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French Archaeologists to Find Traces of Transition in Iran




13 September 2005


In a joint mission, Iranian and French archaeologists aim to discover traces of the transition period between Chalcolithic (copper age, 6000 to 7000 years ago) and Bronze age (5000 years ago) at prehistoric sites in northwest Iran, especially at Kura Aras.

Kura Aras is a culture originated in northwest Iran and flourished through the fourth and third prehistoric periods.

“This month an archeology team headed by Catherine Mawro has visited Chaldoran plain, and Aras watershed including Jolfa, Bazagan, Khoy plain, Marand plain, and Jofa to locate archaeological sites in north west of the country. The sites normally comprise of two ages, Chalcolithic (copper age) and Bronze Age. The archaeological researches at these sites are aimed to study the transition period of Kura Aras culture from Chalcolithic to early Bronze Age in prehistoric Iran,” said Karim Alizadeh, archaeologist and expert with Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization.

Archaeological researches indicate that contemporary to the rise of Kura Aras culture in northwest of Iran, use of earthenware and metals became quite prevailing and keeping cattle and sheep grew quite remarkably as compared to other periods and eras in Iran.

Also the recent researches have suggested that nomadic lifestyle was common at that time.

“In this venture which lasted for six days,” added Alizadeh, “some selected sites were scrutinized, among which Marand plain and Jolfa are recognized to have rich cultural remains and heritage. Another objective of the Iranian and French joint archaeological team is to study the lifestyle of Iranian nomadic people especially in Bronze Age (5000 years ago).”

The Iranian and French joint team is to find if ancient nomads used the same routes for their wintering and summering migrations as those still used today by the nomad tribes in northern Iran.

For the main joint mission to be launched, archaeologists await an agreement which is to be signed by Archaeological Research Centre of ICHTO and CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).

Provided that the agreement is achieved in due time, the Iranian and French joint archaeological team will embark on the research and excavations at Western Azarbaijan province next year. The French archaeological team will be headed by Catherine Marow.




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