26 July 1999
TEHRAN New archeological excavations were launched Saturday at `Bastam'
fortress, the third ancient site of Urartu civilization, after a lapse of 20
years. In the new round of the excavations at the 2700-year old fortress,
archeological studies will be conducted over new features which remained
undicsovered in previous excavation operations. In archeological studies made by
a group of German archeologists prior to the Islamic Revolution, the citadel,
administrative sectors, foodstuff storage, arsenal, stable, residential quarters
and other government establishments were unearthed.
Head of the archeological team working at Bastam, Hamid Khatib Shahidi, said
study of the irrigation canal and drawing the plan of the largest house in the
residential quarter are among major objectives of this stage of excavations. He
added that the team is hopeful to unearth the cemetery of the ancient fortress
which has so far remained undiscovered. He said it is expected that graves
belonging to the Mongol era will be also discovered at the cemetery.
Bastam fortress, an administrative city of the Urartu government which lived in
the western neighborhood of the Medes dynasty, is a great archeological site
near Iran-Turkey border. It occupies an area of 32 hectares and is situated at
Qara-Ziaeddin district of the city of Khoy in west Azarbaijan Province in Iran.