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Excavation of Possible Prehistoric Settlement Underway in Bolaghi Valley


15 April 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The joint German-Iranian archaeological team working in the Bolaghi Valley in Fars Province is currently excavating a site that they believe may be a prehistoric settlement from the Bakun period (late 5th to early 4th millennium BCe).


The German-Iranian team is one of several teams working on the Archaeological Rescue Excavations of the Bolaghi Valley, a project that has been implemented to study 130 archaeological sites before the reservoir of the Sivand Dam is filled and floods a large section of the valley in late spring.  


On March 31, Mojgan Seyedin, the head of the Iranian team and Barbara Helwing, the head of the German team, took the journalists on a tour of the sites the team is excavating in the Bolaghi Valley and described their latest findings.   


The team has discovered a pottery workshop and numerous shards from the Bakun period.


Helwing, who is the head of the Tehran branch of the German Archaeological Institute, and Seyedin, who is a member of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, showed the journalists, pottery kilns from the workshop, explaining that they had discovered six kilns and excavated five.


Helwing pointed out that one of the kilns has a special canal for inserting firewood.


The German archaeologist said that the prehistoric kilns would be removed before the reservoir floods the site and later displayed in a new museum that is being built in the village of Pasargad, which is beside the ancient Persian capital of Pasargadae.


Back at their base camp in the village of Pasargad, team members were working on the shards and attempting to reassemble them into pottery. Amazingly, the Bakun period designs on the shards were still very clear, even after approximately 6000 years.    


The team has also discovered an Achaemenid dynastic era structure with a water canal beside it but has not yet been able to determine the function of the building.


Although the German-Iranian team has been tasked with excavating prehistoric sites, they explained that they would also work on the Achaemenid building since there is so little time left to complete the emergency rescue project. 


Several hundred meters from the pottery workshop, the team is excavating a site which they believe may have been a settlement where the prehistoric people who established the pottery workshop lived.


Helwing said that geophysical, geomorphological, and aerial surveys of the Bolaghi Valley have been conducted to determine the location of potential archaeological sites.


The joint German-Iranian archaeological team has been working in the Bolaghi Valley since 2005.


Helwing stated that the team wanted to continue their work in the fall season but that would not be possible because the Sivand Dam reservoir is scheduled to be filled in late spring.


She went on to say that underwater archaeology would not be possible after the Bolaghi Valley is flooded since the sites would become covered in sediment and damaged.


The area was previously called Tang-e Bolaghi, which means Bolaghi Pass, but since most of the sites are in the valley that opens up after the mountain pass, it is now called the Bolaghi Valley.




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Source/Extracted From: MNA



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