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Archaeology conference on Persian Gulf opens in UK


London, July 1, IRNA - A two-day conference on the pre-history and history of the Persian Gulf opened at Durham University in northern England Tuesday.

Professor Robin Coningham, head of Archaeology Department at Durham, which is one of the largest in Europe, welcomed guests and speakers from around the world to the multi-disciplinary conference.

Head of the Iranian Centre of Archaeological Research (ICAR), Hassan Fazeli, also expressed hope that the sessions would introduce the development of the distinctive culture and civilization from the latest research carried out by archaeologists from around the world.

The conference is looking at the key role the vital waterway has played in the development of human settlements in the region from the pre-historic to the present.

Unlike many previous workshops on the Persian Gulf that have focused on single issues, themes and periods, the international conference is taking a broader, multi-disciplinary approach through a series of examinations to define its distinctive character.

In the inaugural session, Professor Geoff Bailey from York University related in his paper how the Persian Gulf was formed according to archaeological and geological research and how people first came to the region to settle.

Rob Carter, from Institute of Archaeology at University College London, spoke of coastal networks and presented the results of a compositional analysis of ceramics from Bushehr, southern
Mesopotamia and the Arabian shores.

Speakers at the two-day conference includes many British academics as well as from Australia, Italy, the US and France as well as from the Iranian Centre of Archaeological Research (ICAR) in Tehran.

The first day was exploring the regional context of the Persian Gulf, which covers an area of 240,000 square kilometers and stretches from the Euphrates, Tigris, Karun, Jarrahi and Karkheh rivers in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east.

The second day will comprise posters and presentations from invited delegates on new research in the Persian Gulf region from prehistory to the Islamic period and includes many Iranian speakers who have traveled to the UK for the event.

The two-day international conference is being sponsored by the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organisation, the British Institute of Persian Studies, and Durham University, which hosts a Centre for Iran Studies.

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