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8/14/06

The Extent of Haft Daghnan Buried City Determined

The extent of Haft Daghnan historical city, which was buried for an unknown reason, has been exactly identified.

Tehran, 14 August 2006 (CHN) -- Archeological excavations and soundings in Haft Daghnan city led to discovery of the exact area of this historical buried city. With identifying the residential, industrial, and business areas, archeologists believe that the domain of this historical city, which was booming during the Safavid era (1502-1736 AD), must have been more than 100 hectares.

"The first season of sounding works carried out in Haft Daghnan in 2003 which led to discovery of 60 hectares of the city and registration of this place in list of Iran's National Heritage site by number of 9943. However, the second season of excavations in this historical site resulted in identifying the extent of Haft Daghnan to more than 100 hectares," said Vali Jahani, head of excavation team in Haft Daghnan historical site to CHN.

Haft Daghnan historical city was buried for an unknown reason, however, archeologists believe that the spread of cholera during ancient times resulted in death of a large number of the residents of the city and the continual decline and destruction of the city.

"Haft Daghnan historical city was formed during the Safavid period based on urban models. This city made a good development and became very prosperous in a short time, however all of a sudden it came into a standstill. It seems that with the decline of the central power in the city and its split into smaller areas at the end of the Safavid era, the business men left the city and had no motivation for staying there any longer," added Jahani.

Jahani believes that the spread of a disease, most probably cholera in the city might have resulted in death of a large number of people and the migration of the rest to another place and the abandonment of the city.

Several industrial, residential, and trade centers including the remains of kilns, glass blowing, blacksmith, and pottery workshops, as well as a large number of coins and stamps have been discovered so far during archeological excavations in this historical city. Discovery of these stamps as well as some imported ceramic dishes reveal the existence of industry, and business prosperity of this city during ancient times and show that this city should have had trade interaction with the neighboring areas. The archeological remains indicate that the existence of Haft Kaghnan historical city must have dated back to some 800 years ago to the Safavid period.

According to Jahani, brick was the main material for construction of the residential houses and some of the buildings were equipped to drainage system which was connected to the central ego of the city. Due to the prosperous economical condition of the city, in addition to the kitchen some big houses were equipped to bathroom as well; despite to what was common at that time. The dado of the kitchen walls were covered with thin enameled turquoise-color bricks and stucco. The walls of the houses were whitened with plaster and the roofs were made by clay tiles.

Discovery of a large number of the remains of enameled designed earthenware and ceramic dishes which were scattered in the city, indicate the good economical situation of the residents of the city. Silkworm breeding was a prevailing business in Haft Daghnan city during the 12th century which continues to the present time as well.

"The floor of the bazaar of the city was covered with brick and river stones. Existing of enormous evidence indicate the economical flourishing of the city during ancient times such as kiln and glass blowing workshops. Discovery of blacksmith workshops as well as metal and earthenware remains during the recent archeological excavations show that this city might have had relation with some industrial centers outside Iran, most probably in Russia and China," explained Jahani.

Discovery of a large number of coins belonging to the Shah Sultan Hossein Safavi, the last ruler of this area, reveal that this city enjoyed a good economical situation until 300 years ago. However, after the death of Shah Sultan Hossien, the city lost its affluence and for an unknown reason it was abandoned and destroyed over time.

The historical town of Haft Daghnan is located 25 kilometer of Somee Sara and 55 kilometer of city of Rasht in Gilan province. Since it is located in Haft Daghnan forest, during the Qajar era, it was called to this name.

... Payvand News - 8/14/06 ... --



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