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Conference on "Iran Archaeology" opens in Tokyo

Tokyo, March 25, IRNA-Conference on "Iran Archaeology" opened at Iranian embassy in Tokyo on Saturday in presence of a number of Japanese researchers and scholars. Three Japanese researchers presented reports on their archaeological studies in Iran.

Iranian Ambassador to Tokyo Mohsen Talaie said in the inaugural ceremony of the conference that despite multitude works done in the field, there are still many grounds for archaeological studies in Iran.

"Given the potentials in the field, foreign archaeologists and researchers, including those from Japan, can cooperate with their Iranian counterparts," he added.

The Iranian diplomat hoped for further expansion of collaboration between the two states, given their common interests and culture.

A researcher from the Center for Middle Eastern Culture of Japan, Adachi Tokoro, reported the achievements of Japanese archaeologists in a survey conducted around Rostamabad, Gilan province, while a Japanese university professor presented reports on his research in Sivand, Fars province.

Meanwhile, another Japanese researcher from the Center for Silk Road Studies affiliated to Nara International Foundation reported the outcome of his research about the possible existence of Buddhist heritage in Iran.

Japan's archaeological research in Iran took place within the framework of the agreement signed by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization and Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan.

According to a five-year document which expired in 2005, Japanese researchers were expected to present reports on the outcome of their archaeological research at rotating conferences.

The last such conference was held in Iran in 2003.

On the sidelines of the session, Tokoro told IRNA that the conference aims to introduce the researches to the Japanese students majoring in archaeology.

Concerning the survey conducted at Rostamabad in the northern Gilan province, he said that during joint excavation in the famous Jalalieh Mound, the Japanese archaeological team succeeded to unearth two small archaic mounds in 2001.

"Some remain from the iron age and the defensive systems of the people of that era were discovered at the site.

"These mounds are of great importance from the outlook of archaeological and periodological studies," he added.

About the archaeological studies on existence of Buddhism in Iran, he said that the relevant surveys have not yet proved that there are any such works in Iran.

Tokoro pointed to the great number of archaeological sites in Sivand, Fars province, and said that they are likely to be damaged by Sivand Dam.

Turning to the communications and commonalties between Iran and Japan in cultural fields, he said that a piece of glass dish dating back to the Sassanid era is now on display in the Museum of Tokyo.

"The 1,500-year-old dish was probably taken to China and eventually Japan through the Silk Road.

"Besides, due to the similarity of some Japanese customs and traditions to the Iranian ones, they seem to have been rooted in Iran," added Tokoro.

He said that for instance, Chaharshanbe Souri in Iran is quite similar to the Japanese ritual, Omizutori (a water-drawing ceremony) observed in Nara Todai-ji temple, situated an hour from Kyoto.

Tokoro pointed out that another ceremony is held in Japan on the first day of spring, which is quite like the Iranian Noruz, adding that such rituals seem to have been transferred to Japan via China.

For his part, the Japanese professor told IRNA that given that Iran is an ancient land, it enjoys a particular status in the field of archaeological studies.

"Besides its significance for extensive contacts with the West and East, Iran is known for its rich experience and high potentials in the domain of culture.

"The Japanese researchers tend to find the past relations between Japan and the West through their archaeological studies in Iran," concluded the professor.

... Payvand News - 3/25/06 ... --

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