Iranian plateau

Iranian plateau

Iranian plateau connecting to Anatolia in the west and Hindu Kush and Himalaya in the east]

The Iranian plateau, also known as the Persian plateau is a geological formation in Southwest Asia, Southern Asia and the Caucasus region . It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Arabian Sea to the south and Hindu Kush to the east.

As a historical region, it includes Parthia, Media and eastern Persia, the heartlands of Greater Persia (mainly Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan west of the River Indus). [ Old Iranian Online] , "University of Texas College of Liberal Arts" (retrieved 10 February 2007)] The Zagros mountains form the plateau's western boundary, and its eastern slopes may be included in the term. The Encyclopedia Britannica excludes "lowland Khuzestan" explicitly [ [ s.v. "ancient Iran"] ] and characterizes Elam as spanning "the region from the Mesopotamian plain to the Iranian Plateau". [ [ s.v. "Elamite language"] ]

From the Caspian in the northwest to Baluchistan in the south-east, the Iranian Plateau extends for close to 2,000 km. It encompasses the greater part of Iran, Afghanistan and significant part of Pakistan on an area roughly outlined by the quadrangle formed by the cities of Tabriz, Shiraz, and Kabulcontaining some 3.7 million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles). In spite of being called a "plateau", it is far from flat but contains several mountain ranges, the highest peak being Damavand in the Alborz at 5610 m, and the Lut basin east of Kerman in Central Iran falling below 300 m.


In geology, the plateau region of Iran primarily formed of the accretionary Gondwanan terranes between the Turan platform to the north and the Main Zagros Thrust, the suture zone between the northward moving Arabian plate and the Eurasian continent, is called the Iranian plateau. It is a geologically well-studied area because of general interest in continental collision zones, and because of Iran's long history of research in geology, particularly in economic geology (although Iran's major petroleum reserves are not in the plateau).


The Persian plateau in geology refers to a geographical area north of the great folded mountain belts resulting from the collision of the Arabian plate with the Eurasian plate. In this definition, the Iranian plateau does not cover southwestern Iran.It extends from East Azerbaijan Province in northwest of Iran (Persia) to southern Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also includes smaller parts of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Its mountain ranges can be divided into five major sub-regions: [ [] ]

*Northwest Iran Ranges
**Sabalan 4811 m. 15,784 ft.
**Damavand 5610 m. 18,406 ft.
*Central Iranian Plateau
**Kūh-e Hazār 4500 m. 14,764 ft.
**Kuh-e Jebal Barez
*Eastern Iranian Ranges
**Kopet Dag
***Kuh-e Siah Khvani 3314 m. 10,873 ft. coord|36|17|N|59|3|E
**Eshdeger Range
***2920 m, 9580 ft. coord|33|32|N|57|14|E
**Sikaram 4755 m. 15,600 ft. coord|34|2|N|69|54|E
**Kuh-e Taftan 3941 m, 12,930 ft. coord|28|36|N|61|8|E
**Zargun 3578 m, 11,739 ft. coord|30|16|N|67|18|E

Rivers and plains:
*Kavir Desert
*Lut Desert
*Lake Hamun
**Halil River
**Zayandeh River
*Sistan Lake


In the Bronze Age, Elam stretched across the Zagros mountains, connecting Mesopotamia and the Iranian Plateau. The kingdoms of Aratta known from cuneiform sources may have been located in the Central Iranian Plateau.

In classical antquity the region was known as Persia, due to the Persian Achaemenid dynasty, originating in Persia proper, or Fars.

The Middle Persian "Erān" (whence Modern Persian "Irān") began to be used in reference to the state (rather than as an ethnic designator) from the Sassanid period (see Etymology of Iran).


Archaeological sites and cultures of the Iranian plateau include:
*Central Iranian Plateau ("Jiroft culture")
**Shahr-i Sokhta
**Konar Sandal
**Tepe Yahya
*Zayandeh River Civilization
*Tappeh Sialk

ee also

*Geography of Iran
*Greater Iran


*Y. Majidzadeh, "Sialk III and the Pottery Sequence at Tepe Ghabristan. The Coherence of the Cultures of the Central Iranian Plateau," Iran 19, 1981, 141-46.

External links

* []
* [ Yazd basin]

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