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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD©

 

1998

 

 

 

 

December 1998


 

31 December 1998

Persepolis Inscriptions Reveal New Facts

TEHRAN -- The clay inscriptions discovered in Persepolis reveal that male and female construction workers who were employed to build the beautiful and giant palace were given foodstuffs such as wheat and barley as their wages. 

 

According to the Public Relations Department of the Cultural Heritage Organization, certain groups of workers were headed by women, and those women who gave birth to healthy children were awarded horses and camels. According to Dr. Abdolmajid Arfaei, a well-known Ilamologist, the translation of some 30,000 inscriptions discovered in Persepolis indicate that they were bills, receipts and financial and accounting reports. 

 

The contents of the inscriptions indicate that at the time of King Darius of Achaemenid Dynasty, there was a very accurate administrative system in the country and that the Achaemenids were interested in registering documents and keeping archives. 

 

The old inscriptions which date back to the years 13-28 of Darius ruling show that there were some 700 cities in the region between Neiriz in Fars Province and Khouzestan Province. The inscriptions also reveal that the construction workers were paid a fixed salary and that they came from different parts of the country to work on the Persepolis project. Referring to the presence of women workers in the project, Arfaei said that there was no segregation between men and women in the work groups and sometimes the head of a work group was a woman who supervised other men and women workers in the group. 

 

The inscriptions also indicate that at the time of Darius, there was no inflation in society, but due to some reasons there were some changes in the wages at that time. Arfaei further noted that the inscriptions are also rich sources of Iranian names which are written in Ilami, adding that the inscriptions also inform the researchers about the employment systems in Iran.

 

 

Sunday, 13 December 1998

Ancient Cemetery Discovered in Kerman
TEHRAN An ancient cemetery dating back to the third millennium BC has been discovered in Kerman Province, said head of the provincial Cultural Heritage Organization, Mohammad Ebrahim Kazemi. He added that the cemetery was found in an excavation by a group of archaeologists in the Ramshak region of the town of Kahnouj. Ramshak is located at a distance of 160 kilometers from Kahnouj. This region links Kerman Province to Sistan & Balouchestan and Hormozgan provinces.

The archaeological team of the Cultural Heritage Organization is working on remains of ancient civilizations in this region. Kazemi noted that, based on the discovery of the cemetery, archaeologists estimate that the ancient civilization of that region dates from some 5,000 years ago. Previously, the archaeologists believed that the ancient civilization dated back to 2,000 to 2,500 years ago, he added.

The head of the provincial organization further said that several valuable historical relics have also been discovered during the excavation. He concluded by saying that among the relics, there is a unique cup named Cup of Dialogue Between Nations, which indicates that there were relations between the people of Ramshak and the people of India, Greece and the Central plateau.

 

 

Monday, 07 December 1998

Search for Discovering ancient City Started in Kahnouj
TEHRAN -- Excavation operations have begun to discover the abcient city of Poura in Jazmourian region of Kahnouj in Kerman Province, said the director general of Cultural Heritage Organization of Kerman yesterday. Mohammad Ebrahim Kazemi added that according to the discovered materials from the Jazmourian region, the place has been a passage of Alexander's troops. 

 

The search operations in Jazmourian District to identify the archaeological site of Mian Kouhi and the ancient city of Poura, which has been the capital city of Gedrouzia state, started from November. The region has been a meeting point of dialogue among civilizations and the ancient culture (about 250 BC). Jazmourian region, located around the Jazmourian marshlands, 400 km southeast of Kerman, is known as the Mian Kouhi (between the mountains) region.

 

 

 


November 1998


 

 

Monday, 30 November 1998

World's Oldest Metal Flag Eroded
TEHRAN -- The world's oldest metal flag named Shahdad which dates back to 5,000 years ago has been eroded. 

 

According to the Public Relations Department of the Cultural Heritage Organization, the flag found in a cemetery in Shahdad near Loot Desert in 1971, has been kept in the Central Treasury of Historical and Archaeological relics. The flag which is made of metal, has been eroded by environmental factors when it was buried in the cemetery.

