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Accidental Discovery of 3000-Year-Old Bronze Dagger in Lorestan


05 November 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- An ancient bronze dagger, believed to be from the first millennium BCE, appeared from the ground when a herd of sheep passed near a trench dug by archeologists in the historic site of Sang-Tarashan (Sang-Tarāšān) in Lorestan province. Archeological excavations in this ancient site, which originally started to save the area from being plundered by illegal diggers, were left incomplete since last April due to lack of funding. More than 40 percent of this historical site had already been plundered by the illegal diggers when archeologists finally came to this area.


Regarding the new discovery, Cyrus Ebrahimi, director of Lorestan’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department (LCHTD), said: “While a herd of sheep was passing near a trench created by archeologists in the ancient site of Sang-Tarashan, the walls of this trench collapsed and a 24 centimeter-long bronze dagger dated to the Iron Age appeared from the ground. The dagger was then surrendered to the Department by the person who is in charge of guarding the area.”


More than 400 rare bronze objects have so far been found in Sang-Tarashan since excavations first began in this area two years ago. However, none of the excavations revealed any evidence of human settlement in the region as archeologists could not find any architectural remain or human skeletons in this site.


This is while prior to the start of the first excavations by archeologists, it was believed that Sang-Tarashan is the location of an ancient cemetery belonging to the Iron Age III (800 to 550 BCE). This theory was disproved when months of excavations did not result in the discovery of anything but hundreds of bronze relics.


Instead, some archeologists proposed that Sang-Tarashan could have been a sacred place. According to this group of archeologists, the fact that large numbers of bronze objects are found in the area while evidence refutes existence of permanent or even temporary human settlement in Sang-Tarashan suggests that this area could have been a sacred place and that these objects were taken there as offerings to this religious site.


Ebrahimi further said that despite the existing concerns over the fate of this ancient site and its rich cultural-historic background, no budget has been allocated to this year’s excavations at Sang-Tarashan and this invaluable site with numerous artifacts still buried has been abandoned by archeologists. Director of LCHTD expressed hope that the recent accidental discovery of the dagger would awaken the authorities to the need to do something quickly about the site.


This area is particularly known for its exquisite bronze objects, most of which are dated to the first millennium BCE. Sang-Tarashan is one of the most important archeological sites of this western Iranian province, located close to the city of Khoram-Abad.


Large numbers of rare bronze objects, a bronze cup with a delicate etching work on its body and the design of a lotus flower on its bottom, a wide variety of war instruments such as different kinds of swords in different sizes, battle axes, an ivory scabbard, together with bronze vessels such as teapots, pitchers, bowls and glasses, all dating back to 3000 years ago, have so far been found in a 400 square meter area during three seasons of archeological excavations in the historic site of Sang-Tarashan.


Many of the discovered bronze relics have been rusted and decayed due to heavy rains in the area. On the other hand, Sang-Tarashan has been turned into the smugglers’ heaven in the recent years who are considered as potential threats to this ancient site. Lack of funding has now stopped further scientific excavations in the site and archeologists are waiting for the authorities of Iran’s Archeology Research Center to provide the necessary budgets for the excavations to resume.




Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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