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Aras River During the Sasanid Dynasty had Flooded Twice


14 August 2005



Stratigraphy studies in Ultan Ghalasi area in the northwestern province of Ardabil (ancient Artâvillâ) have provided experts with evidence of Aras River flooding two times during the Sasanid reign there.

Archaeologists studying Aras riverside now believe that there have been two major floods caused by Aras overflow in Ultan Ghalasi area.

Moghan Plain which houses the Ultan Ghalasi fortress and more than 55 historical sites in its vicinities is considered one of the key sites of Ardabil province. Evidence dating back to the Prehistoric, Sasanid, and Islamic era is so far unearthed there.

The time span between the two floods is not yet known, but it seems that the second flood which has been greater has been a main cause of the destruction of the Sasanid city of Ultan Ghalasi.

According to head of the archaeology team surveying the area, Karim Alizadeh, the sediments remaining from the first flood are 60 cm thick and those remaining from the second one 80 cm. The amount of the sediments which include riverbed rocks, stones, and sand is evidence of the floods’ strength.

“What backs up the hypothesis of the Sasanid city being destroyed due to the second flood is the time coincidence of the city ruins and those of the second floods,” explained Alizadeh, adding that during the stratigraphy work, remains of the Sasanid city were found no further than the layers from the floods.

Historical evidence dating to the Sasanid and Islamic times has been discovered in Ultan Ghalasi area. The Islamic city there has been constructed over layers of flood sediments and ruins of the Sasanid one.




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