Iranian, German archaeologists return to Haft-Tappeh
TEHRAN, Sept. 26 (Mehr News Agency) -- A team of Iranian archaeologists and some experts
from Mainz University in Germany have recently begun the fourth season of
excavations at the ancient site of Haft-Tappeh in Khuzestan Province.
The team is scheduled to conduct a number of geophysical studies and also to
continue excavations started during previous seasons, Iranian team director
Behzad Mofidi told the Persian service of CHN on Thursday.
team's previous excavations in 2005 uncovered the ruins of an administrative
building, the most important discovery so far at the Elamite site, he said.
Many cuneiform tablets were unearthed from the building, which is believed to
have been used as a documents center, he added.
The tablets bear information on government properties including horses, carts,
and precious objects. The archaeologists were also able to recognize the room
used by the authors of the inscriptions, Mofidi explained.
Expert on ancient languages Professor Doris Prechel of Mainz University in
Germany is also slated to join the team during the current season of
The ruins of the ancient city of Haft-Tappeh lie on the plain of Khuzestan close
to the ruins of ancient Susa and two kilometers from the Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat.
This large Elamite site contains fourteen major visible mounds, the largest
rising about 17 meters above the surrounding plain, and its related extensions
covering an area of about 1500 meters long and 800 meters wide.
The ancient name of the site is still being debated. Some scholars have
suggested that it may have been called Tikni, described in early documents as a
religious center located between Susa and Chogha Zanbil, but no evidence has yet
been found in the Haft-Tappeh excavations to support this theory. However,
several seal impressions and clay inscriptions found at Haft-Tappeh contain the
name Kabnak, and it is possible that this was the original name of the city.
In 2005, the joint team was also tasked to search for the exact location of
Kabnak, where the Elamite king Tepti-ahar built a temple complex in the
fifteenth century BC and was buried at the site. However, they have yet to
publish a report about their search.
Tepti-ahar, the last ruler of the Kidinuid period (1460-1400 BC), known from
inscriptions on bricks, a sale contract from Susa and a text said to be from
Malamir (in Lorestan Province), is mentioned on approximately 55 of the Haft-Tappeh
tablets, bearing the title "king of Susa and Anshan".