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Excavation Yields Part of Sasanid Mud-brick Bridge


01 August 2004




Iranian archaeologists have managed to unearth part of an ancient mud-brick bridge in Shushtar, south of Iran.

They speculate the bridge is gradually buried over the ages and now they plan to completely disinter it for preservation purposes, possibly turning it into a tourist attraction, said Mohammad Hussein Arastozadeh, head of Shushtar Waterfalls project.

Apart from the bridge, there are some relics of windmills left from the Sasanid era, allowing the area to become a tourism hub. Arastozadeh added the excavation will go on for another month.

In ancient times was Shushtar famous for its dams and irrigation systems. Three of the dams date back to Sasanid times (3rd to 7th century CE), of which the largest was 550 meters long. The dam system fell apart through the 19th century. But even today, several waterwheels help run flour mills and produce electricity.

It was at Shushtar that Shapour I, after his great victory (A.D. 260) over Valerian at Édhessa, set his captives to work building vast hydraulic works, including a large dam across the Karun River. Later, under the Mongols (13th–14th cent.), Shushtar was a beautiful and prosperous town. It was captured by Timurlane in 1393 and by Shah Ismail in 1508. After the 18th century, it declined in importance. A serious outbreak of plague occurred there in 1876.


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