Tehran, 22 August 2005 (CHN) - A newly signed memorandum of understanding foresees the cooperations of Iranian archaeologists and those of the University of Pennsylvania for carrying out joint excavations in Iran, exchanging students, and providing the opportunity for Iranian experts to participate in the archaeological studies of Pennsylvania University around the world.
The agreement brings the University's archaeologists back to Iran after 26 years, when they left their work in key Iranian historical sites including Hanslu in Western Azarbaijan due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
The agreement, signed by director of Iran's Archaeology Research Center, Masud Azarnush, and director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Richard M. Leventhal, foresees a five-year cooperation between Iranian and American experts, announced director of the International Affairs Office of Iran's Archaeology Research Center, Karim Alizadeh.
The University of Pennsylvania is the second American Institute, following the Oriental Institute of Chicago University, to sign an agreement for archaeological cooperations with Iran during the last two years.
Cultural Heritage and Tourism officials of Iran have been actively trying to reintroduce and revive the country's archaeology by welcoming foreign experts to the sites and studies in the past three years.
One such attempt was holding a conference on archaeology of South West Asia in 2003 which was attended by some famous figures of the domain including Dr. Holly Pittman, curator of the Near East Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
The new approach of Iranian officials has led to the presence of archaeologists with diverse nationalities, including German, French, Japanese, and Polish, in historical sites throughout Iran, such as Jiroft in Kerman, Sialk in Kashan, Khuzestan, etc.
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