The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- A team of Italian archaeologists from
University of Milan and the Italian Ministry of Cultural and Natural Heritage
has come to the Burnt City, southeast Iran, to implement genetics studies and
DNA analysis on grape seeds discovered in this prehistoric city. The studies
will be conducted under the supervision of Professor Lorenzo Costantini, a
renowned Italian palaeoethnobotanist.
this news, Dr. Mansour Sayyed Sajadi, director of the archaeology team in Burnt
City, said that the studies by the Italians have recently started in Burnt City.
He also added that the Italian archaeologists will concentrate on methods used
for the cultivation of grapes and the amount of its production in Burnt City
during the ancient times and will not undertake any archaeology excavation in
edible seeds such as caraway, cumin, wheat, barley, grape, and garlic dated to
5000 years ago had previously been found in Burnt City. At the time, Prof.
Costantini carried out studies at Burnt City and took samples of nearly all the
botanical items found in this prehistoric site.
to Sajadi, identifying and preparing the DNA map of the grape seeds discovered
during previous excavation seasons in Burnt City is the main aim of the Italian
team during their studies in the Burnt City. “Preparing this DNA map would
help us identify how many species of grapes were produced in the region,” said
of the remains of large amounts of grape seeds and vine roots during the
previous excavations in the vicinity of Burnt City revealed that the area which
has now turned into an arid zone was once a fertile land in which different
kinds of grapes were grown.
further added that the result of these studies is anticipated to reveal the
ecology of the region and the diet of its inhabitants during the ancient times.
57 kilometers from Zabol in Sistan va Baluchestan Province, the Burnt City
covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of the world’s largest cities in
the third millennium BCE. It was founded arounf 3200 BCE and flourished as an
active centre until it was destroyed in 2100 BCE. The city experienced four
stages of civilization and was burnt down three times; hence it was named the
seasons of archaeological excavations have so far been undertaken in the Burnt
City during which large numbers of historic artifacts including the animated
figure of a wild-goat (Capra Aegagrus also known as 'Persian desert
Ibex') on an earthen goblet, believed to be the first animation work
in the history of the world, and a very unique backgammon, which is also said to
be the oldest one in the world were found. These discoveries together with the
skeleton of a woman having an artificial eyeball unearthed recently in the Burnt
City historic site once again pointed to the complicated and well developed
civilization that once populated this ancient city.
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