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3rd season of archaeological excavation gets underway in Iran's city of Takab

Head of West Azarbaijan province Cultural Heritage Department Behrouz Omrani declared in Mahabad, West Azarbaijan province on Sunday the outset of the third season of archaeological excavation in Takht-e Soleyman Complex in the city of Takab.

He told IRNA that a 10-member group of Iranian archaeologists are in charge of the excavation at Takht-e Soleyman Complex, which has recently been listed as a global heritage.

"The project mainly aims at examining the link between the seals of the Sassanid era with the administrative units included in the complex and identification of the administration system operating in the city of Takht-e Soleyman under the rule of Sassanids," he added.

During the excavation, the connection between the major northern gate with the fire temple in the complex will be examined and restored.

In the second season of the excavations, it was enlightened that under the reign of Ilkhanids, Takht-e Soleyman Complex, excluding the official section, was converted into a charitable township consisting of a bazaar, mosque, bathroom and a number of residential buildings around the northern gate. The complex located to the northeast of the present city of Takab in West Azarbaijan province is one of the three major Zoroastrian fire temples.

During the reign of Sassanid dynasty, it was called Azargoshasb. The monument has also been registered as 'Shiz' and 'Ganzak'. During the 27th meeting of the Cultural Heritage Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, a clear majority voted in favor of listing it as a global monument without facing any opposition.

Takht-e Soleyman is the relic of the tower, big palace and the residents of Zoroastrian priests in Parthian and Sassanid eras. It was later destroyed under the raid of the Romans and the plunder of Mongols.

The castle consists of a pool, praying center, entry gates, high pillars, a veranda, fire places, mineral water reserves and strongholds.

Takab with a population of 85,000 is located to the south of West Azarbaijan province in northwestern Iran some 300 kms from the center of the province.

... Payvand News - 9/28/03 ... --

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