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Archaeologists Returning to Their ‘Lost Heaven’ Jiroft


19 October 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Iranian archaeologists are scheduled to begin a new phase of excavations at the Jiroft ancient site in the Halil-Rud River cultural area next week.


“We will excavate southern and northern Konar-Sandal as well as the cemetery of the site near Matutabad. We also planned to work on the Qal’eh Kuchak site of Jiroft, but it will have to be left for next time due to a funding shortfall,” the director of the archaeological team working at the site told the Persian service of CHN on Wednesday.


“Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) officials have promised to provide the necessary funds for the excavations for the next three months, otherwise we will only work for one month,” Professor Yusef Majidzadeh explained.


It is estimated that the excavations will require 1.5 billion rials (about $158,000), but the CHTO has only provided one third of the amount so far.


“Jiroft has been given prominent coverage in the Iranian and foreign press. So far, no ancient site has attracted such attention in the press,” Majidzadeh said.


Located next to the Halil-Rud River in the southern province of Kerman, Jiroft came into the spotlight nearly five years ago when reports of extensive illegal excavations and plundering of the priceless historical items of the area by local people surfaced.


Since 2002, four excavation seasons have been carried out at the Jiroft site under the supervision of Majidzadeh, leading to the discovery of a ziggurat made of more than four million mud bricks dating back to about 2200 BCE.


Many ancient ruins and interesting artifacts have been excavated by archaeologists at the Jiroft ancient site, which is known as the “archeologists’ lost heaven”.


After the numerous unique discoveries in the region, Majidzadeh declared Jiroft to be the cradle of art. Many scholars questioned the theory due to the fact that no writings or architectural structures had yet been discovered at the site, but shortly afterwards his team discovered inscriptions at Konar Sandal Ziggurat, which caused experts to reconsider their views on the site.


The Konar Sandal inscriptions are older than the Inshushinak inscription, thus it seems that the recently discovered inscriptions link Proto Elamite (first appeared in about 2900 BC in Susa) and Old Elamite (used between about 2250 and 2220 BCE) scripts.


Many Iranian and foreign experts see the findings in Jiroft as signs of a civilization as great as Sumer and ancient Mesopotamia. Majidzadeh believes that Jiroft is the ancient city of Aratta, which was described as a great civilization in a Sumerian clay inscription.


A group of international archaeologists is scheduled to gather in Tehran in January 2007 to discuss the latest discoveries in the region at a seminar being sponsored by the CHTO.


Extracted From/Source: Mehr News

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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