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Underwater Archaeology in Search of Ancient Gorgan Wall


15 June 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Underwater archaeological studies will be conducted for the first time to determine the extent of the ancient wall of Gorgan which is considered the longest in Asia second only to the Great Wall of China. Archaeologists hope to discover the wall’s extension into the Caspian Sea.

Director the underwater excavation team, Hossein Tofiqian told Persian Service of CHN that Gorgan and Tamisheh walls extend to the sea but it is not clear whether they stretched beyond the shores. Tamisheh Wall constitutes a part of Gorgan Wall.

Given the importance of this discovery, archaeological excavations will be undertaken in Gorgan Bay this summer, he noted.

“If remnants of the walls are found in the sea, it will be evident that sections of the walls were submerged by advancing sea waters,“ he observed.

Underwater archaeological studies will help the team determine the actual extent of the walls, he said, adding that the studies will be the first of its kind in the country.

This is while several local and foreign archaeologists have so far undertaken excavations in different sections of the walls located on land, he noted.

Tofiqian further said that director of Gorgan Wall Project has proposed inviting a British archaeological team to take part in the undertaking but the materialization of this depends on the approval of Archaeological Research Center.

Gorgan Wall, which is one of the most important historical monuments in Golestan province, extends for 200 kilometers. Like the Great Wall of China, it was built to protect the city from invaders.

Archaeologists have also come across remnants of an edifice and a temple dating back to the early Sasanid dynasty (3nd century CE)


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