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The Iranian Plateau
Plateau
or the Persian Plateau[1][2] is a geological formation in Western Asia
Western Asia
and Central Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate
Eurasian Plate
wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
to the west, the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
and the Kopet Dag
Kopet Dag
to the north, the Armenian Highlands
Armenian Highlands
and the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest, the Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz
and Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
to the south and the Indus River
Indus River
to the east in Pakistan. As a historical region, it includes Parthia, Media, Persis, the heartlands of Iran
Iran
and some of the previous territories of Greater Iran.[3] The Zagros Mountains
Zagros Mountains
form the plateau's western boundary, and its eastern slopes may be included in the term. The Encyclopædia Britannica excludes "lowland Khuzestan" explicitly[4] and characterizes Elam
Elam
as spanning "the region from the Mesopotamian plain to the Iranian Plateau".[5] From the Caspian in the northwest to Baluchistan
Baluchistan
in the south-east, the Iranian Plateau
Plateau
extends for close to 2,000 km. It encompasses the greater part of Iran, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan
Pakistan
west of the Indus River on an area roughly outlined by the quadrangle formed by the cities of Tabriz, Shiraz, Peshawar
Peshawar
and Quetta
Quetta
containing some 3,700,000 square kilometres (1,400,000 sq mi). In spite of being called a "plateau", it is far from flat but contains several mountain ranges, the highest peak being Damavand
Damavand
in the Alborz
Alborz
at 5610 m, and the Dasht-e Loot
Dasht-e Loot
east of Kerman
Kerman
in Central Iran
Iran
falling below 300 m.

Contents

1 Geology 2 Geography

2.1 Mountain ranges 2.2 Rivers and plains

3 History 4 Archaeology 5 Flora 6 Fauna 7 Economy 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Geology[edit] In geology, the plateau region of Iran
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
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). Geography[edit]

Caspian Sea Persian Gulf Mesopotamia Indus Hindu Kush Sabalan Urmia Alborz Kopet Dag N Zagros S Zagros Oshtoran-Kūh Zard-Kūh Shir-Kūh Barez Hazaran Dasht-e Kavir Dasht-e Lut Hamun Balochistan

The Iranian plateau in geology refers to a geographical area north of the great folded mountain belts resulting from the collision of the Arabian plate
Arabian plate
with the Eurasian plate. In this definition, the Iranian plateau does not cover southwestern Iran. It extends from East Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Province in northwest of Iran
Iran
(Persia) all the way to Pakistan
Pakistan
west of the Indus River. It also includes smaller parts of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Republic of Azerbaijan
and Turkmenistan. Its mountain ranges can be divided into five major sub-regions[6] (see below). The Northwestern Iranian Plateau, where the Pontic and Taurus Mountains converge, is rugged country with higher elevations, a more severe climate, and greater precipitation than are found on the Anatolian Plateau. The region is known as the Anti-Taurus, and the average elevation of its peaks exceeds 3,000 m. Mount Ararat, at 5,137 meters (16,854 ft) the highest point in Turkey, is located in the Anti-Taurus. Lake Van
Lake Van
is situated in the mountains at an elevation of 1,546 meters (5,072 ft). The headwaters of major rivers arise in the Anti-Taurus: the east-flowing Aras River, which empties into the Caspian Sea; the south-flowing Euphrates
Euphrates
and Tigris
Tigris
join in Iraq
Iraq
before emptying into the Persian Gulf. Several small streams that empty into the Black Sea or landlocked Lake Van
Lake Van
also originate in these mountains. The Indus River begins in the highlands of Tibet
Tibet
and flows the length of Pakistan
Pakistan
almost tracing the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau. The Indus River
Indus River
forms the Iranian plateau's eastern boundary.[citation needed] Southeast Anatolia
Anatolia
lies south of the Anti-Taurus Mountains. It is a region of rolling hills and a broad plateau surface that extends into Syria. Elevations decrease gradually, from about 800 meters (2,600 ft) in the north to about 500 meters (1,600 ft) in the south. Traditionally, wheat and barley are the main crops of the region. Mountain ranges[edit]

Northwest Iran
Iran
Ranges

Sabalan
Sabalan
4,811 m (15,784 ft)

Alborz

Damavand
Damavand
5,610 m (18,410 ft)

Central Iranian Plateau

Kūh-e Hazār
Kūh-e Hazār
4,500 m (14,800 ft) Kuh-e Jebal Barez

Eastern Iranian Ranges

Kopet Dag

Kuh-e Siah Khvani 3,314 m (10,873 ft) 36°17′N 59°3′E / 36.283°N 59.050°E / 36.283; 59.050

Eshdeger Range

2,920 m (9,580 ft) 33°32′N 57°14′E / 33.533°N 57.233°E / 33.533; 57.233

Balochistan

Sikaram 4,755 m (15,600 ft) 34°2′N 69°54′E / 34.033°N 69.900°E / 34.033; 69.900 Kuh-e Taftan 3,941 m (12,930 ft) 28°36′N 61°8′E / 28.600°N 61.133°E / 28.600; 61.133 Zargun 3,578 m (11,739 ft) 30°16′N 67°18′E / 30.267°N 67.300°E / 30.267; 67.300

