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Third Achaemenid Palace Discovered in Bolaghi Valley


05 March 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- By Afsaneh Behvand - In the latest round of archaeological research in what is known as area 37 of Bolaghi Valley in the Fars Province, archaeologists have succeeded to unearth the second half of the Achaemenid palace along with its eastern portico (ayvan). In the previous research they managed to only identify the western Ayvan.


"By opening four trenches 10x10 meter in diameter, the two columned eastern ayvan revealed two small rooms at its flanks”, said Mohammad-Taqi `Attai director of Franco-Iranian archaeology team at Bolaghi Valley.


He added, "although the discovered western and eastern ayvans are both the same size, the one discovered in the west has four columns. In addition, a dais in the front of the ayvan similar to that of the western one was also discovered but it was found to be in better condition".


Attai explained: "previously we discovered a round column-base with floral designs, parallel to those found in Persepolis. We assumed that this might belong to the eastern ayvan, but now after excavations, it is confirmed that this does not belong to this palace. Since the column bases here are cubical and similar to those found in Pasargadae. However, the question remains, where the round base came from – nevertheless it is to early to come to firm conclusions as we have not reached the palace's floor, and it might belong to the inside of the palace."


According to Attai, both discovered column-bases are in black-colour and in good condition and were located in their original places. The column base are in two step-like cubical placed on top of each other.


Attai asserted "both bases are bearing different masons' marks, and it seems to suggests that both bases were crafted by two different masons; -one of the signatures is a two-headed-axe emblem. We have traced this signature to Persepolis and it seems that the craftsman had worked at the Persepolis site."


Attai, mentioned that they have not managed to reach the palace's floor level. Although, they have discovered a number of tiles 14x33 cm and bricks measuring 33x17 cm in diameter. It is suspected that these would have been used only for flooring. He also expressed his desire to discover undisturbed original flooring in the next phase of the archaeological research.


The director of the the joint Franco-Iranian research team expressed his satisfaction with this seasons excavation progress and called it successful, he asserted that after completing the plan of the palace, they would be able to do a comparative study of other palaces discovered in Pasargadae.



Extracted From/Source*: Original news-bulletin published in Persian by  ISNA, and translated by CAIS.



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