Tehran, 3 July 2007 (CHN) - With discovery of the third 3500-year-old historic site belonging to Iron Age, behind Galabar Dam in Iranian western province of Zanjan, archeological excavations in this area has entered a new stage. Nine graves, all dating back to the Iron Age have been discovered so far in this historic site.
Announcing this news, Abolfazl Aali, head of excavation team behind Galabar Dam in Zanjan told CHN: "Since the surface of the discovered area is covered by clays, we can not say for sure yet whether this area is a cemetery or a settlement area."
This is the third Iron Age site which has ever been discovered behind Galabar Dam. Prior to this one a historic site and a cemetery both belonging to the Iron Age were discovered in the area.
In addition to these Iron Age sites, a historic site belonging to Copper Age (end of 5th millennium to the 3rd millennium BC) have been also identified behind Galabar Dam, where a number of 6000-year-old residential settlements as well as children graves have been discovered.
A fortress belonging to the Islamic period (651 AD afterwards) is the other historic site which has been identified so far behind the dam on top of a hill. However, since only the foothill will be submerged by inundation of th edam amd the level of water would not reach to the top of the hill, the fortress will remain like an island.
Due to existence of a large number of historical evidence in the area, archeologists have demanded to extend the time for continuing their excavations in the area for another two months in hope to discover more evidence in the area. "With discovery of the third Iron Age site, we are determined to continue our excavations for another two months," added Aali.
This is while Galabar Dam has already been inundated without coordinating with Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Zanjan province. However, due to oppositions raised in this regard, authorities of the dam have stopped the inundation of the dam to provide a chance for archeologist to conduct their excavations in the area.
Currently archeologists have to use boat for carrying out their excavations in the Parthian-Islamic fortress discovered behind the dam. According to Aali, Iran's Ministry of Power has announced its agreement with continuation of archeological excavations behind the dam.
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