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Archaeologists Wrap Up another Season of Excavation

at Parthian site of Valiran


20 January 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Latest season of archaeological excavations which recently came to an end at the historic Valiran cemetery is anticipated to open new windows to the Parthian dynastic period (248 BCE–224 CE).


According Mohammad-Reza Nemati, head of the excavation team at Valiran Cemetery, evidence of this historic period are not seen commonly in present-day Iran. “Our information about the Parthian period is mainly limited to results of archaeological studies at Jazmurian, Zahak Castle, Mount Khajeh, and a few other places,” added Nemati.


A Parthian communal grave, several coins and other artifacts believed to have been burial gifts, fragments of human skeletons, some rhytons and amphorae, all dating back to Parthian dynasty were discovered during initial emergency excavations at Valiran.


“Considering the four different burial methods including jar (pithos) burial, loculus, stone-paved and surface burials observed at Valiran Cemetery and also seven coins belonging to Arsacid kings Mithradates the Great (123-88 BCE), Orodes I (88-80 BCE) and Artabanus II (10-38 CE), were discovered,” explained Nemati.


The most prominent discovery at Valiran, according to Nemati, was that of a communal grave in which 21 human remains were found along with a number of burial offerings. “This grave is 60 centimetres wide and 1.60 meters deep. The main part of the grave measures 60x160 centimetres in dimension and is divided by clay walls. Three rhytons with ibex heads and seven coins belonging to Arsacid kings were found along other objects in this grave,” added Nemati.


Objects made of silver, bronze, and iron including rings, bracelets, arrowheads, arrows, different kinds of knives, earrings, belt buckle, nails and needles as well as different kinds of vessels were also unearthed from this grave.


This type of communal grave was in use for continual reburial for 25 to 30 years. Usually the graves had an empty space in the middle for placing the dead, which were surrounded with a number of caverns in the walls. Every time before placing a new dead in the middle to be decomposed, the previous bones of the deceased were removed and replaced within the caverns.


In addition to the Parthian remains, evidence from Sasanian dynastic era (224-651 CE) such as remains of an architectural style was also found in this ancient site. “Eight silver coins belonging to the Sasanian dynastic period, from which three belonged to Khosrow II Parviz, together with three pieces of clay tablets in Sasanian-Pahlavi script, and a number of gemstones made of agate, glass and tar were discovered at Valiran,” said team director, Nemati.


The historic cemetery of Valiran was discovered recently during the construction of a new branch for Elm-o Sanaat (Science and Technology) University in the city of Damāvand in Tehran province.




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, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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