The pictures of a goddess, three praying women, a lion, a cow and a palm tree can be seen on the flag. After being repaired, the flag is to be put on display for the public.

 

 

 


June 1998


 

Saturday, June 27, 1998
The Enigma of Iran: In Search of the Cultural Melting Pot

[External Link]

 

 

Saturday, 20 June 1998

Cultural Items of ancient Iranian Civilizations Displayed
TEHRAN Head of the Cultural Heritage Organization of West Azarbaijan Province in northwestern Iran, Mohammad Qorbani, said that the historical items belonging to the ancient Iranian civilizations excavated in the region were put into display. The official said that the relics, belonging to a great civilization which lived in the region more than 3000 years ago, included such items as warriors' belongings, ornamental items and clay dishes. 

 

Many other items such as Kole Shin Moana and Mahmoodabad also exhibited in the museum of the province's capital, Orumiyeh. The two tablets are among the few very valuable and uniquely significant ones discovered in western and southwestern parts of the province in recent years. 

 

They belong to a civilization which existed in Iran over 3000 years ago and are in cuneiform coming in many dialects currently spoken at that time. According to the official, the historical items which had recently been unearthed during archaeological operations in the province's historical site of Takht-e Soleyman were also displayed in the museum of the town of Miandoab. 

 

The relics and items found in Takht-e Soleyman include various kinds of clay dishes, tiles, coins and warriors' possessions which belong to Sasanid and Mongul eras, he further noticed. Qorbani added that three demography exhibitions were also held separately in provincial towns showing the garments used by different tribes living in the province as well as their handicrafts. There are four museums in West Azarbaijan Province of which Orumiyeh's is the second richest in the country.

 

 

 

Tuesday, 16 June 1998

Historical Artefact Smugglers Nabbed in Ilam Prov.
ILAM -- Members of a ring of smugglers of historical artefacts have been arrested in Ilam, according to law enforcement official of the province Hojatoleslam Hosseinali Assadi. He said here Sunday that as many as 189 historical relics dating back to the Sassanid Dynasty and earlier on in addition to other artefacts from Safavid and Qajarid Dynasty had been recovered from them.

Among those items are coins, necklaces, weapons, porcelain, statues, stone tablets with inscriptions in cuneiform script, and gold and silver ornaments. (IRNA)

 


May 1998


 

11 May 1998

OLDEST HOUSED IN LOWER PERSIAN GULF DISCOVERED: POSSIBLY 6,000 YEARS OLD

Results were revealed last week of a short season of archaeological excavations on the island of Dalma which have uncovered what are believed to be the oldest houses ever found in the Lower Persian Gulf. The work was undertaken by Dr. Joseph Elders and Mark Beech of the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey, ADIAS.

 

The Dalma site was first identified in 1992, and had previously yielded evidence of human occupation dating back to the Late Stone Age.  A short season of work by ADIAS has revealed traces of houses from the Late Stone Age.

 

The presence of imported 'Ubaid pottery from Mesopotamia and flint tools suggested that the houses date back to over 6,000 years BP, the first time that houses dating to this period have been identified in the Lower Persian Gulf in what is today UAE. On the basis of present information, therefore, Dalma was the site of the oldest village yet found in the area.

 

At least one round house, 7.0 metres in diameter, was identified. The cobbled floor and traces of the wooden posts which supported the walls and roof could be clearly identified. The quality of the construction suggested that their inhabitants may have lived on Dalma for most of the year, rather than just being occasional visitors, the first evidence of permanent Late Stone Age settlement in the Emirates.

 

Since by that time Dalma was already an island, this pottery is also the earliest evidence yet discovered of maritime trade in the area. A large amount of sherds from broken cooking and storage vessels was found in and around the house, including a small amount of fine quality imported pottery from the 'Ubaid civilisation in southern Mesopotamia.

 

The greater part of the sherds found during the excavations consisted, however, of 'white wares.' These were locally-produced pots made of plaster (gypsum), with simple black-stripe decoration, copying designs of the 'Ubaid originals from Mesopotamia, but using locally-available material.

