-- Regarding historical documents and the remaining clays,
a joint team of French and Iranian archaeologists have
started their excavations in the historical site of Kohan Dezh
(Kohan-Dež = Ancient Fortress) in Nishabur to find out more on
the city in the Sasanian era.
The second season of archaeological excavations of Kohan
Dezh will be undertaken to continue the excavations of the
American team which excavated the historical city of
Nishapur under the supervision of the Metropolitan Museum
of Art from 1935 to 1940.
“A joint team of French and Iranian archaeologists have
started their excavations in the historical site of Shâdyakh and Kohan Dezh of Nishapur to discover more on
the city during the Sasanian era. The excavations will be
undertaken based on a memorandum of understanding between
the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran and
the CNRS (centre national de la recherche scientifique).
Monik Kervran, French archaeologist, will supervise the
French team,” said Rajab Ali Khaniki, head of the
archaeology team of Shadyakh and Kohan Dezh of Nishapur.
“The excavation of Kohan Dezh, located 5 kilometers east
of Shadyakh and in the center of the old city of Nishapur
started last year. Previous to these excavations, the
pre-Islamic history of Nishapur was a mystery to experts.
The excavation team is searching to find traces of
civilization which show the existence of Nishapur during
the Sasanian era. Exploration of some important monuments
of the old city of Nishapur such as Masjid-e Kabir (the
big mosque), gates of Kohan Dezh, and its fire temples are
the other aims of the archaeological excavations,” added
Historical documents indicate that Nishapur existed during
the Sasanian era. Furthermore, archaeologists believed
that the city has derived its name from its reputed
founder, the Sasanian king of kings, Shapur, which indicates the
existence of the city at that time. Based on historical
documents, the city was ferociously invaded by Arabs in
an event which itself is proof of the existence of a big
city during Sasanian era.
“In addition to historical documents, the existence of
clays and cultural evidence belonging to Sasanian era in
the city, all indicate the existence of the city during
the time. The cooperation of Iranian and French team is a
scientific cooperation based on two different methods of
excavations and studies, and some satisfying results have
been gained so far,” explains Khaniki.
These excavations led to the discovery of some important
quarters in the old city of Nishapur. The most important
one is Kohan Dezh or the Heart of Nishapur which was the
residence of the rulers and the noble people of the city.
These excavations have helped reveal the aristocrat life
and the developed artistic points of view during this
Nishâpur or Neyshabur, is a town in the province of Khorasân
in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain
at the foot of the Binallud Mountains, near the regional
capital of Mashhad. Nishapur occupies an important
strategic position astride the old Silk Road that linked
Anatolia and the Mediterranean with China.