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Tehran's Imam International Airport Lies on 3200 Year-old Treasure

Tehran, Jan. 24 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) - Ma'mourin Hill which was the civilization hub of Iron Age 3200 years ago, today finds itself surrounded by the newly built International Airport of Imam.

Scholars believe that the 3200 year-old historical hill which was found accidentally during the construction project of Imam International Airport, can be turned into the greatest historical, scientific, and tourist attraction of Iran.

In 1989, during construction works of Imam Airport, workers came accidentally to antique remains and structures in Ma'mourin Hill, which further studies by an archeological team headed by Jafar Mehrkian revealed can date back to the Iron Age or even before.

Further work in the area led to the discovery of more than 50 structures in the airport and its vicinities. The structures included a fortress, a village fortress, mills, millstones, ducts, historical hills, cemeteries, religious tombs, and water structures, but today only remains of a fortress dating to the Islamic era, some Imam Zadehs (religious tombs) and the historical Ma'mourin Hill remain.

"The discovery of the hill has been one of the most important archeological events of Iran in the recent decades, because the finds could provide new information on people of the Iron Age," head of the archeology team of Imam Airport, Jafar Mehr Kian, told CHN.

One of the important discoveries have been the architectural features of the structures, which include the use of rectangular mud bricks, raised platforms all around the rooms, and installation of large clay casks on the platforms.

According to Mehrkian, grey crocks have also been found with raised depictions and seal impressions indicating the use of plow to prepare the earth for agricultural works at that time. The finds also rejects the belief so far that people were migrators during the Iron Age.

Another factor that makes the discovery of the crocks important is that they are found in a hill that was the habitat of a great civilization, unlike the previous ones that have been discovered in cemeteries.

The seals moreover show that a government and some laws were in force then, and the two-faced casting molds discovered are evidence that metal tools and armory were produced abundantly and transferred to other areas.

The discoveries in the site have helped archeologists gain more information on life in the Iron Age. For example, people used plaster as whitening cover for buildings and did gardening and produced wine in two-storey pools.

Although the Ma'mourin site is inscribed on the National Heritage List, the studies have now come to a halt due to problems such as budget deficiency, making archeologists wait for more information on the Iron Age.

... Payvand News - 1/25/05 ... --

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