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New Season of Archaeological Research at Partho-Sasanian Site of Valiran


18 June 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The second season of archaeological excavations in the Valiran historical site will start in early July, according to Mahammad Reza Nemati, director of archaeological research team at Valiran located in Damavand region, in the Tehran province.


''During the second season of archaeological excavations archaeologists will study the Sasanian architectural remains and the process of human settlement near Tār River in Valirān'' said Nemati.


The first season of archaeological excavations in August 2006, led to the discovery of a Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE-224 CE) cemetery with three different methods of burials and a communal grave which was in use for reburial for nearly 200 years, but evidence of [Parthian] settlement is yet to be found, he added. These burial methods included urn-burials, loculi housed in a hypogeum, and surface burials have shown the difference between social classes during the Parthian dynastic era. While the surface graves are very simple, some valuable burial gifts can be seen in loculi which indicate the high social rank of the people buried in them. According to Nemati, urn-burial method was mostly used for children during this period.


Archaeologists also recovered a number of Parthian artefacts including an amphora, several rhytons, one in the shape of a shoe, seven coins belonging to Mithradates the Great (123-88 BCE), Orodes I (88-80 BCE) and Artabanus II (10-38 CE) and objects made of silver, bronze, and iron including rings, bracelets, arrowheads, arrows, different kinds of knives, earrings, belt buckles, nails and needles.


In addition to the Parthian cultural materials, evidence from the Sasanian dynastic era (224-651 CE) were also found in this ancient site. These including the architectural remains and settlement's main street with rectangular chambers in north-south direction. Also a number of coins belonging to the Sasanian king of kings Khosrow II Parviz, three pieces of Middle-Persian clay tablets, and a number of gemstones made of agate were discovered.


Damavand is a historical city located in the Tehran province, which at the foot of Iran’s tallest peak, Mount Damavand. Its name appears in Sasanian records and has also been mentioned by Ferdowsi, the greatest of Persian epic poets in his literary masterpiece “Shahnameh” (The Book of Kings).

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