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Achaemenid Evidence Rises in Soltaniyeh




19 September 2005


Archaeologists’ excavations in the historical-Islamic site of Soltaniyeh led for the first time ever to the discovery of some Achaemenid remains.

Situated in Zanjan Province, the Soltaniyeh Dome, the mausoleum of Oljaitu, was constructed from 1302 to 1312 in the city of Soltaniyeh, the capital of the Ilkhanids, Mongol descendents of Genghis Khan who controlled large parts of Iran from 1256 to 1349.

More than 16 excavations have so far been carried out in Soltaniyeh site, and several evidence belonging to different periods of time have been discovered, but it is the first time that some evidence from the Achaemenid culture have been discovered in the region.

“In the previous excavations of Soltaniyeh, some evidence from the Iron age, Parthian, and Sassanid periods had been discovered, but it is the first time that some clays pieces particular to the Achaemenid era have been discovered,” says Abolfazl Aali, head of the archaeological team of Abhar city.

Evidence from the Acha6emenid era in Zanjan province are rare, therefore these discoveries are considered significant.

During the previous excavations around the Ilkhanid city of Soltaniyeh, some evidence belonging to the Islamic period had been discovered. Recent excavations have led to the discovery of pre-Islamic evidence belonging to the Iron age and Achaemenid era in the Nour Tepe of Zanjan.

Aali believes that the possibility of the existence of Achaemenid remains in other sites of Abhar city should be considered as well.

The excavations have been done west of Soltaniyeh, in an area located 6 kilometers from the dome and tower of Sutanieh. The excavations will continue until 22nd of September.

Soltaniyeh was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 15, 2005 during the 29th Session of the World Heritage Committee, which was held in Durban, South Africa.




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