Date of Award

Fall 12-7-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jeffrey B. Glover

Second Advisor

Bethany Turner

Third Advisor

Faidra Papavasiliou


This study examines small finds from the site of Chogha Gavaneh, Iran, including zoomorphic clay figurines, geometric-shaped objects, and sling bullets in order to deter-mine if they served an economic function during the Early Chalcolithic period (ca. 5000-4000 B.C.E.). A total of 104 animal figurines, sling bullets, and geometric-shaped objects have been found at Chogha Gavaneh. This research challenges previous archaeological interpretations of animal figurines that have interpreted them as being magical or lucky objects for hunting and religious rituals, or for use as game pieces, educational objects, or toys. Through the use of XRF (x-ray fluorescence spectrometry) analysis and the chaine opératoire approach, I suggest, contrary to the conventional wisdom, that some of these clay objects might represent another kind of social practice and may have had an economic function.


Included in

Anthropology Commons