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Danish Archaeologists in Search of Vikings in Iran


20 January 2005


Researchers from the Copenhagen Museum in Denmark have traveled to the coasts of the Caspian Sea, northern Iran, in search of clues of relationships between Iranians and Vikings.

A few years ago, a researcher from the Copenhagen Museum, Nadia Haupt, discovered more than one thousand coins and relics that did not belong to the Danish or other Scandinavian cultures, and therefore set to find out more about the historical roots of the Danish civilization.

The ancient items that took the attention of experts included more than one hundred thousand coins that are not part of the Danish history, Viking shipwrecks that Haupt believes their style of construction and the kind of trade they used to undertake differentiate them from those of their ancestors, clothes and accessories used today in some Scandinavian cities and villages, and red and blue colors included in the clothes of the residents under study.

The findings prompted archeologists and anthropology enthusiasts to find out more about their ancestral roots, and where these items have originally come from. The first hypothesis that these items originated from southwestern Europe such as Spain was overruled with more studies.

The next hypothesis focused on the northeastern countries in Europe, or more specifically Russia. Relics found in the excavations of the area have confirmed the existence of trade relationships between Denmark and Russia, but Haupt intends to get to the main roots.

She has followed her leads in Russia and has now come to the Iranian side of the Caspian Sea, hoping to prove that Eastern cultures had influenced the Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark.

Director of the research center of the Cultural Heritage Department, Mazandaran province, Ali Mahforouzi, told CHN that Haupt’s field work will continue for 2 weeks, after which she would go back to Denmark to hopefully announce the results of her studies in 3 months.

Mahforouzi believes that further excavations in European countries may show that old Asian civilizations, especially Iran, have had a more important role in the booming of the European cultures.

If her hypothesis is proved, Mahforouzi said, a great project concerning the relations between the Iranian and residents of the coastal areas of the Adriatic Sea will be triggered. According to him, such discoveries can help attract many scholar-tourists to Iran.

The Cultural Heritage & Tourism Department in the northern province of Mazandaran has some plans to prepare the residents in this region for hosting foreign tourists and has started some archeology classes and exhibitions of their heritage.



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