Harnell, the American co-director of the team, said on Saturday that they
had found evidence of settlements which seem to be villages.
two to six hectares, the villages date back to the Sasanid and early
Islamic eras. The new discovery will help shed light on the history and
lifestyles of the people of ancient times and complete the geographical
and archaeological maps of the region,” he added.
archaeologists have also collected over 2000 shards in the region,
according to Ali Asadi, the Iranian co-director of the team.
Harnell is a graduate student in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
institute had begun working on ancient Iranian sites such as Persepolis
from the 1930s, but the collaboration was interrupted after the Islamic
Revolution in 1979. The institute resumed occasional cooperation two years
ago with the help of the Chicago-based Iranian professor Abbas Alizadeh.
director of the institute, Gil Stein, has traveled to Iran twice in the
past two years to discuss methods of cooperation with Iranian cultural
year, the institute returned a set of 300 ancient tablets to Iran. The
tablets, which provide details of the inner workings of the administration
of the ancient Persian Empire, are among a group of tens of thousands of
tablets and tablet fragments that were loaned to the institute in 1937.