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UPDATE: Excavation at Bukan's Ancient Mannai Site


20 August 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Iranian archaeologists working at the ancient mound of Qalaichi near Bukan in West Azarbaijan Province recently unearthed some platforms which they believe were used as altars for sacrifices and religious rites during the Mannai era (early 1st millennium BCE).


Many bones of sheep and goats as well as small canals have been found near the platforms built of glazed bricks, thus the archaeologists surmise that the structures may have been sacrificial altars of the ancient Manneans.


“We found the glazed bricks as well as some pottery works and cobblestones in the central section of the mound. Our team had also discovered such platforms during the previous excavations,” team director Reza Heidari told the Persian service of CHN on Saturday.


“The glazed bricks have been placed precisely in a modern style, and this indicates that their architects were well-informed and familiar with brickwork,” he added.


The platforms measure 2x2 meters and the bricks have azure, white, and yellow glazes.


Mannai was an ancient country in northwestern Iran, south of Lake Urmia. During the period of its existence in the early 1st millennium BCE, Mannai was surrounded by three major powers: Assyria, Urartu, and Media.


With the intrusion of the Scythians and the rise of the Iranian Medes in the 8th century BCE, the Manneans lost their identity and were subsumed under the term Medes. Place names and personal names in Mannai are thought to be in a dialect related to the Hurrian language of the Hittite empire.


The Manneans worshiped Haldi, the god of the ancient kingdom of Urartu.




For more information please on archaeological research at Qalaichi Site [ click here ]




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