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Iranian-Japanese team to Complete Gilan Excavations


News Category: Prehistory

 17 November 2005



A Japanese team alongside a team of Iranian archeologists will start the last phase of its excavations in Gilan province in the coming December/January. The team has carried out 4 seasons of excavations in the province so far.

According to the agreements between the archeological research center of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran and the Far East Company of Japan, a joint team consisting of Iranian and Japanese archaeologists was to carry out excavations in Gilan province for a 5-year period. The aim of the team is to study different parts of the province including Deylaman and Rostam Abad.

“The last season of Japanese excavations focuses on reviewing the work of previous seasons of excavations and is performed in two phases,” said Ali Jahani, an Iranian member of the joint Iranian-Japanese archaeological team.

According to Jahani, the first phase of the archeological excavations consisted of reviewing the discoveries made by late Ali Hakimi, in the historical cemetery of Kaluraz, which are being kept in the National Museum of Iran. This phase was completed at the end of summer, and then the Japanese team returned to their country to prepare for the second phase of excavations.

Jahani has also explained that the aim of Japanese team in the second phase is to comprehensively review results of the 4 previous seasons of excavations in Rostam Abad.

The historical hill of Kaluraz in Rostam Abad is now being excavated by Mohammad Reza Khalatbari, head of pre-history archeological research center of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran. He has found there remains of the Parthian architecture for the first time in Gilan province.

Referring to the discoveries of Japanese team during the 4 seasons of excavations, Jahani explained, “The main accomplishment of the team has been the provision of the archaeological map of Gilan province, which shows more than 90 historical sites.

“An archaeological hill belonging to the Neolithic period was another discovery of this team; the hill dated back the history of human settlement in the province to the 6th millennium BC.”

Since previous to the archaeological excavations of the joint Iranian-Japanese team no architectural evidence had been seen in Gilan province, it was supposed that most probably the ancient architectural structures of the area were of wood and therefore destroyed by the passage of time.

Alongside the archaeological excavations in the province, the Japanese have also carried out some anthropological and zoological excavations, the results of which have been published.

Gilan province was known during ancient times as part of Hyrcania, with an area of 14,700 square kilometer. It lies just west of Mazandaran province, along the Caspian Sea.





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