Evidence for an early accounting system found at Tal-e Mash Karim, a Chalcolithic site in Iran

  • Kamal Aldin Niknami University Of Tehran, Department of Archaeology
  • Mohammad Hossein Taheri University Of Tehran, Department of Archaeology
  • Alireza Sardary Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR)
Keywords: Accounting system, Chalcolithic period, Numerical token, clay tallying slab, Tal-e Mash Karim.

Abstract

Investigating the accounting systems and their progressive development during the prehistoric period is a critical issue in recognition of human societies, their communication, and formation of inter- and intra-regional trade system transformed to innovation of writing systems. The present study aims at studying the typology and classification of the Chalcolithic (Middle Bakun, 4500 BC) period. Numerical objects discovered in Tal-e Mash Karim in Semirom district located in Esfahan province, Iran. The discovered cultural materials contain 32 numerical tokens and a clay tallying slab. The numerical tokens are divided into three main categories and seven subcategories. On that basis, round and oval shape tokens for measuring agricultural products and flat and disc shape tokens are representing animals and animal products related productions. The discovery of a tallying slab beside the artifacts all is proving the existence on an early accounting system.

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Published
2018-12-29
How to Cite
Niknami, K. A., Taheri, M. H., & Sardary, A. (2018). Evidence for an early accounting system found at Tal-e Mash Karim, a Chalcolithic site in Iran. Documenta Praehistorica, 45, 100-107. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.45-8
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Articles