The PERSIAN PLATEAU, or IRANIAN PLATEAU, is a geological formation
Western Asia and
Central Asia . It is the part of the Eurasian
Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between
Zagros Mountains to the west, the
Caspian Sea and the
Kopet Dag to
the north, the
Armenian Highlands and the
Caucasus Mountains in the
Strait of Hormuz
Strait of Hormuz and
Persian Gulf to the south and the
Indus River to the east in
As a historical region, it includes Parthia , Media , Persis , the
Iran and some of its recently lost territories . The
Zagros Mountains form the plateau's western boundary, and its eastern
slopes may be included in the term. The Encyclopædia Britannica
Khuzestan " explicitly and characterizes
spanning "the region from the Mesopotamian plain to the Iranian
From the Caspian in the northwest to Baluchistan in the south-east,
Plateau extends for close to 2,000 km. It encompasses the
greater part of
Pakistan west of the Indus
River on an area roughly outlined by the quadrangle formed by the
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 in the
Alborz at 5610 m, and
Dasht-e Loot east of
Kerman in Central
Iran falling below 300 m.
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Mountain ranges
* 2.2 Rivers and plains
* 3 History
* 4 Archaeology
* 5 Flora
* 6 Economy
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links
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
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).
Dag N Zagros S Zagros Oshtoran-Kūh Zard-Kūh Shir-Kūh Barez
Dasht-e Kavir Dasht-e Lut Hamun
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 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) all the way to
Pakistan west of the
Indus River . It also includes smaller parts of
Republic of Azerbaijan
Republic of Azerbaijan and
Its mountain ranges can be divided into five major sub-regions (see
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
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
Aras River , which empties into the
Caspian Sea ; the
Tigris join in
Iraq before emptying into
Persian Gulf . Several small streams that empty into the Black Sea
Lake Van also originate in these mountains. The Indus
River begins in the highlands of
Tibet and flows the length of
Pakistan almost tracing the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau. The
Indus River forms the Iranian plateau's eastern boundary.
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.
Sabalan 4,811 m (15,784 ft)
Damavand 5,610 m (18,410 ft)
* Central Iranian
Kūh-e Hazār 4,500 m (14,800 ft)
* Eastern Iranian Ranges
* 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
* 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
Hamun-e Jaz Murian
Main articles: Greater
Iran and History of
Iran Further information:
In the Bronze Age,
Elam stretched across the Zagros mountains,
Mesopotamia and the Iranian Plateau. The kingdoms of Aratta
known from cuneiform sources may have been located in the Central
In classical antquity the region was known as
Persia , due to the
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)
Sassanid period (see Etymology of
Further information: Prehistoric archaeological sites in
Archaeological sites and cultures of the Iranian plateau include:
* Central Iranian
Jiroft culture ")
Zayandeh River Civilization
* Kaftar Khoun
* Qaleh Bozi Caves
The plateau has historical oak and poplar forests.
Oak forests are
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 was used for ploughs .
Other trees like acacia , cypress, and
Turkestan elm were used for
decorative purposes. Flower wise, the plateau can grow lilac , jasmine
, and roses . Hawthorn and
Cercis siliquastrum are common, which are
both used for basket weaving .
The Iranian plateau harvests trees for making doors, ploughs, and
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 .
The plateau also produces wheat , barley , millet , beans , opium ,
cotton , lucerne , and tobacco . The barley is fed mainly to horses .
Sesame is grown and made into sesame oil .
Mushrooms and manna were
also seen in the plateau area as of 1920.
Caraway is grown in the
Kerman Province .
* Geography of
List of Iranian four-thousanders
* ^ 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
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.
* Y. Majidzadeh, Sialk III and the Pottery Sequence at Tepe
Ghabristan. The Coherence of the Cultures of the Central Iranian
Iran 19, 1981, 141–46.
* "Iranian Plateau". Peakbagger.com.
* "Central Iranian