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Achaemenid Village Discovered in Bolaghi Gorge


03 March 2005


Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav


Iranian and Italian archeologists discovered an Achaemenid village along the Kings Road in their excavation in the historical sites near Sivand Dam, the archaeological remains of which are to be restored.

This village is going to drown when the dam is to be flooded a year from now. Bolaghi gorge, with 18km length, is located 8km from the world heritage site of Pasargadae in Fars province. 


According to experts, this gorge was the Kings Road’s path, the most important ancient road of Iran constructed during the reign of Darius the Great (r. 522-486 BC), connecting Pasargadae to Persepolis and Susa. The archaeological remains from the pre-historic times to the Islamic period were found in the site as well.

“After gathering 500 pieces of pottery in one of the archaeological sites in the gorge we assumed it was related to the Achaemenid period. Further, we found architectural remains and stone structures of an Achaemenid village under a gutter level,” Alireza Asgari, head of the joint archeological team, told Persian service of CHN.

Pointing the fact that the archeologists were really surprised by this finding, he said: “at first we supposed we had found a temporary resident, but when we found the remains of a one-hectare village, we were shocked. As the village is located along the Kings Road, its discovery can be helpful in accessing information about life during the Achaemenid dynastic period.”

According to Asgari, considering the extent of this site, it is assumed that the Iranian and Italian archeologists can only detect a small part of it by the end of this excavation season which would last until March 19.

Sivand dam flooding project will start by the end of the next year according to the schedule announced by the Islamic regime's Ministry of Energy.

Some archaeologists from France, England, Poland, Germany, Australia and Japan are going to join the Iranian experts in restoring the ancient sites. Seven Italian specialists, expert in different fields, started their work in the first stage of this project two weeks ago.

By the time the flooding starts, about 8 kilometers of this gorge will drown. Experts from Parse and Pasargadae research institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization discovered 100 ancient sites in the gorge so far.

According to Babak Kial, the head of Pasargadae ancient complex, “pre-historic hills, metal ablation furnaces, pre-historic cave and residents, stone furnaces, two mass graveyards of Parthian period, more than 7-km-long stone boundary related to that period and other ancient sites which are drowning by the structure of the dam have been detected in the gorge.”

Pasargadae is the fifth world heritage site of Iran which was registered in the last meeting of UNESCO world heritage committee in July 2004.

Sivand dam construction started by the Islamic regime at the input of Polvar River in Bolaghi gorge, ignoring the existence of historical and ancient remains there.




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