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Sang-Tarashan Discoveries and New Ambiguities for Archaeologists


 08 January 2006



LONDON, (CAIS) -- Some delicate and beautiful bronze articles and two iron swords have been discovered during the archeological excavations in historical site of Sang-Tarashan (Sang-Tarâshân) in Lorestan province, without any evidence of a grave or an architectural structure nearby. The issue has puzzled archeologists about the usage of Sang-Tarashan area during the first millennium BC.

Sang-Tarashan historical site in Lorestan province had been known to be a cemetery belonging to the third Iron Age (800 to 550 BC). However, no remains of human skeletons have been discovered so far during the archeological excavations. Furthermore, there are neither any architectural remains nor any clue of temporary habitations in the area. Nevertheless, the area is full of delicate bronze relics.

“We have discovered a large number of unique bronze remains and two iron swords, But there is no evidence of graves or any architectural structure,” says Mehrdad Malekzadeh, head of excavation team of historical site of Sang-Tarashan.

“We found the two swords in the same position they had been inserted in the ground. The tips of the swords were inserted in one spot of the ground so that the handles formed a “V” shape. These swords are almost intact; and considering the type of material they have been made from, they should have belonged to special people. The sword are 40 and 50 centimeter long,” explained Malekzadeh.

Since iron swords were much harder than bronze swords and they could even pass through shields, they had a special importance during the first millennium BC and only the aristocratic class of the society could afford to have such swords.

“Contrary to other historical cemeteries in which the discovered items are mostly clays, a large number of the discovered dishes in this area are bronze. While only a few number of bronze dishes such as a kind of teapot with a duck beak were unearthed in other historical sites like Marlik and Sialk Tepe, a large number of bronze dishes have been discovered in this area,” explained Malekzadeh.

According to Malekzadeh, since no evidence of human skeletons or even any tooth have been found in the area during the archaeological excavations so far, and there are also no remains of the dishes which were commonly buried with the corpse during the Iron Age, historical site of Sangtatashan could not have been a cemetery. On the other hand, there are no architectural remains in the area; a fact that has puzzled archeologists about the usage of this historical site that has many delicate and unique articles remained from the ancient times.

Due to heavy rains in the area, most of the bronze relics have been rusted and decayed, which made it difficult for the archeologist to dig them up.

More than 40 percent of this historical site has already been plundered by the illegal diggers, and now the salvation team is trying to save the rest.

Having several historical sites and cemeteries dating back to the first millennium BC, Lorestan province in the west is one of the most important provinces of Iran. Some archeological excavations have been carried out in the region by domestic and foreign archeologists who acquired important information about the history of this area.




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