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Extra info for Archeology - The Archaeology of Palestine from the Neolithic through the Middle Bronze Age

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Html 14 EXCAVATIONS AT THE PREHISTORIC MOUND OF CHOGHA BONUT, KHUZESTAN, IRAN have brought so much salt to the surface that extensive stretches of once cultivated land have been deserted. The flora in this region is much richer than in the arid zone (Pabot 1961, p. 20). Because of the high content of minerals, such as salt, gypsum, and calcium carbonate, and intense evaporation and poor drainage, over-irrigation may have caused irreversible salinization (Kirkby 1977, p. 253). My own observations in Khuzestan, however, indicate that salinization could not have been a major problem in this region, particularly in areas where water is available, farmers repeatedly inundate and drain saline land to “wash” it.

Domestication metaphorically is a starting engine for agriculture and animal husbandry that has been shaped and reshaped for thousands of years, so much so that it is now impossible to determine the initial shape of this powerful engine and the dynamics involved in its development. Another pivotal idea in these fields is what Per Bak, the Danish physicist, refers to as “self-organized criticality” (Bak and Chen 1991). Bak uses the analogy of a sandpile to describe this notion: as sand is added to the pile, it reaches the critical state in which the addition of even a single grain of sand can trigger an avalanche down the pile’s sides.

Among the rivers that irrigate Khuzestan, the least saline is the Dez and the most saline are the lower Khuzestan rivers of Jarrahi and Hendijan. The major alluvial fan, which is neither too saline nor too silty for irrigation, lies in the region between Dezful and Susa, or between the rivers of Karkheh and Dez (Bakkar et al. 1956, pp. 263–66). This region is mainly irrigated by the low saline waters of the Dez. Its relative high summer flow also allows summer irrigation. Although the Karun has similar advantages, most of its waters are used in the south in the region of Ahvaz, with large areas of flat lands.

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