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Age of Pre-Historic Tappeh Zagheh Overestimated


08 November 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Results of Carbon 14 tests on the clays and other historic evidence found on Tappeh Zagheh in Qazvin changed previous assumptions overestimating the age of this historic hill which is believed to be the oldest of all the excavated ancient hills in Qazvin plain. This area had been estimated to date back to the 7th millennium BCE while the test results revealed that it belongs to the mid 5th millennium BCE, that is 1500 years earlier. This in turn changed the dates of other ancient hills in this area such as Ghabrestan (cemetery) and Ismael Abad mounds.


“Samples of 17 historic objects and other evidence discovered during archeological excavations in Zagheh, Ghabrestan, and Ismael Abad hills were sent to New Zealand’s Waikato University. Making use of the available data from 27 pre-historic sites of Qazvin, collected by experts while studying this area, we designed a new timeline outlining history of this plain,” said Hasan Fazeli-Nashli, director of Iran’s Archeology Research Center and head of the excavation team at Qazvin Plain.


When results of the C14 tests came out, experts were surprised to find out that the previous estimates had overstated the real age of Zagheh hill. “The new dating is different from the old one. History of human existence in Zagheh had previously been dated back to the 7th millennium BCE; however, the new dating brings its age to sometime between 5200 and 5500 BCE. This means that as the most ancient site among the ones already excavated, Tappeh Zagheh is not older than 7500 years,” explained Fazeli-Nashli.


Head of the excavation team at Qazvin plain also added that based on the new dating, the age of the other two pre-historic hills in Qazvin Plain, namely Ghabrestan and Ismael Abad, went down from 4900-5000 BCE to 4200-4400 BCE.


According to Fazeli-Nashli, the new findings were the results of accurate stratigraphy works as well as implementation of relative and absolute dating techniques. “Today we can be certain that the dawn of human existence at Zagheh goes back to the second half of the 5th millennium BCE,” he said.


Tappeh Zagheh is a village in the Qazvin Plain of the Central Iranian Plateau. Geographically, the plain of Qazvin is part of North Central Iran and is located on the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains.


Archeological studies in the region began in the 1970s with excavations of the three sites of Zagheh, Ghabrestan, and Sagzabad. Latest scientific studies at Qazvin plain took place between the years 2001 and 2004 by excavations at the pre-historic hills of Zagheh, Qabrestan, and Ismael Abad. The outcomes of these excavations have been collected in a book which is due to be published in a month.


Tappeh Zagheh is one of the most important historical sites of Iran, located near Boien Zahra in Qazvin province. Pre-historic dwellings discovered in this ancient hill showed that it was once a populated village. The bone remains of sheep, deer, cow, and some other domestic and wild animals discovered in the initial studies in this region point to the developing coexistence of human beings with the environment some 7500 years ago.


More studies on this historical site led into the discovery of large amounts of jackal bone remains in this site. This discovery revealed that Zagheh had seen two periods of human settlements. It also suggested that a 50-year gap occurred between these two periods during which the hill was abandoned completely by its inhabitants and occupied mostly by jackals.




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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