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Archaeologists Save 2500-Year-Old Shards of Tang-e Bolaghi


23 February 2005



A team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists collected 4000 shards, some dating back to about 2500 years ago, from Tang-e Bolaghi, which will be flooded by the waters of the Sivand Dam, the director of the Iranian archaeological group said on Wednesday.


Situated in Fars Province, Tang-e Bolaghi is located only four kilometers away from Pasargadae, the first capital of the Achaemenid dynasty (about 550-331 B.C.) and the residence of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire. Pasargadae was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List last July.


“The categorization of the shards can provide important information for experts because not much data has been gathered about the last periods of the Achaemenid and Sassanid dynasties in Fars Province,” Alireza Asgari added.


“The discovered shards will also provide some information on local, Seleucid, and Parthian rulers as well as on ordinary people living in the region,” Asgari said.


Some experts believe that Tang-e Bolaghi was once a part of the ancient imperial route connecting Pasargadae to Persepolis and Susa. The ancient area also contains sites from the Neolithic and Paleolithic periods, the middle and late Elamite era (2700-645 B.C.), and the Sassanid era (224-651 C.E.).


With no expert-level feasibility studies conducted beforehand, construction of a dam was begun in 1992 in the region of Tang-e Bolaghi. The dam is scheduled to be completed by March 2006 and afterwards a part of the ancient city will be buried under tons of mud from the Polvar River.


A number of experts of the Parseh and Pasargadae Foundation from Iran and teams of Italian, Polish, Japanese, French, German, and Australian archaeologists began operations in early January to save 129 ancient sites at Tang-e Bolaghi. Each team is working on specific sites.


A number of other dams, all in advanced stages of construction, have been identified as threatening Iran’s ancient sites in several provinces including Gilan in the north, Kermanshah in the west, Khuzestan in the southwest, and East Azarbaijan in the northwest.


The reservoir of the Karun-3 Dam in Khuzestan was recently filled and a large amount of the cultural heritage of ancient Izeh became new sites for underwater archaeology!


Archaeologists had identified 80 sites in the region from the Epipaleolithic period (20,000-10,000 B.C.), including 13 caves and four rock shelters. The river valley also has a large number of rock-carved reliefs, graves, ancient caves, and other monuments and artifacts from the Elamite era.


Relevant News: Mehr.News




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