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Discovery of a Secret Passageway Leading to Parthian Kalan Fortress


26 June 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- During the archaeological salvation operation behind the Kalan (Kalān) Dam, archaeologists have discovered a secret passageway leading to the nearby fortress. This was announced by Hassan Rezvani, head of archaeological research team at Kalan historical site, according to Persian service of ISNA.


“The latest discovery of the well that is 4.5 meters deep, and was dug out in the ancient times, served neither as a water well or as a sewage well, but as an entry or exit point for the secret passageway linked to the fortress”, said Rezvani.


He added, “we have completed the Islamic stratum and are in process of preparing the next phase which is preparation of a plan for lower strata.”


Rezvani also mentioned that the Kalan fortress was constructed during the Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE-224 CE), which went under number of modifications during the post-Sasanian period (651-850 CE) – the well is possibly belongs to the latter period.


Rezvani concluded that: “we have managed to identify and unearth the section of Parthian watchtower and a fortification wall – annexation to the fortress was constructed during the post-Sasanian period.”


A team of Iranian archaeologists has been carrying out rescue excavations since March 1st, on a 22-meter high archaeological mound named Pātappeh and a number of other ancient sites, all of which will be submerged by the dam’s reservoir.


Kalan Dam, with a length of 826 meters and a height of 46 meters is being constructed 30 kilometres southwest of Malayer, Hamadan province, in northwest of Iran.


The main part of the mound includes ruins and a castle dating back to the Parthian and Sassanid dynastic eras. However, studies on strata show that the tepe had been inhabited since the fourth millennium BCE.


Iran’s cultural heritage has been seriously threatened by the Islamic regime's dam construction projects over the past few years, in a systematic attempt to wipe out the traces of Pre-Islamic Iranian heritage.

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