Rivers and plains[edit]

Kavir Desert Lut Desert Hamun-e Jaz Murian

Halil River

Gavkhouni

Zayandeh River

Sistan Basin

Helmand River Farah River

History[edit] Main articles: Greater Iran
Iran
and History of Iran Further information: Airyanem Vaejah In the Bronze Age, Elam
Elam
stretched across the Zagros mountains, connecting Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and the Iranian Plateau. The kingdoms of Aratta known from cuneiform sources may have been located in the Central Iranian Plateau. In classical antiquity the region was known as Persia, due to the Persian Achaemenid dynasty, originating in Persia
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
Sassanid
period (see Etymology of Iran). Archaeology[edit] Further information: Prehistoric archaeological sites in Iran Archaeological sites and cultures of the Iranian plateau include:

Central Iranian Plateau
Plateau
("Jiroft culture")

Shahr-i Sokhta Konar Sandal Tepe Yahya

Zayandeh River
Zayandeh River
Civilization Tappeh Sialk Paleolithic
Paleolithic
sites

Niasar Sefid-Ab Kaftar Khoun Qaleh Bozi Caves Mirak Delazian Tabas Masileh

Flora[edit] The plateau has historical oak and poplar forests. Oak
Oak
forests are found around Shiraz. Aspen, elm, ash, willow, walnut, pine, and cypress are also found, though the latter two are rare. As of 1920, poplar was harvested for making doors. Elm
Elm
was used for ploughs. Other trees like acacia, cypress, and Turkestan elm
Turkestan elm
were used for decorative purposes. Flower wise, the plateau can grow lilac, jasmine, and roses. Hawthorn and Cercis siliquastrum
Cercis siliquastrum
are common, which are both used for basket weaving.[7] Fauna[edit] The plateau is abundant with wildlife including leopards, bears, hyenas, wild boars, ibex, gazelles, and mouflons. These animals are mostly found in the wooded mountains of the plateau. The shores of the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
house aquatic birds such as seagulls, ducks, and geese. Deer, hedgehogs, foxes, and 22 species of rodents are found in semidesert, and palm squirrels and Asiatic black bears live in Baluchistan. Wide variety of amphibians and reptiles such as toads, frogs, tortoises, lizards, salamanders, racers, rat snakes (Ptyas), cat snakes (Tarbophis fallax), and vipers live the Baluchistan
Baluchistan
region and along the slopes of the Elburz and Zagros mountains. 200 varieties of fish live in the Persian Gulf. 30 species of the most important commercial fish Sturgeon is found in the Caspian Sea. [8][9][10] Economy[edit] The Iranian plateau harvests trees for making doors, ploughs, and baskets. Fruit
Fruit
is grown also. Pears, apples, apricots, quince, plums, nectarines, cherries, mulberries, and peaches were commonly seen in the 20th century. Almonds and pistachios are common in warmer areas. Dates, oranges, grapes, melon, and limes are also grown. Other edibles include potatoes and cauliflower, which were hard to grow until European settlement brought irrigation improvements. Other vegetables include cabbage, tomatoes, artichokes, cucumbers, spinach, radishes, lettuce, and eggplants.[7] The plateau also produces wheat, barley, millet, beans, opium, cotton, lucerne, and tobacco. The barley is fed mainly to horses. Sesame
Sesame
is grown and made into sesame oil. Mushrooms
Mushrooms
and manna were also seen in the plateau area as of 1920. Caraway
Caraway
is grown in the Kerman Province.[7] See also[edit]

Geography of Iran List of Iranian four-thousanders

References[edit]

^ Robert H. Dyson. The archaeological evidence of the second millennium B.C. on the Persian plateau. ISBN 0-521-07098-8.  ^ James Bell (1832). A System of Geography, Popular and Scientific. Archibald Fullarton. pp. 7,284,287,288.  ^ Old Iranian Online, University of Texas College of Liberal Arts (retrieved 10 February 2007) ^ s.v. "ancient Iran" ^ s.v. "Elamite language" ^ "Iranian Plateau". Peakbagger.com.  ^ a b c Sykes, Percy (1921). A History of Persia. London: Macmillan and Company. pp. 75–76.  ^ https://www.britannica.com/place/Iran/Plant-and-animal-life ^ Zarubezhnaia Aziia: Fizicheskaia geografiia. Moscow, 1956. ^ Petrov, M. P. Iran: Fiziko-geograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1955.

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

External links[edit]

"Iranian Plateau". Peakbagger.com.  "Central Iranian Plateau". Peakbagger.com. 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iranian Plateau.

v t e

Mountain ranges of the Iranian Plateau
Plateau
and their political geography

Alborz
Alborz
Mountains

Iran Azerbaijan

Aladagh Mountains

Iran Turkmenistan

Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
Mountains

Afghanistan Pakistan

Sulaiman Mountains

Pakistan Afghanistan

Taurus Mountains

Turkey Syria

Zagros Mountains

Turkey Iraq Iran Armenia

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