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Remains of an Achaemenid Palace Unearthed in Bolaghi Valley


16 May 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The remains of a colossal palace dating back to the Achaemenid dynasty unearthed in the Bolaghi Valley near Pasargadae in Fars Province.


The team of Iranian and French archaeologists currently working at the site discovered the remains of a palace which they surmise belonged to Darius the Great.


Team leader Mohammad-Taqi Ataii said that before the excavations at Site 35 of the Bolaghi Valley, geophysical tests had shown that there might be a huge monument located there.


The shards discovered at the site resemble Achaemenid dynastic era earthenware, he added.


“The archaeological team began their second stage of excavations at the site a while ago, hoping to unearth a relatively intact monument, but unfortunately, we found that there had been illegal excavations at the site.


“The team discovered that the foundation of the palace was made of soil and sand. They also later discovered the base of a column that was made in the shape of an inverted bell, similar to those found at Persepolis.


“The column was made of Majdabad black stone (which was also used at Persepolis). The base of the column is 35 centimeters in height and 50 centimeters wide.


“The small size of the column base indicates that they (the column bases) were used for wooden columns and capitals,” he explained.


“The decorations on the base show that they were used for porticos, since the Achaemenids made use of decorated columns for porticos and simple ones were used inside the halls.


“We later found three backed-brick walls which were partly destroyed, but we hope to discover the plan of the palace through these walls. Approaching the center of the palace, four column bases were discovered, showing that it is a hall,” he added.


Fragments of large jars and earthenware water bottles found at the site indicate that soldiers were once stationed in the palace, he noted.


Ataii said that the palace is located far from the Sivand Dam and will not be submerged after the reservoir is filled, but will be damaged over the years by the high level of humidity.


The archaeological team will continue their excavation activities at the site until June 5.


The dam was scheduled by Islamic regime to come on stream on February 1, 2006, but as the result of pressure from ICHTO and public the start-up was postponed and no new date has been set.


Once part of the renowned imperial road to Persepolis and Susa, the Bolaghi Valley also contains sites from the Neolithic and Palaeolithic periods and the Sasanid dynastic era.


Experts believe that the water stored in the Sivand Dam’s reservoir will increase humidity, which will later damage the foundations of the palaces of Pasargadae . Even the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is believed to be at risk.



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Source/Extracted From: MNA



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