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Robots to Explore Archeological Sites under Persian Gulf

Tehran, 10 August 2006 (CHN) -- A robotic vehicle is to be sent deep into the Persian Gulf to excavate the area under the waters, searching for the parts of the Siraf Port drowned over time as the water advanced to the shoreline.

For the first time in Iran, an Iranian researcher invented a robot, capable of searching under the waters. It was first taken to the Takht-e Soleiman Lake to be tested. “Since we did not know what to expect under the lake, we sent an alternative robot as we were afraid it might get stuck in the mud and large objects hidden there and therefore not be able to come out,” said Abdolali Saberi, the inventor of the robot. This robot excavated an area bout 60 meters in size below the surface of the Lake and took some pictures. “The uneven sediments shown in the pictures indicate the possible existence of a hill under the Lake. However, more studies are still needed to verify the case,” added Saberi. This was the first step to move into a larger body of water, the Persian Gulf, for further excavations.

The first target is the ancient Siraf Port, located 250 kilometers southeast of Bushehr in Hormozgan province, parts of which have been submerged in water. The port was once a booming trade center in the 10th century AD.

Saberi said that considering the depth of the Persian Gulf, using this robot is the best way to gain access to some valuable information about the wealth of resources that exist under the Persian Gulf. According to him, this robot can also be used for oil exploration proposes under the waters.

Although the use of robots in underwater archeology is now commonly practiced, this is the first time that the Iranian archeologists have applied such tool for their research. Thus the invention of this robot can be considered a turning point in moving to more systematic archeological studies in Iran.

“Siraf, a Legendary Ancient Port”

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