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Archaeologists to Revive Karaftou Cave


News Category:

Pre-Islamic & Islamic Periods

 08 October 2003



The Karaftou Cave, near Eivan Dareh in the western province of Kurdestan, has overcome its years of solitude and is recently receiving special attention from the Cultural Heritage Organization, with archaeologists and workers trying round the clock to restore and revive it.

The current entrance of the cave is located 25 meters up the ground level, but its main entrance, or exit way, has not yet been discovered, and archaeologists are still casting about in their search.

The cave holds remembrances of prehistoric humans, scripts of primitive humans on its walls, as it has been residential up to the Ilkhanid era with people frequenting it from the beginning of the Troglodytic up to the Islamic era. Also a Greek Roman inscription proves the Seleucids had visited it.

Built in four stories, it displays the characteristics of different periods, and is considered unique due to its architecture.

Karaftou has been reconsidered by archaeologists since 1999 after being left derelict for almost 86 years.

According to archaeologist Mansour Mostafavi, the most important dark points about the cave are the location of its entrance or exit way, the prison inside and the historical relation of the cave with the stone image of three Roman statues located in the area opposite it.

Experts believe Karaftou, now part of Iran’s National Heritage, should be added to the World Heritage List given the significance of human residence there, its Geek inscription and surprising architecture.

An archaeological site has been set up in the area and a scheme aimed at setting up tourist facilities nearby is gradually being completed.

Karaftou is a lime cave, which was underwater in the Mesozoic period, but little by little humans resided there, cutting stones, building hallways and making other changes, which have remained as signs of its human occupancy.



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