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5000-Year-Old Settlement Areas Found in Bolaghi Gorge

Archeologists in Bolaghi Gorge succeeded in discovering the remains of settlement areas belonging to six different historical periods, the most ancient belonging to 3000 BC.

Tehran, 27 June 2006 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- The third season of archeological excavations in an Achaemenid village in Bolaghi Gorge led to discovery of six residential areas belonging to the pre-historic to the late post-Achaemenid periods. The post-Achaemenid period was followed by the collapse of the Achaemenid dynasty in 330 BC and lasted to the Parthian era in 150 BC.

"Three seasons of archeological excavations in area no. 76 of Bolaghi Gorge, the place where an Achaemenid village had previously been discovered, show that settlement of people in this area goes back to some 5000 years ago and prior to the Achaemenid period (648-330 BC). Among the six settlement periods found in the area, one of them dates back to the pre-historic period, one to the Achaemenid era, and the rest belong to post-Achaemenid era," said Alireza Asghari, Iranian head of Iran-Italy joint team in area no. 76 of Bolaghi Gorge.

In addition, four architectural styles have been identified in these settlement areas so far, all of which belong to the Achaemenid and post-Achaemenid periods.

Prior to this, there was not much information about the architectural style of the residential areas where ordinary people used to live in and all archeologists knew was about the palaces and fortresses denoted to the kings and those of the upper class families. "Rubbles, adobe, and mud were the main materials greatly used in the construction of the dwellings of ordinary people during that time, and discovery of these settlements has provided archeologists with a valuable opportunity to find out more about the architectural style of the ordinary people during the Achaemenid era," explained Asgari.

According to Asgari, discovery of a piece of stone which might have been used as the base of wooden pillars was one of the most important achievements during these three seasons of archeological excavations in area no. 76.

"Two stone beads, a spinning wheel, a marble bowl, and some arrow-heads belonging to the Achaemenids and Seleucids (330 BC-150 BC) are the other discoveries in area no. 76 of Bolaghi Gorge," added Asgari.

Area no. 76 is one of the most prominent historical sites of Bolaghi Gorge which has been unearthed so far. Implementing different methods in the science of archeology in studying the characteristics of this historical site has revealed a lot of information about the lifestyle of the people during the Achaemenid period including the nourishment system of the people during that time. "Remains of the bones of some animals such as horse, pig and deer have been discovered in the soil of the region through special archeozoology tests. These animals were killed or hunted by people for edible uses," said Asgari.

The 18-kilometer Bolaghi Gorge is located 9 kilometers from the world heritage site of Pasargadae and is considered part of its landscape. Archeological excavations started in Bolaghi Gorge when it was announced that the inundation of the newly constructed Sivand Dam would pose a real threat to this historic site and all the archeological evidence it has buried in itself for centuries. The salvation project in Bolaghi Gorge started with the engagement of eight international and a number of Iranian teams more than a year ago and continues to this day.

Area no. 76 will be among the first areas which will be submerged in water with the initial phase of Sivand Dam inundation.

... Payvand News - 6/27/06 ... --

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