A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
The ruins of Shahr-i Sokhta, an ancient Bronze Age town, are situated in the Sistan region of southeast Iran near the Afghan-Iranian border. This settlement, which flourished for more than a thousand years between the end of the fourth and the beginning of the second millennium B.C., reached the peak of its prosperity as a center of trade and raw materials around 2700-2600 B.C. Its decline was a consequence of localized environmental changes which began at the beginning of the second millennium B.C. with the drying up of the Hilmand River delta upon which the town rose. Indeed, not just the town by the entire southern portion of the Sistan region was gradually abandoned, and today Shahr-i Sokhta comprises the largest group of ruins in a territory measuring some 1,200 square kilometers along the course of the ancient delta between Chagar Burjak and Hauzdar.
For more of our 1975 coverage of the excavations at Shahr-i-Sokhta, Iran, click to download PDF (9.7 MB).