Qal'eh Bozi

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Qal'eh Bozi
Kermanshah Pal Museum-Neanderthal
Qaleh Bozi
Qaleh Bozi
location in Iran
Locationsouth-southwest of Isfahan
Coordinates32°23′20″N 51°33′41″E / 32.38889°N 51.56139°E / 32.38889; 51.56139Coordinates: 32°23′20″N 51°33′41″E / 32.38889°N 51.56139°E / 32.38889; 51.56139

Qal'eh Bozi is a complex of caves sites located about 25 km (15.5 mi) south-southwest of Isfahan, Iran; northeast of Dizicheh and north of Hassanabad. The sites include two rock shelters and a cave located at altitudes between 1,750 and 1,810 m (5,741.5 and 5,938.3 ft) above sea level. The caves are found on the southern face of a limestone mountain of lower Cretaceous age that rises to more than 500 m (1,640.4 ft) above the plain floor. From the cave entrance there is a commanding view of the plain below and of the Zaiandeh Rud River flowing about 2 km (1.2 mi) to the south and southeast.

Following the cave site's discovery three seasons of archaeological excavation have been undertaken there, the most recent in 2008. They discovered that the Qaleh Bozi caves attracted human groups due to proximity to freshwater in the form of a permanent river, good solar exposure in cold seasons, and the variety of landscape types (such as cliffs, slopes and plains), which promoted diversity of hunting game and plants.

Middle Paleolithic cave sites of Qaleh Bozi, Isfahan, Iran


  • Biglari, F 2008. Qaleh Bozi Caves. A brochure, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization, Archaeology office, Esfahan Province
  • Biglari F, M. Javeri, M. Mashkour, Y. Yazdi, S. Shidrang, M. Tengberg, and K. Taheri and J. Darvish 2009. Test excavations at the Middle Paleolithic sites of Qaleh Bozi, Southwest of Central Iran, A preliminary report, In: M. Otte, F. Biglari, and J. Jaubert (eds), Iran Palaeolithic. pp. 29–38, Proceedings of the XV World Congress UISPP, Lisbonne, Vol. 28, BAR International Series 1968.
  • Jaubert, J., F. Biglari, R, Crassard, M. Mashkour, W. Rendu and S. Shidrang, 2010, Paléolithique moyen récent de la grotte de Qaleh Bozi 2 (Esfahan, Iran): premiers résultats de la campagne 2008, Iranian Archaeology, Vol.1, No.1, pp. 21-31, Tehran
  • Shabani, M., Darvish, J., Mashkour, M., Ghasemzadeh, F. and Mirshamsi, O., 2010. Contemporary and sub-fossil house mice (Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758)(Rodentia: Muridae) from Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics (IJAB), Vol. 6, No. 2, 45-54
  • Claud, E., F. Biglari, and J. Jaubert, 2012, Preliminary use-wear analysis of several Middle Paleolithic points from Qaleh Bozi 3 rockshelter, Central Iran, Iranian Archaeology, Vol.3: 7-13
  • Biglari, F., 2014. Typo-technological analysis of the Late Middle Paleolithic bifacial industry of Qaleh Bozi Rockshelter, Central Iran, in Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutionary Models of Learning, Edited by Takeru Akazawa & Yoshihiro Nishiaki, pp. 48-50, RNMH Project Series, Tokyo
  • Cucchi, Thomas, Katerina Papayianni, Sophie Cerso, Laetitia Aznar-Cormano, Antoine Zazzo, Régis Debruyne, Rémi Berthon, Adrian Bălășescu, Alan Simmons, François Valla, Yannis Hamilakis, Fanis Mavridis, Marjan Mashkour, Jamshid Darvish, Roohollah Siahsarvi, Fereidoun Biglari, Cameron A. Petrie, Lloyd Weeks, Alireza Sardari, Sepideh Maziar, Christiane Denys, David Orton, Emma Jenkins, Melinda Zeder, Jeremy B. Searle, Greger Larson, François Bonhomme, Jean-Christophe Auffray, Jean-Denis Vigne (2020). Tracking the Near Eastern origins and European dispersal of the western house mouse, Scientific Reports, 19 May 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-64939-9

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