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Kalvarz Harmed By Illegal Excavations


04 April 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Unfettered illegal excavations conducted in Kalvarz after 1979 revolution made the region devoid of scientific values for archaeological excavations.

Kalvarz archaeological site is located in Rostamabad, Gilan province, where a governmental citadel has been discovered. The citadel is engulfed by a wall which is made of stone and is two meters in width.

In the course of previous excavations, archaeologists had discovered architectural remnants from the Iron Age, including dining halls, sitting rooms, lobbies, an oven for baking bread, a garbage pit and a number of earthenware. Kalvarz hills were deserted for unknown reasons following the collapse of the Arsacid dynasty.

Head of the Prehistoric Department of the Archaeology Research Center, Mohammad Reza Khalatbari, recalled that short after the 1979 Revolution, illegal excavators started digging up the Kalvarz cemetery which inflicted heavy damages on the historic area.

He told ISNA that Kalvarz comprises of a cemetery and an archaeological hill. “The hill had not been studied prior to the revolution because it was under the ownership of the former Intelligence Service (SAVAK) in Gilan,“ he added.

“In the wake of the 1990 tragic earthquake in Roudbar, road construction vehicles came across a number of ancient graves. A team of archaeologists was dispatched to the area to examine the discoveries. The result was 18 historic graves and a number of valuable objects.“

According to Khalatbari, Kalvarz was again driven into oblivion until 2001 when a team comprising Iranian and Japanese experts resumed excavations in the region. However, the operations were later suspended due to disagreements which erupted between archaeologists from the two nations.






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