The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- The mist of time has briefly receded in the Bolaghi Valley of southern Iran, revealing secrets of unknown peoples from ancient times to the Sasanian dynasty, but soon the mysteries may be buried again under the waters of a reservoir of a dam currently under construction by the Islamic Republic.
The Bolaghi Valley is located in Fars Province. It begins at Tang-e Bolaghi (Bolaghi Pass), about four kilometres from the village of Pasargadae, which is beside the ruins of the Pasargadae, the first capital of the Persian Empire.
ancient sites are located along the 15 kilometres of the Bolaghi Valley from the
Bolaghi Pass to the Sivand Dam.
area was previously called Tang-e Bolaghi, but since most of the ancient sites
are in the valley that opens up after the mountain pass, it is now called the
Bolaghi Valley or Darreh Bolaghi in Persian.
project called the Archaeological Rescue Excavations of the Bolaghi Valley was
implemented from 2004 to 2007 to study over 130 archaeological sites since the
filling of the reservoir of the Sivand Dam would flood a large section of the
Research Centre Director Hossein Abbasimehr and archaeologist Farhad Zarei
described some of the findings to the Tehran Times reporter during a trip to the
joint French-Iranian archaeological team discovered the columns of an Achaemenid
dynastic era (550-330 BCE) palace that are similar to columns of the Palace of
Darius the Great in Persepolis. Thus, some experts have speculated that these
ruins are the base of a palace built by Darius I.
The team also unearthed a post-Achaemenid era
skeleton with an iron bracelet beside it.
Polish-Iranian team found a number of coins from the Sassanid dynastic era
Italian-Iranian team discovered a wall, some jugs, and several arrowheads from
the Achaemenid era. This team also excavated a
post-Achaemenid era graveyard which only contained the bones of a few
of the most significant discoveries were made by the joint German-Iranian
archaeological team, which was led by Barbara Helwing, the head of the Tehran
branch of the German Archaeological Institute, and Mojgan Seyedin, who is a
member of the Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research.
team discovered over ten skeletons from the Bakun period (late 5th to early 4th
Seyedin later told the Tehran Times that some of the bones had become mixed
together over the millennia, so it was initially not possible to determine the
exact number of individuals that were buried in the graves.
skeletons were buried in a common grave. A pottery artifact containing traces of
wheat was found beside one of the Bakun period skeletons.
German-Iranian team also discovered a pottery workshop and numerous shards from
the Bakun period.
The archaeologists discovered several kilns at the pottery workshop. Two of the ancient kilns have been transferred to the Pasargadae Research Centre, where they are to be displayed in a new museum which is under construction.
hundred meters from the pottery workshop, the team excavated a settlement where
the prehistoric people who established the pottery workshop lived.
The team also discovered an Achaemenid era structure with a water canal beside it.
future of the Bolaghi Valley is uncertain. The filling of the reservoir of the
Sivand Dam by the regime has been delayed several times to allow additional
archaeological excavations as the result of constant pressure from Iranian
nation as well as the international cultural authorities. Iranians have
protested the decision to flood the valley that contains so many important
February 2007, Iranians held demonstrations in front of the Islamic regime's parliament
and called for postponement the inundation by the regime that would destroy
pre-Islamic Iranian heritage in the Bolaghi Valley.
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