These are the earliest vessels known to have been made in the area, and have no known parallels anywhere else in the Persian Gulf.  Stone tools found included knives, drills, scrapers, chisels and arrowheads. A large number of waste flint flakes were also found, indicating that the tools were made by the inhabitants of the settlement. Other finds included a number of beads and stone disks, some of which were perforated, suggesting that they might have been used as fishing net or loom weights. The greatest number of finds consisted of the refuse of food consumed by the occupants of the settlement.

 

Evidence in the form of bones and shells indicated that fishing, the gathering of shellfish and hunting, as well as animal husbandry, formed the basis for the economy of the early inhabitants of Dalma. Fish provided the bulk of the diet. Important species included the grouper (hamour), needlefish, seabreams and tuna. Sharks and rays were also regularly consumed, some being very large.

 

Work being carried out by Mark Beech as part of his doctoral thesis at the University of York in the UK, and with the support of The British Council, suggests that some of the hamour were up to a metre in length, suggesting a surprising degree of sophistication in fishing techniques.

 

Other marine resources which were exploited included sea urchins, crabs, marine turtle, dolphin and dugong. Gazelle and Socotra Cormorant also appear to have been occasionally exploited, while a small quantity of bones from domesticated sheep and goat were also recovered from the site. Large amounts of shells, representing refuse from the consumption of shellfish, were also found. These consisted mostly of pearl oysters, turban shells and clams.

 

The Dalma excavations have revealed for the first time a detailed picture of life in mid part of Lower Persian Gulf what is today Abu Dhabi around 6,000 years ago. Further studies will be carried out on the finds, while samples will be submitted for radiocarbon dating to try to establish a more exact date for the settlement.

 

This year's work shows that the Dalma site is one of the most important of its kind anywhere in in ancient iRanian land as well as Lower Persian Gulf.  Much more work remains to be done and the whole site covers an area of at least 100 metres by 80 metres, and it will take several years to excavate it fully and to study the remains.

 

 

 


April 1998


 

Wednesday, 22 April 1998

3,000-Year-Old Cemetery Unearthed in Northern Iran
RASHT, Gilan Province An ancient cemetery was unearthed in Eshkevar Village of Roudsar township in northern Iran during operations to install electricity pylons last week. Director of Gilan Province Cultural Heritage Department Mohammad Taqi Razazi said that preliminary studies show that the cemetery dates back to the first millennium BC and belongs to the Achaemenid era. Some clay pots and objects have been discovered next to human skeletons, he further added.

The official said that expert studies and research works will continue in the region to find out more about its historical significance.

 

 


March 1998


 

Saturday, 14 March 1998

Village Belonging to 6,000 B.C. Unearthed
TEHRAN Relics of an ancient village belonging to 6,000 years B.C. were unearthed in the hills of `Cheshmeh Ali' in Shahr-e Rey close to southern Tehran. 

 

Head of the archaeologists' team in charge of the excavation operations, Mohammad Rahim Sarraf, said the discoveries revealed remains of workshops used in melting of metals in the region. It also disclosed many secrets about the history of the old civilizations in Iranian Plateau in ancient times.

Sarraf also said the discovery of a pottery dish with lodes of copper in it proved the people living in this region knew about the technology of melting copper. According to the expert, the team had made the discovery during the two weeks of work in the region that the relics consisted of twelve categories in three layers. In the 12th layer, the archaeologists came across to relics of a house from a village the architecture of which belonged to prehistoric periods.

Head of the archaeologists' team noted that remains of the skeleton of two people who were laying on a piece of straw was found inside the house with a small pottery dish beside them. He added that the pottery work discovered in `Cheshme Ali' hills showed that the civilization in the region belonged to the red pottery civilizations. Similar dishes were also got in Mesopotamia and some parts of Iran as well.

This similarity proved the connections among the civilizations in ancient times as well as the commonalties they shared in their culture. Cheshme Ali is located southeast of Shahr-e Reyy in southern Tehran. It was used to be called `Nahrsoro' before Islamic period while it was referred to as "Nahrrudeh" after Islam conquered the country. On the hill, remains of the old walls of Shahr-e Reyy widely known as Islamic Wall could also discerned.

 

 

 

 

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