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International Archaeologists to Start Work in Tang-e-Bolaghi

Tehran, Jan. 2 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) -- After initial surveys in 129 ancient sites of the 18-km Tang-e-Bolaghi gorge, archaeologists have set priorities for salvage program in this important site which will be washed up by flooding Sivand dam in early 2006.

Tang-e-Bolaghi gorge located near Unesco world heritage site of Pasargadae, contains 129 historical sites, ranging from prehistory to remains of the Qajar dynasty which fell in 1925.

According to Alireza Asgari, archaeologist working with Parse & Pasargadae project, Italian team will work in Achaemenid sites, Polish team in Sassanid sites, Japanese team in Neolithic sites, French team in prehistoric and Achaemenid sites, German team in Achaemenid mines and smelting furnaces, and Australian team in prehistoric and Elamite sites.

International archaeologists are expected to start work in the area by next month.

The dam's opening was planned for next March but the Iranian energy ministry has delayed it to early 2006 to give the archaeologists more time to examine the sites.

18-km Tang-e-Bolaghi that, according to some experts, has been a king's road, in a distance of 4 km from Pasargadae world heritage site, is the most important ancient road in Iran and used to connect Pasargadae to Persepolis. It contains residences that date back to more than 2000 years ago.

Pasargadae in Fars province is only four kilometers away from the Tang-e-Bolaghi gorge.

Archaeologists are hopeful that Cyrus's capital city, renowned for its palaces, gardens and the tomb of the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, would be only marginally affected.

Pasargadae was built on the site where Cyrus defeated Astyages, the leader of the Medes, in 550BC. It has an added importance today because it is believed to be the capital of the first Asian empire which respected the cultural diversity of its people.

... Payvand News - 1/3/05 ... --

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