TEHRAN, May 16 (Mehr News Agency) -- A team of experts from the Yazd Cultural Heritage Center recently discovered the Achaemenid era predecessor of the city of Yazd.
Covering some 500 hectares, the ancient city is located about 12 kilometers away from the modern city of Yazd, YCHC Director Mohammad-Hassan Khademzadeh told the Persian service of CHN on Friday.
The team has unearthed ruins of the city as well as shards, ancient kilns, and masses of kilns' clinkers and pieces of glass, he added.
Khademzadeh said the discovery marked a turning point for the archaeological excavations of the region and the studies on the central Iranian Plateau.
They have also found ruins of some qanats (underground aqueducts) at a nearby site. They surmise that the upcoming studies will likely provide evidence proving that qanats were in use in pre-Achaemenid times.
"There will be a major breakthrough in the study of the history of qanats in Iran if the upcoming operations show that qanats played a key role in the establishment of the city," Khademzadeh noted.
Up to the now, the Achaemenid era qanats near the city of Bam in the southern province of Kerman are the most ancient underground aqueducts discovered in Iran.
There is no historical evidence regarding the founding of Yazd, but the city became esteemed for its silk textiles during the Sassanid Empire (224-651 CE).
Khademzadeh believes that the upcoming excavations will shed light on the beginnings of urban life in the region.
There are many Zoroastrian religious sites in the modern city of Yazd and the nearby regions, which make it a center for the followers of the ancient Iranian religion.
The city also is home to several major Islamic monuments.
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