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Excavation Work Resumes at Ecbatana



01 October 2005


A team of Iranian archaeologists are excavating a stratum of the ancient site of Ecbatana which they believe dates back to the Sassanid or Parthian era.

Covering an area of 35 hectares, the site of Ecbatana is located in the northern section of the western Iranian city of Hamedan. Ruins from various historical periods have been unearthed during previous excavations at the site which indicate that the ancient inhabitants practiced progressive urban planning.


“The new phase of the excavations aims to shed light on the lifestyles during various periods. Thus we don’t expect to unearth important artifacts,” archaeological team director Masud Azarnush told the Persian service of the Cultural Heritage News (CHN) agency on Saturday.


Ecbatana was the capital of ancient Media and later the summer residence of Achaemenid and Parthian dynasty kings. It is beautifully situated at the foot of Mount Alvand, northeast of Bisotun. In 549 B.C., it was captured by Cyrus the Great. It had a royal treasury which was plundered in turn by Alexander, Seleucus, and Antiochus III.


Also called Hegmatana, the site has never been thoroughly excavated since it is mostly covered by the modern city of Hamedan.


The Hamedan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department announced last February that it was planning to build the largest Iranian museum at the site of Ecbatana. Ten billion rials was allocated by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to purchase the site of the proposed museum.


Parts of the site are privately owned. A number of ruins and artifacts have been unearthed during the private owners’ construction projects to build houses and shops.


The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) has recently announced that it will allocate funds to purchase the land.  


Source: Mehr News



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