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Joint Iranian & Japanese Archaeological Team to Study Neolithic Caves at Tang-e Bolaghi


18 June 2005



A team of Iranian and Japanese archaeologists is to study two Neolithic caves located at the ancient site of Tang-e Bolaghi in Iran’s southern province of Fars, an expert of Iran’s Archaeological Research Center announced on Saturday.


“According to an agreement signed between the Archaeological Research Center and the University of Tsukuba, several Iranian archaeologists and eight experts from the Japanese university will begin work at the site next month,” Karim Alizadeh added.


“Due to the dearth of studies on Iranian Neolithic caves, the upcoming studies on the two caves will be very important,” he noted.


The caves are located in the area that is to become the reservoir of the Sivand Dam, which is scheduled to come on stream in March 2006, flooding some very significant ancient sites.


Tang-e Bolaghi is situated only four kilometers away from Pasargadae, the first capital of the Achaemenid dynasty (about 550-331 BC) and the residence of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire. Even the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is believed to be at risk. Pasargadae was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List last July.


Tang-e Bolaghi also contains sites from the Paleolithic period, the early, middle, and late Elamite era (2700-645 BC), and the Sasanid era (224-651 CE).


Alongside the Iranian experts, teams of Italian, French, Polish, German, Australian, and Japanese archaeologists have been assigned to save 129 ancient sites at Tang-e Bolaghi.


The Neolithic period pertains to the last phase of the Stone Age, marked by the domestication of animals, the development of agriculture, and the manufacturing of pottery and textiles. It is commonly thought to have begun circa 9000–8000 BC in the Middle East.  



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