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Parthian and Sasanid Sites Discovered in Northwestern Iran


09 January 2005



A joint Iranian and foreign research team has recently discovered four huge historical sites dating back to the Parthian and Sassanid eras at the Moghan Plateau in Ardebil Province.

The director of the team, Karim Alizadeh, said on Saturday that the team was completing their research work in the region when they discovered the sites.

“The historical sites were surrounded by canals used to irrigate the agricultural lands and protect the area as well,” he added.

“The team, which included archaeologists and experts from Tehran and Tabriz universities, the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization as well as New York University, was working in the region for the past month,” said Alizadeh.

He went on to say that preliminary findings indicate that the sites were from the Parthian (250 B.C.-226 C.E.) and Sassanid (226–651 C.E.) eras, proving that the Moghan Plateau was a very important farming area.

“The sites and the discovered artifacts reveal the fact that these newly discovered sites have many affinities with those in Khuzestan and the Mesopotamian area. They show that the Sassanids had organized systematic and developed agricultural activities throughout the country, but for some unknown reasons they were later neglected,” he said.

Alizadeh noted the significance of the discovery of affinities between the southern region of Khuzestan and the Moghan Plateau in northwestern Iran, despite their different climates, and added that these findings should be studied more thoroughly.

The studies will help shed light on the lifestyles, economy, and commercial trade links of different regions of Iran in ancient times, he said in conclusion.



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