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18 July 2004



Iranian archaeologists hope to find out the quarries that provided special stones for artifacts made throughout the Jiroft civilization.

The archaeological site has so far produced some artifacts contemporary with the Mesopotamian civilizations and over the years, experts have traced back Jiroft stone artifacts in such ancient nations as Iraq and Syria.

Archaeologists intend to establish the way Iranians mined these quarries over 5,000 years ago and carried the stones to their city, today located in the southern province of Kerman, said Naderali Suleimani, head of the research team.

The Jiroft civilization prospered along the 400-km-long Halil River, and archaeologists have already discovered 400 sites along the route, making it an archaeological heaven. In the second season of excavation, they have dug out some written tablets, dating back to 3,000 years ago.

Jiroft came into spotlight nearly three years ago when extensive illegal excavations and plundering of the invaluable historical items of the area by local people surfaced. Since 2002, two excavation seasons have been carried out there, leading to the discovery of a ziggurat with more than four million mud bricks dating back to 2300 B.C.

The ancient sites in the area are among the richest in the country. Over the last two years, they have been subject to looting by treasure hunters. Some relics discovered there have found their way into the major auctions in the developed countries.


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