Eastern Porch of Darius' Palace Discovered in Bolaghi Gorge
By Soudabeh Sadigh
Following the discovery of black plinths,
archeologists succeeded in pinpointing the location of the eastern porch of a
palace denoted to Achaemenid King Darius the Great, found recently in Bolaghi
Gorge, Fars province.
remains of a palace
denoted to Achaemenid king Darius the Great,
Tehran, 5 March 2007 (CHN) --
In continuation of their excavations in area number 34 of the historic site of
Bolaghi Gorge where evidence of a palace denoted to Achaemenid Emperor Darius
the Great (549-486 BC) had previously been discovered, Iranian and French
archeologists succeeded in discovering the eastern porch of the palace.
Announcing this news, Mohammad Taghi Atayi,
Iranian head of the Iranian-French archeology team told CHN: "A black cubic
plinth was discovered during the first days of excavations in the area which was
later found to have been built by stones obtained from Majdabad query."
According to Atayi, three meters from the
place where this plinth was unearthed, another pillar base was found which was
very similar to the first one. Since this pillar base was discovered at the
opposite site from the western porch, it is believed that it must have belonged
to the eastern porch, constructed symmetric to the western one. "Since the
western porch was four-columned, we were expecting to find four pedestals in the
eastern one as well; however, we found out that the eastern porch, which has a
dimension of 9x6 meters, was constructed with two columns with two small
chambers in place of the other two pillars, making the palace look like those of
the historic site of Pasargadae," explained Atayi.
Prior to this and during the first season
of excavations in area number 34 of Bolaghi Gorge, archeologists had succeeded
in discovery of a round black pedestal with the design of an inverted lotus
flower carved around. This pedestal was supposed to have belonged to the eastern
porch of the palace; however, the idea was rejected after the new discovery
since the newly found pillar base has a cubic shape and exhibits no similarity
to the one found earlier.
Some of the palace's pedestals have been
moved from their original places due to activities of bulldozers in the area,
something that has made it difficult for archeologists to decide which part of
the palace any of these pedestal mush have belonged to.
"We assume that the black round pedestal
might have belonged to another part of the palace, most probably the central
hall. Still we hope to find the original place of the pedestal by finding more
similar pedestals in the area during our excavations," said Atayi.
Head of the excavation team in area number
34 of Bolaghi Gorge further explained that three kinds of pedestal have so far
been unearthed in the area including the black and white cubic plinths in the
western porch, the cubic black plinths found in the eastern porch, and the round
one with the design of an inverted lotus flower possibly belonging to the
Discovery of pieces of bricks, 45x33
centimeters in size which are bigger than standard bricks used in other
Achaemenid structures are among the other discoveries in area number 34 of
Bolaghi Gorge. "Discovery of these bricks is somehow strange and shows that
might not have been used in the walls and most probably were used for flooring
the palace," explained Atayi.
Regarding other archeological achievements
in the area, Atayi said: "A raised platform constructed with rubbles has also
been discovered during this season of archeological excavations in the area.
This raised platform was constructed in front of the eastern porch and just like
the plan used in the western porch, it is built in the northeast direction."
According to Atayi, the discovered palace
is rectangular in shape. He further said that archeologists have not yet
succeeded to reach to the main floor; however, it is expected that the height of
this part of the palace which was luckily not destroyed by bulldozers must have
been 1.5 meters, 80 centimeters of which has so far been unearthed.
Excavations by the team of
Irano-Franch archeologists are directed by Mohammad Taghi Atayi from Iran's
Archeology Research Center and Remy Boucharlat from the French Institute of
Archeology. The team's most stunning discovery was that of the gigantic palace,
believed to have belonged to Darius the Great.
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