The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- A team of archaeologists from Iran and
France recently opened up a new excavation season at the historic site of
Bolaghi Valley, Fars province, aiming particularly at unearthing the palace of
Achaemenid Emperor Darius the Great (549-486 BCE). The team is optimistic that
the palace could be unearthed entirely by the end of their excavations.
this news, Iranian head of the Irano-French joint archaeology team in Bolaghi
Valley, Mohammad Taghi Atayi, said: “Area number 34 of Bolaghi Valley in which
the palace was found is considered one of the most prominent settlement regions
of the Achaemenid dynastic era (550-330 BCE). For reasons still unknown, parts
of this palace have been destroyed by bulldozers. During our preliminary studies
at this palace, the balcony and part of the central hall of this Achaemenid
structure were unearthed. This is what prompted us to spend another full season
of excavations at this palace.”
balcony, which was unearthed by the same team, was pillared and archaeologists
were able to find four black and white plinths. Furthermore, archaeologists
discovered another pedestal last year with the design of an inverted lotus
flower, a design typical of Achaemenid palaces of Persepolis.
on the discovered hallway, archaeologists sketched the plan of the palace which
suggests it had labyrinth corridors leading to adjacent rooms which have not
been unearthed completely.
on the evidence at hand, we had devised our plans to unearth the remaining parts
of the palace during another excavation season. Finally, we were able to win the
approval of the Archaeology Research Centre and recently started our activities
in Area No. 34,” explained Atayi, adding that the Irano-French team is
determined to come up with the final map of the palace showing all parts of this
colossal Achaemenid structure.
findings in Area No. 34 as well as chronological studies conducted on the site
together with the architectural style applied to the discovered plinths suggest
this palace to have been one that belonged to the early Achaemenid dynastic
period, particularly to the reign of Darius the Great.
to the start of the new excavation season, the Irano-French archaeology team had
undertaken two seasons of joint excavations in Bolaghi Valley during which its
experts concentrated their studies on historic evidence from the Achaemenid
dynastic period in the region. The team also studied the royal path known as the
King Road and concluded that the path was preserved for the kings and nobles
while Achaemenid kings were residing in Bolaghi Valley.
Excavations by the team of Irano-French archaeologists are directed by Mohammad Taghi Atayi from Iran’s Archaeology Research Centre and Remy Boucharlat from the French Institute of Archaeology. The team’s most stunning discovery was that of the colossal palace, believed to have belonged to Darius the Great.
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