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New Finds Show Dates Were Part of Achaemenid Diet




25 September 2005


Iranian archaeologists have recently found a great number of date stones in the ducts of the sewage system of Persepolis, which indicates that dates were part of the Iranian diets at the time of Achaemenid dynasty.

The archaeologists are currently involved in a project meant to identify the typical cuisine of the Achaemenid era.

“With sieves and water we separate the seeds of plants from the Achaemenid era, and then the seeds are studied for identification,” said Alireza Asgari, an archaeologist from the Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation, which is working on the project.

“We have identified a great number of date stones during our experiments. These seeds show that dates were are a staple of the Achaemenid diet,” he added.

Studies are still underway to identify the other seeds found in the ducts.

Dates have been depicted in the bas-reliefs of Persepolis. Many of the bas-reliefs show Achaemenid officials with dates in their hands. In addition, many Achaemenid bas-reliefs and seals, which have been discovered at other sites over the years, bear motifs of dates and date palm trees.

The sewage system constructed beneath the palace of the ancient capital of the Achaemenid dynasty had a very systematic structure. About two kilometers of the sewer line were discovered during previous excavations. The ducts vary from 60cm in width and 80cm in height to 160cm in width and 8 meters in height.




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