The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(MNA) --A team of Iranian archaeologists plans to excavate the ancient monument of Tall-e Takht near Pasargadae in the upcoming months if they can enter into an agreement with the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO), the director of the Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation announced on Saturday.
“Some time ago, we received an application from expatriate Iranian archaeologist Ali Rahbari to conduct excavations at the monument of Tall-e Takht. He introduced Professor David Stronach as his advisor for the team,” Mohammad-Hassan Talebian told the Persian service of the Cultural Heritage New (CHN) agency.
at the University of California at Berkeley, Scottish
archaeologist David Stronach is recognized
as a pioneer of archaeology in Iran. Educated at
Cambridge, Stronach was director of the British
Institute of Persian Studies for twenty years
beginning in 1961, during which time he also
conducted excavations at Pasargadae, Nushijan
Tepe, and Nineveh, as well as other sites in the
was to come to Iran last September in order to
give a report on the studies he had carried out in
search of a Parthian royal capital, Hecatompylos,
in the area of modern-day Shahr-e Qumis near
40 years ago, Stronach had carried out some
excavations at Tall-e Takht. One of the artifacts
he discovered at the monument was a handsome
greenstone lid with a finely carved rosette design
which was made of grey-green schist with a pale,
almost powdery luminescence on the surface.
will do our best to obtain (officials’)
agreement for the application. A number of our
experts will also participate in the
excavations,” Talebian said.
Takht, the towering stone platform that protrudes
from the west side of this hump-backed hill,
offers one further proof of the scale and quality
of Cyrus's building activities. Left unfinished
upon Cyrus's death in 529 BC, this rigorously
constructed palace platform provides a manifest
link between the earlier ashlar terraces at Lydian
Sardis and the huge later terrace Darius chose to
erect at Persepolis.
the case of the Tall-e Takht, however, Cyrus's
suddenly obsolete platform/terrace came to be
incorporated -- most probably during Darius's
reign -- in a sprawling citadel with substantial
mud-brick defenses. This fortified complex may in
fact represent a notable storehouse, mentioned by
Arrian, said to have been surrendered intact to
Alexander the Great (Anabasis 3.18.10).
reference to Tall-e Takht's later history, the
excavations of the early 1960s served to document
a burnt part of the citadel in or near 300 BC (an
event likely to have marked the end of direct
Seleucid control in Fars); the subsequent
introduction of a more independent local
occupation that may have extended down to 180 BC;
and the establishment of a short-lived fortified
settlement tentatively dated to the beginning of
the Islamic era (seventh and eighth centuries CE).
archaeologists believe that Tall-e Takht was a
prison dating back to the Achaemenid era, and
others say that the monument is the mausoleum of
the mother of Cyrus the Great or one of his other
the present time, Tall-e Takht is in bad condition
because of the excavations previously carried out
on the site.
mud-brick walls unearthed during the excavations
have been destroyed due to lack of appropriate
protection,” the director of the Pasargadae
Research Base lamented.
Takht needs to be safeguarded before the new phase
of excavations begins, otherwise the excavations
can be destructive,” Babak Kial added.
Tall-e Takht is high on our list of priorities.
The Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation will
protect the monument if the CHTO consents to the
excavations,” Talebian emphasized.