GOL ḴĀNĀN MORDA (Gul Khanan Murdah), an archeological site in the Eyvān plain, Ilām province (Poštkuh, Lorestān; FIGURE 1). The Belgian Archeological Mission in Iran, directed by Louis Vanden Berghe, excavated a section of a large plundered graveyard at Gol Ḵānān Morda in 1978 and discovered eighty stone lined tombs with flat covers of Iron Age III. Skeletons were not preserved. The Iron Age III (ca. 800/750-600 BCE) is also known from other graveyards in the Poštkuh, such as Jub-e Gowhar (q.v.), Čamzi Muma, and War Kabud (Vanden Berghe; Haerinck and Overlaet, 1998, 1999, 2004). Only a limited number of burial goods were found (273 items in 80 tombs, 40 percent of which was pottery). They included pottery (common buff, fine buff, and glazed ware), bronze objects (axe-adze, shield, arrowheads, vessels, jewelry including an elbow fibula, tubular supports), iron objects (arrowheads, swords and daggers, axe-head, horse-bit, anklets), flints (arrowheads, tools), two cylinder seals, and beads. Silver was rare (only small rings; FIGURE 2). Gol Ḵānān Morda is the most westerly Iron Age III site excavated in the Poštkuh and thus close to the Mesopotamian plain. This may explain the presence of objects such as cylinder seals and a glazed vase, which are considered to be imports. A diagnostic Iron Age III shape is a teapot with tubular spout, sometimes bridged, and a vertical and/or basket handle. The site may mainly represent the earlier part of the Iron Age III, since certain diagnostic Iron Age III shapes and wares are rare or even lacking (no fine gray ware and only one jug). Among the noteworthy finds are a bronze axe-adze and a bottle shaped support, decorated with two animal heads, of a type which is associated with Lorestān finials.

Three pit graves, of which one was covered with flat stones, were found underneath the Iron Age III tombs. One contained a button base beaker and two comparable beakers were found between the Iron Age III tombs. This indicates the presence of Iron Age I graves at the site (Overlaet, pp. 118-22).


Ernie Haerinck and Bruno Overlaet, Chamahzi Mumah: An Iron Age III Graveyard, Luristan excavation documents 2,Acta Iranica 33, Leuven, 1998.

Idem, Djub-i Gauhar and Gul Khanan Murdah: Iron Age III Graveyards in the Aivan Plain, Luristan excavation documents 3, Acta Iranica 36, Leuven, 1999.

Idem, The Iron Age III graveyard at War Kabud, Pusht-i Kuh, Luristan, Luristan excavation documents 5, Acta Iranica 42, Leuven, 2004.

Bruno Overlaet, The Early Iron Age in Pusht-i Kuh, Luristan, Luristan excavation documents 4, Acta Iranica 40, Leuven, 2003.

Louis Vanden Berghe, “Les pratiques funéraires à l’âge du Fer III au Pusht-i Kuh, Luristan: les nécropoles žgenre War Kabud’,” Iranica Antiqua 12, 1987, pp. 201-66.

August 23, 2006

(Bruno Overlaet)

Originally Published: November 15, 2006

Last Updated: November 15, 2006