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Marvdasht Historical Sites Gradually Destructed


17 August 2005



Joint archaeological excavations by Iranian and American experts have proven 40-50% of the sites identified in Marvdasht plain of Fars province to be nearly destroyed.

Marvdasht is one of Iran’s key archaeological centers which houses many remains from the fifth millennium BC and the Achaemenid reign. The world heritage site of Persepolis is just one of the jewels of the plain.

According to Iranian supervisor of the joint team, Ali Asadi, comparisons of recent studies and archaeological maps produced by American archaeologist working in the area in 1960s, William M. Sumner, prove that 40-50% of the historical sites of the area have been completely ruined.

“The main reason of the destructions is agricultural activities expanding in the area. Right now, the historical lands are either located within the borders of agricultural terrains or nothing remains of them except few potsherds scattered around,” explains Asadi.

The destroyed sites have included, according to Asadi, remains dating to the prehistoric times, Achaemenid, post-Achaemenid, Sassanid, and Islamic times, which could have provided archaeologists with significant information.

The rich soil of Marvdasht plain makes it suitable for agricultural activities, however, it is surely no competitor for the archaeological richness of the area.

During the past months, Parse-Pasargadae Research Center has started to demarcate the historical sites, setting up fences around to protect them from further damages.

Moreover, the joint activities of Iranian and American archaeologists were launched one month ago in Marvdasht, aiming at completing work done before the Islamic Revolution of Iran.

The team has so far discovered 22 fortresses and settlement areas dating to the Sassanid dynasty, early Islamic era, and third millennium BC.

As the American supervisor of the team, suggests, the settlement areas seem to have been villages, each two to six hectare vast. “The fortresses show that we have discovered an important ancient settlement there.




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