added by archaeologs Tell site in the province of Kerman in southeast Iran. It was occupied from the 5th millennium bc to the 3rd, with some later occupation up to the Sassanian period. In the late 4th and early 3rd millennium bc it was an important trading centre. The main commodity traded was locally quarried steatite (technically actually chlorite, though traditionally labelled steatite), which was in considerable demand in the cities of Mesopotamia. 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. A group of clay tablets inscribed in the Proto-Elamite script, clearly inscribed locally since blank and partly inscribed tablets occur, indicates the probable role of this script in the organization of long distance trade. In the later 3rd millennium bc the importance of Tepe Yahya declined, but it is unclear whether this was the result of changing trade patterns in western Asia at this time or of local environmental pressures.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983