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Recently Discovered Iron Age Paving-Stones to be Studied to Trace Musasir City State


21 October 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The second season of archeological excavations will start next week in Rabat Tappeh, located in North-West of Iran, with the aim of unveiling the secret behind the unique art used in the paving stones discovered in the area which belong to the Iron Age I and II.


The first season of archeological excavations in Rabat Hill resulted in discovery of 3000-year-old 180x180 sq. cm paving stones as well as statues of winged goddesses and a naked winged goddess in the region, never found before in any historical site in Iran. The unique findings in this archeological site attracted the attention of domestic and foreign experts and media.


Discovery of the traces of Musasir city state, which existed in the region during the Iron Age, in the first season of excavations also drew in a great deal of attentions from scientific societies of countries around the world.


History of the Musasir city state, goes back to the first millennium BCE. The Musasir city state in northwest Iran existed concurrent with Urartu and Assyrian civilisations. This city state was called Ardini or the "Land of Sun" by Assyrians. Musasir was allied with Assyrian or Urartu city states and shaped the political conditions of the region. Prior to discovery of traces of this period in Rabat Tappeh, many American and German archeologists believed that Sun or Ardini city state is traced in Mesopotamia or Anatolia, and not Iran.


Musasir was particularly important during the first half of the 1st millennium BCE and is known primarily from reliefs and inscriptions of the Assyrian king Sargon II, who brought this region under his city state in 714 BCE. Musasir was a semi-independent buffer state bordering Mannaean, Assyria and Urartu. Experts believe that it was an ancient city probably located near the upper Great Zab River between Lake Urmia in northwest Iran and Lake Van in present-day Turkey. 


“This season of excavations in the area where the paving stones had been discovered intends to clarify the exact age of the hill,” said Reza Heidari, head of excavation team in Rabat Tappeh. He also said that baked bricks were used for framing the paving stones.


According to Heidari, oval shaped stones obtained from nearby lakes were artistically placed to form spiral shapes in these paving stones. Similar paving stones were seen in ancient Rome and other historical sites in Iran. How the people of this region learned this art during the ancient times is not known and it requires at least a 10-year research to find its answer. The use of colors during the first Iron Age in artifacts and architectural remains of this historic site is another factor which has amazed archeologists.


“In addition to studying these paving stones, we are seeking to find more historic evidence to prove the existence of the Sun city state in this historical hill,” added head of excavation team in Rabat Tappeh.


Rabat Tappeh is located near the town of Sardasht in West Azarbaijan province, northwest Iran. Archeologists believe that the hill used to be the center of Musasir city state some 3000 years ago. Archeological excavations in this historical hill started since September 2005. Before start of the excavations, it was assumed that the area of Rabat Tappeh to be about 14 hectares; however, further excavations revealed that it must have covered a 25-hectare area.

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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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