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Neanderthals Lived in Kermanshah Caves



14 September 2005


The latest excavations by Iranian and French joint team at prehistoric caves of Kermanshah, west of Iran, revealed them to have been early settlements of Neanderthals who used to live there about 85000 to 40000 years ago.

The joint team was to continue its studies on other Paleolithic caves in Kermanshah province, but as the term of the agreement has reached an end, the French team have returned back home. This team is to resume its activities in March 2006 in prehistoric caves in Kermanshah province if the agreement is renewed for an extended term.

Asadollah Piranvand, head of Kermanshah branch office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, said, “This team conducted some research in prehistoric caves of the province in March 2005, which revealed these caves to be early settlements of Neanderthals about 85000 to 40000 years ago.”

“The Iranian and French joint team has also excavated some caves in Mahabad in Western Azarbaijan province, as well as in Niasar, a recently discovered cave in Lorastan province. But the major part of their project was focused on Kermanshah province. This week, they traveled to Kermanshah and visited some archaeological caves of the province, particularly Martarik and Mardodar caves,” added he.

Martarik cave, which is in fact a small geomorphological chamber of 80 square meters area, is situated 30 kilometers northeast of Kermanshah town, the capital of the province, on the flank of Bistoun Mount. Discovered evidence at caves like Markhar, Martarik, and Shekarchiyan, show that they were among the very first human settlements.

However, the recent excavations at Martarik faced some difficulties because of insufficient room inside the cave which has turned the archaeological remains into a total mess over thousands of years.

The excavations at these caves were conducted by the Archaeology Research Centre of ICHTO during past few weeks in cooperation with Bordeaux University from France. The whole project was headed by Fereidoun Biglari.




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