Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
seal Impression from Ma'mourin Tappeh
by Shapour Suren-Pahlav
Hill which was the civilization hub of Iron Age 3200 years
ago, today finds itself surrounded by the newly built
International Airport called
Khomeini in Southern Tehran.
Scholars believe that the 3,200 year-old historical hill
which was found accidentally during the construction
project can be turned into the greatest
historical, scientific, and tourist attraction in Iran.
In 1989, during construction works of airport, workers
came accidentally to artefacts and architectural remains in
Ma’mourin Hill, which further studies by an archaeological
team headed by Jafar Mehrkian revealed can
date back to the Iron Age or even before.
Further work in the area led to the discovery of more than
50 structures in the airport and its vicinities. The
structures included a fortress, a village fortress, mills,
millstones, ducts, historical hills, cemeteries, religious
tombs, and water structures, but today only remains of a
fortress dating to the Islamic era, some Imamzadehs
(religious tombs) and the historical Ma’mourin Hill
“The discovery of the hill has been one of the most
important archaeological events of Iran in the recent
decades, because the finds could provide new information
on people of the Iron Age,” head of the archaeology team
of airport, Jafar Mehr Kian, told Persian service of CHN.
One of the important discoveries have been the
architectural features of the structures, which include
the use of rectangular mud bricks, raised platforms all
around the rooms, and installation of large clay casks on
According to Mehrkian, gray crocks have also been found
with raised depictions and seal impressions indicating the
use of plough to prepare the earth for agricultural works at
that time. The finds also rejects the belief so far that
people were migrates during the Iron Age.
Another factor that makes the discovery of the crocks
important is that they are found in a hill that was the
habitat of a great civilization, unlike the previous ones
that have been discovered in cemeteries.
The seals moreover show that a government and some laws
were in force then, and the two-faced casting molds
discovered are evidence that metal tools and armoury were
produced abundantly and transferred to other areas.
The discoveries in the site have helped archaeologists gain
more information on life in the Iron Age. For example,
people used plaster as whitening cover for buildings and
did gardening and produced wine in two-story pools.
Although the Ma’mourin site is inscribed on the National
Heritage List, the studies have now come to a halt due to
problems such as budget deficiency, making archaeologists wait for more information on the Iron Age.
the building of the extravagant tomb of Khomeini that cost Iranians US $2.5
billion, near the airport, construction
workers have found large number of artefacts dated back to the dame
period, which later were destroyed.
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies