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Thousands of Stone Tools Found of Lurestan Aurignacian People


26 May 2005



Thousands of stone tools belonging to the Aurignacian people were discovered in a cave in Lorestan dating to some 30000 years ago by a joint team of Iranian and Belgian archaeologists.


Aurignacian is the name of a culture of the Upper Paleolithic present in Europe and south west Asia including the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Iran.


It dates to between 34,000 and 23,000 BC. The Aurignacians were the first humans who initiated the production of developed tools and blades and art. Experts working in the Yafteh Cave near Khorram Abad of Lorestan are hoping to find more about the tools and their production technology by carrying out further laboratory tests.


A lot of information on the cave is still unknown despite excavations carried out there since 1967. According to the Iranian head of the archaeology team, Fereidoun Biglari, excavations in Yafta Cave have led to the discovery of 5000 stone tools measuring between 2 to 7 millimeters.


Yafteh Cave consists of three meters of archaeological layers of which only 60 centimeters have been analyzed by experts in the current excavation season. Experts believe that by further stratigraphy works they will reach more ancient remains in the cave. As Marcel Otte, the Belgian head of the joint team, explained, the project aims to find out more about the Aurignacian people who later on immigrated to Europe.


 “The technology of the tools discovered in Yafteh Cave is much similar to the archaeological discoveries of the Aurignacian people in Europe,” added Otte. The team has also found a lot of coal pieces in the cave.


Further studies on the coals will help experts to both identify the date and the plantation type of the area. They are now analyzing even the smallest archaeological bits and pieces found in the area including minute stones, bones, etc.


Previous studies carried out on the site by an American team of archaeologists from Yale University headed by Frank Hole had also led to the discovery of remains of Aurignacian settlements in the area, which they identified as dating back to some 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.         




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