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Achaemenid Rural Houses Found in Bolaghi Gorge


News Category: Achaemenian Dynasty

 15 November 2005



(CHN)-- In the continuation of Iranian-Italian archaeologists’ team excavations in 2 areas of Bolaghi Gorge, 30 rural houses have been identified in a village dating back to the Achaemenid era.

Getting closer to the time of the Sivand Dam flooding, archaeological excavations in Bolaghi Gorge have been speeded up as well, which have resulted in some considerable findings so far.

During last year’s excavations by Iranian-Italian team in a part of Bolaghi Gorge located near the dam, they succeeded in finding the remains of a village belonging to Achaemenid era. Due to inappropriate weather conditions in the region, the excavations were postponed to this year, and the second season of excavations led to marvellous discoveries.

“With the end of the 40-day excavations in the No. 76 and 77 areas, some valuable results were reached. During this season of excavations with the aid of new archaeological methods such as geophysics, we succeeded in discovering about 30 rooms or houses in a village belonging to Achaemenid era,” says Alireza Asgari, head of Iran’s excavation team in Bolaghi Gorge.

“It is the first time such a discovery has been made in the history of Iran’s archaeology. Previous to this, our knowledge was limited to the castles and famous monuments of Achaemenid era, and we did not know much about the rural architecture of Achaemenid era,” added Asgari.

About the social classes in the ancient village, he explained, “The discovered evidence indicates that the people in this region enjoyed an appropriate economy. Within the second season of excavations we reached to a marble bowl that could be an evidence of a comfortable life for the inhabitants of the village.”

Previous to this Iranian-Italian archaeologists discovered 8,000 clay pieces and a very big clay dish, so that they concluded that the people of the region enjoyed a good economy during Achaemenid era.

“The discovered evidence during this season of excavations indicates that there must have been a continual life in the village during Achaemenid era. Some stone beads of spinning wheel which is a proof of waving in this village during ancient time, a marble bowl, a bronze clip, ornamental beads, stone blades of a mill, an arrow head, and a shield belonging to the Achaemenid era are the articles found during excavations,” explains Asgari, believing that these evidence shows a special quality of living in the village, which indicates that the Achaemenid kings devoted a special attention towards the villages in the extent of their domain.

The 18-kilometer Bolaghi Gorge is located 9 kilometers from the World Heritage Site of Pasargadae in Fars province. Some experts believe that the site has been the location of the major ancient road of Iran, Kings’ Road, built by the order of Darius, the Achaemenid king.

Bolaghi Gorge will sink because of the watering of Sivand Dam. The salvation project in Bolaghi Gorge started with the engagement of 8 international archaeology teams more than one year ago.

In early 2003, 10 years after the construction of Sivand Dam started on the location of the ancient King Road, a team of experts from the Parse-Pasargadae Research Center was sent to study the site. They found out that the Bolaghi Gorge was not only the bed of the King Road but also the land in which numerous monuments and artifacts were buried.

Day-in-day-out excavations in every inch of the site all through the year and the domestic and international efforts in King Road have made the project a global one, which represents the crucial importance of the site and its Achaemenid artifacts.


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