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Another Achaemenid village emerges at Tang-e Bolaghi


News Category: Achaemenian Dynasty

 15 November 2005



(MNA) -- A joint team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists recently discovered another Achaemenid village at the ancient site of Tang-e Bolaghi near Pasargadae in Fars Province, the Persian service of the Cultural Heritage News (CHN) agency reported on Monday.


Last March, the team discovered an Achaemenid village at Tang-e Bolaghi, but afterward excavations were stopped due to bad weather conditions. The newly discovered village, which contains 30 houses, was unearthed during the second phase of excavations, which began in early October.  


Joint teams of Polish, Japanese, French, German, Italian, and Australian archaeologists are working alongside Iranian experts at Tang-e Bolaghi to save 129 ancient sites, which will be flooded by the Polvar River when the Sivand Dam is completed. The dam is scheduled to come on stream on February 1, 2006.


As the fateful day approaches, the teams have accelerated the pace of their excavation activities.


“This is the second time we have found an Achaemenid village in Tang-e Bolaghi. We had no information on rural architecture during the Achaemenid era before this. Our knowledge was limited to palaces and monuments surviving from that era,” the Iranian director of the joint team, Alireza Asgari, said.


“In the first phase of excavations, we found some artifacts, which indicated that the inhabitants of the village had been quite well off economically. The artifacts discovered in the second phase show that the village had been active during the entire reign of the Achaemenid dynasty in Iran. The artifacts include some stone beads, a marble bowl, a spinning wheel, a bronze clip, ornamental items, some parts of a mill, arrowheads, and a shield,” he added.


The artifacts show that the rural village had a distinct lifestyle and that Achaemenid kings supported the villagers, Asgari said.


Once part of the renowned imperial route to Persepolis and Susa, Tang-e Bolaghi also contains sites from the Neolithic and Paleolithic periods, the early, middle, and late Elamite era (2700-645 BC), and the Sassanid era (224-651 CE).


Experts believe that the water stored in the Sivand Dam’s reservoir will increase humidity, which will later damage the foundations of the palaces of Pasargadae. Even the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is believed to be at risk.


Asgari previously said that underwater archaeological activities would be impossible at Tang-e Bolaghi due to silt and other sediment that would be deposited in the reservoir bed over time.



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