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Yahya, Tepe

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Tell site in the Soghun valley of Kirman province, Iran, with a long cultural sequence of seven periods from c mid-5th millennium BC to early 1st millennium AD. The most important phase was Yahya IV, beginning c 3000 BC. It was at that time an active trading center, with a cache of tablets inscribed in proto-Elamite, the script of Elam. Jemdet Nasr painted wares and beveled rim bowls have been found. A local source of steatite (chlorite) was worked into distinctive bowls which were traded to Sumer, the Indus civilization, and the Persian Gulf. The site was on an important trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, possibly via Shahr-i-Sokhta and the Persian Gulf via Bampur. Tepe Yahya was also in contact with the Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley and indeed was strategically placed on the overland route between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia. In the later 3rd millennium BC, the importance of Tepe Yahya declined.