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Siyalk Ziggurat the Oldest Zigurat in the World




18 August 2003


Iranian archeologist Dr. Mohammad Sadeq Malek Shahmirzadi presented the results of his studies on excavations carried out in 2001 in the Siyalk hills near Kashan in central Iran in a scientific meeting of the Forum on Ancient Cultural Bonds between Iran and West Asia.

He divided the whole Siyalk hills into four areas of south and north of the A and B cemeteries and noted what Grishman achieved some seventy years ago was so considerable that to do it now would take between 10 to 20 years. At that time, he defined six cultural eras in the area. He had discovered a platform in the northern hill in 1937, the Iranian scholar noted.

According to Dr. Shahmirzadi, he was assigned with the task of mopping up the Siyalk area now located within the town of Kashan.

However, he had to do some excavations which led to the discovery of extra facilities mounted on a second platform. He called the discovered mud brick structure a ziggurat.

The archeologist put the number of mud bricks used in building the ziggurat at some 1.25 million, adding a huge social, economic and cultural force must have been involved in building the ziggurat since every person could carry only one single piece of mud brick.

Showing a few relics found in the site, Shahmirzadi claimed the Siyalk ziggurat built some 4700 years ago was the world’s oldest ziggurat, outdating even the Ur ziggurat thought to have been built some 4100 years ago.



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