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Archaeologists Announce Results of Their Studies in the Historical Jiroft Area


News Category:


 28 February 2004



The discovery of orthography and architectural remains in the historical Jiroft area by the bank of the Halilrud river in southeastern Iran indicates there was a huge civilization in the area, head of an international archeological group said at the end of a second season of explorations in Jiroft.

Attending a briefing session, Dr Yousef Majidzadeh noted the second season of explorations yielded one of the oldest ziggurats in the world which is believed to date back 2300 years B.C. it measures 400x400 meters in the first floor and 250x250 meters in the second, he said.

"An orthographic work of the third millennium B.C. is the first orthographic system to be discovered in eastern Iran and this shows that eastern Iran entered the historical period since the third millennium B.C.," Majidzadeh added.

All these discoveries suggest that there have been sophisticated government and economy with a booming trade some 5000 years ago, the archaeologist credited with first throwing the spotlight on the area said.

"The discovery of orthography, ziggurat and many cultural remains in Jiroft thought to be of the same age as those of the Sumer civilization in Mesopotamia as well as the independence of the Halilrud river civilization could shift the archaeological and civilizational landscape in the middle east," he concluded.

Other members of the team also presented their findings in this meeting, including Holly Pittman, an arts professor from the University of Pennsylvania, who said the discovery of writing on an artifact backed theories that a large civilization existed in eastern Iran when a civilization thrived in Sumer.

Stressing the importance of the archaeological excavations in Jiroft, Pittman noted they would open a new chapter in middle eastern archaeology, which is characterized by existence of early civilizations.

The second season of explorations in the historical area by the bank of the Halilrud river started two months ago as a number of international experts from Sorbonne, Pennsylvania university and other universities converged on eastern Iran. The 30-strong team included five foreign scholars.

The historical Jiroft area is located in Iran's Kerman province near the city of Jiroft. Dating back some 3000 years B.C., they are among the world's richest historical places. So much so that so far some 100 historical sites have been located along 400 km of the Halilrud river.

Many archaeologists believe what has been discovered in the area is indicative of a settlement in a territory with a civilization as large as that of Sumer and Mesopotamia, while Majidzadeh is on the belief that it shows the Jiroft civilization is older and richer than Sumer civilization, the oldest known human civilization.



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