Ganj Dareh

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For other places with the same name, see Ganj Darreh.

Coordinates: 34°27′N 48°07′E / 34.450°N 48.117°E / 34.450; 48.117

Map showing location of Ganj Dareh and other locations of early herding activity.

Ganj Dareh (Persian: تپه گنج دره; "Treasure Valley" in Persian,[1] or "Treasure Valley Hill" if tepe/tappeh (hill) is appended to the name) is a Neolithic settlement in the Iranian Kurdistan portion of Iran. It is located in the east of Kermanshah, in the central Zagros Mountains.[1]

The early village site of Ganj Darreh near Kermanshah

First discovered in 1965, it was excavated by Canadian archaeologist, Philip Smith during the 1960s and 1970s, for four field seasons.[1][2]

The oldest settlement remains on the site date back to ca. 10,000 years ago,[3] and have yielded the earliest evidence for goat domestication in the world.[4][5][6]

The remains have been classified into five occupation levels, from A, at the top, to E.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Smith, Philip E.L. Architectural Innovation and Experimentation at Ganj Dareh, Iran, World Archaeology, Vol. 21, No. 3 (February, 1990), pp. 323-335
  2. ^ Smith, Philip E.L., Ganj Dareh Tepe, Paleorient, Vol. 2, Issue 2-1, pp.207-09 (1974)
  3. ^ Zeder, Melinda A. & Hesse, Brian. The Initial Domestication of Goats (Capra hircus) in the Zagros Mountains 10,000 Years Ago, Science (journal) 287, 2254 (2000)
  4. ^ What's Bred in the Bone, Discover (magazine), July 2000 ("After investigating bone collections from ancient sites across the Middle East, she found a dearth of adult male goat bones—and an abundance of female and young male remains—from a 10,000-year-old settlement called Ganj Dareh, in Iran's Zagros Mountains. This provides the earliest evidence of domesticated livestock, Zeder says.")
  5. ^ Harris, David R. (ed.) The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia, pp. 208, 249-52 (UCL Press 1996) (Reprint ISBN 978-1-85728-538-3)
  6. ^ Natural History Highlight: Old Goats In Transition, National Museum of Natural History (July 2000)
  7. ^ Yelon, A., et al. Thermal Analysis of Early Neolithic Pottery From Tepe Ganj Dareh, Iran, in Materials issues in art and archaeology III (1992)


  • Agelarakis A., The Palaeopathological Evidence, Indicators of Stress of the Shanidar Proto-Neolithic and the Ganj-Dareh Tepe Early Neolithic Human Skeletal Collections. Columbia University, 1989, Doctoral Dissertation, UMI, Bell & Howell Information Company, Michigan 48106.
  • Robert J. Wenke: "Patterns in Prehistory: Humankind's first three million years" (1990)

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