& CULTURAL NEWS©
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
“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.