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Contributing to the understanding of the period are, among other sources, economic texts from Mesopotamia, Elam, and Iran; historical inscriptions such as that of Darius I (the Great) at Behistun (modern Bīsotūn); contemporary and later classical authors; and later Iranian legends and literature.
From the early Neolithic Period (sometimes called the Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age) comes evidence of significant shifts in tool manufacture, settlement patterns, and subsistence methods, including the fumbling beginnings of domestication of both plants and animals, at such western Iranian sites as Ali Kosh.
Similar developments in the Zagros Mountains, on the Iraqi side of the modern border, are also traceable at sites such as Karīm Shahīr and Zawi Chemi–Shanidar.
In no instance, with the important exception of Elam ( The Elamites, below), did Iran participate in the developments that led to fully urban civilization in lowland Mesopotamia to the west or in the Indus valley to the east.
Throughout prehistory the Iranian plateau remained at the economic and cultural level of village life achieved in the Neolithic Period.
Trade would appear to be the principal mechanism by which such contacts were maintained, and often Elam appears to have acted as an intermediary between Sumer and Babylon on the one hand and the plateau cultures on the other.
Trade across the northern part of the plateau, through the sites of Tepe Hissar and Sialk, most probably involved transshipping semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli from Afghanistan to Mesopotamia.This phase of early experimentation with sedentary life and domestication was soon followed by a period of fully developed village farming as defined at important Zagros sites such as Jarmo, Sarāb, upper Ali Kosh, and upper Gūrān.All these sites date wholly or in part to the 8th and 7th millennia agricultural life (Roman numerals identify the level of excavation).The first well-documented evidence of human habitation is in deposits from several excavated cave and rock-shelter sites, located mainly in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran and dated to Middle Paleolithic or Mousterian times (Mousterian flint tool industry found there is generally characterized by an absence of the Levalloisian technique of chipping flint and thus differs from the well-defined Middle Paleolithic industries known elsewhere in the Middle East.The economic and social level associated with this industry is that of fairly small, peripatetic hunting and gathering groups spread out over a thinly settled landscape.Locally, the Mousterian is followed by an Upper Paleolithic flint industry called the .Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating