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Pre-Achaemenid Village Discovered in Semnan


29 October 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Discovery of a village belonging to the pre-Achaemenid period in Gandab historical site in Semnan province has stunned archeologists. Considering the existence of a 1.5-hecatare cemetery in the area, archeologists believe that about 100 families might have lived in this historical village during the Iron Age III.


“Discovery of a village belonging to more than 2500 years ago in Gandab historical site was absolutely surprising. Archeological excavations in the region resulted in unearthing a residential settlement area 500x300 square meter in size which is likely to span over more than one hectare area once its boundaries are determined,” said Siamak Sarlak, head of archeology team of the third season of excavations in the ancient cemeteries of Gandab and Kharand.


According to Sarlak, prior to this recent discovery it was assumed that during the Iron Age (1300-550 BCE) residential settlements were mostly located at a distance of 500 meters to 4 kilometers from the cemeteries. “However, the discovered village in Gandab is adjacent to its cemetery. This is the first time such thing is observed in an archeological site belonging to the Iron Age,” added Sarlak.


Gandab is an archeological cemetery dating back to the Second to the Third Iron Age. It is located 3 kilometers from the Iron Age cemetery of Kharand and 50 kilometers from the city of Semnan.


Regarding the architectural style found in this village Sarlak explained: “This village is located on the steep slopes of a mountain; therefore, it was constructed like a staircase with successively receding stories. More than 2500 years ago, the inhabitants of the village created some platforms in this mountain by scraping the rocks. Using stones and adobe, they built their dwellings on these platforms, some of which have been unearthed during archeological excavations.”


“Considering that the village was located in a mountainous area, its inhabitants used a mixture of stone, rubble and adobe to construct their houses. The earthen blocks used for constructing the houses were different in size,” added Sarlak.


According to this archeologist, while Semnan is considered part of Iran’s Central Plateau, architectural style of the newly discovered village does not represent that of the Central Iranian Plateau. The village’s architectural style and the objects found in the graves of its inhabitants are very much similar to those of the northern province of Mazandaran and the mountainous areas of this region.


Sarlak believes that although Gandab and Kharand both fall within the boundaries of Semnan province, archeological and environmental evidence show that they are more related to the province of Mazandaran than Semnan.


Gandab and Kharand are among the most important archeological site of Iran, featuring remains of the Iron Age culture. Archeological findings in the cemeteries of these ancient sites have challenged many of the old theories about this historic period in Iran.




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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