20 meters in height and around 187 meters in diameter.  It was excavated in six seasons from 1967 to 1975 by the American School of Prehistoric Research of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University in a joint operation with what is now the Shiraz University. The expedition was under the direction of C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky.   
Periodization is as follows:
- Period I Sasanian pre: 200 BC-400 A.D.
- Period II Achaemenian(?): 275-500 B.C.
- Period III Iron Age: 500-1000 B.C.
- Period IV A Elamite?: 2200-2500 B.C.
- IV B Proto-Elamite: 2500-3000 B.C.
- IV C Proto-Elamite: 3000-3400 B.C.
- Period V Yahya Culture: 3400-3800 B.C.
- Period VI Coarse Ware-Neolithic: 3800-4500 B.C.
- Period VII: 4500-5500 B.C.
- C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, The Proto-Elamite Settlement at Tepe Yahya, Iran, vol. 9, pp. 87-96, 1971
- D. Potts, The Potter's Marks of Tepe Yahya, Paléorient, vol. 7, iss. 7-1, pp. 107-122, 1981
- C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Excavations at Tepe Yahya Iran 1967-1969: progress report 1, American School of Prehistoric Research Bulletin. no. 27, 1970 (Available online here)
- C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Tepe Yahya 1971: Mesopotamia and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands, Iran, vol. 10, pp. 89-100, 1972
- C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Urban interaction on the Iranian plateau: Excavations at Tepe Yahya 1967-1973, Oxford University Press, 1974, ISBN 0-19-725703-8
- Clifford C. Lamberg-Karlovsky: Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967–1975, The early periods, Cambridge, Mass. 1986, ISBN 0-87365-541-9
- Clifford C. Lamberg-Karlovsky: Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967–1975, The third millennium, Cambridge, Mass. 2001 ISBN 0-87365-549-4 (Available online at )
- Peter Magee: Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967-1975: The Iron Age Settlement, ISBN 0-87365-550-8
- Peter Damerow, Robert K. Englund: The proto-elamite texts from Tepe Yahya, Cambridge, Mass. 1989 ISBN 0-87365-542-7
- D. T. Potts, The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-56496-4
- M. L., Eda Vidali and C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Prehistoric Settlement Patterns around Tepe Yahya: A Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 237–250, 1976
- Art of the Bronze Age: Southeastern Iran, Western Central Asia, and the Indus Valley, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Tepe Yahya