(CAIS) -- Archeological diggings in southern Barzan
in south of Persepolis which originally started with the
aim of finding early Achaemenid clays, resulted in the
discovery of a residence area which dates back to the
second millennium BC.
How the Achaemenid dynasty came to power and took the
control within its domain is still a matter of
controversy. Since archeologists were unable to find any
clay relics from the beginning of the Achaemenid era, at
the time of Cyrus the Great and his son Cambyses has
remained a mystery.
“The famous Timuran clay, identified and categorized by
an archeologist named Louis Vanden Berghe, is one of the most
important clays found in the area. This clay relic dates
back to the Elamite to the Parthian eras and was
discovered in Marvdasht near Persepolis historical site.
Archeologists believe that such kind of clay was made by
the local people in second millennium BC. After that,
Timuran clays were not produced any longer until the
Achaemenids came to power,” said Kamyar Abdi, Iranian
archeologist in the United States and head of the
excavation team in southern Barzan.
“Based on historical evidence, Achaemenid dynasty came
to power around 550 BC in Pars province, but there is no
evidence on the way in which they come to power. We do not
know what happened in the region between the years 800 to
550 BC which led to the stopping of the production of the
prominent clay of the Elamite era and a historical
standstill took place until the empowerment of the
Achaemenid dynasty in the region,” added Abdi.
Based on archeological excavations in Tal-e Timuran,
Wanderburg studied the Timuran clays concluded that they
belong to two distinct groups, namely Timuran A and
Timuran B. The clays of the Elamite era are categorized in
the Timuran A, and the characteristics of the clays
unearthed in Central Plateau and places such as Gudin Tepe
and Hasan Lu belong to the Timuran B group. Wanderburg
carried out some excavations in the north of Persepolis in
Jalabad area and discovered some clays there which were
similar to those of the Sialk cemetery.
Considering Wanderburg’s discoveries, Abdi explained,
“We believe that Timuran A clay was the prominent clay
made during the Elamite era in the region. Later, between
the years 800 and 550 BC, some kind of clay was imported
to the area from the Central Plateau which caused changes
in the forms of these clays and ultimately raised new
questions. Something that has still remained a mystery is
the shape of the clays of the beginning of Achaemenid
According to Abdi, the discovered clays in Pasargadae
historical site belong to the end of the Achaemenid
dynasty, which means the time of Alexander’s attack to
Persepolis, and have no relations to Cyrus’ era.
“Between the years 1967 and 1973, another archeologist,
Akbar Tajvidi, unearthed some dwellings in southern Barzan.
In his report Tajvidi says that after passing the
sedimentary layers he was faced with a residential area in
which a kind of clay was discovered which was different
with those of the Achaemenid era. However, he did not give
any further explanations about this clay in his report,
and thus we do not have any information about the way this
clay looked like. Therefore, we concluded that the
sedimentary layers were the foundations of the Achaemenid
castle and that the clay he had found most probably
belonged to the Cyrus the Great and Cambyses eras,”
With this conception, the archeologists started
excavations in southern Barzan by digging a 3 by 2 meter
trench to study the area.
“The sedimentary layers Tajvidi mentioned them in his
report were in fact natural sediments formed over the
course of a thousand years. After removing these layers we
faced the “Golbeie” clays which belong to 4,000 years
ago, contrary to what we had previously anticipated. Most
probably these clays belong to some settlements from this
period near Persepolis which have remained unknown so far.
Although we discovered these clays, since they were not
what we were looking for, we are going to continue our
excavations to discover some clays belonging to the
beginning of the Achaemenid era,” explained Abdi about
the result of the excavations.
According to Abdi, Mohammad Taqi Atayi from archeological
research center and the Parse- Pasargadae Research Center
cooperate in this project.
According to the historical evidence, there used to be a
city called Matezish near Persepolis historical site, from
which nothing has remained. This city was a residential
area during the Elamite and maybe Achaemenid eras. It is
not clear yet what happened to this city after the Elamite
period. However, for sure it existed during the ancient
times and it might have been in located in the present-day
Barzan or Firuzi cities or the perhaps the west of