The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Traces
of an ancient fire have been discovered at the Tall-e Takht fortress of
Professor Pierfrancesco Callieri of
the University of Bologna, the Italian leader of the Italian-Iranian joint
archaeological team that recently concluded their excavations at the site,
described their findings during an interview with the Tehran Times at the dig
earlier this month.
Alireza Askari was the Iranian leader
of the joint team, and Parsa-Pasargadae Research Foundation archaeologist Farhad
Zarei was also a member.
The team conducted a limited excavation of Tall-e Takht searching for ceramic works and details about the cultural sequence of everyday life from the Achaemenid to Parthian eras, Callieri explained.
The area the team studied was not found during the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS) excavations of 1961 to 1963, he said.
The Italian-Iranian archaeological team conducted excavations at Tall-e Takht during two seasons in 2006 and 2007, he added.
During a layer-by-layer stratigraphic excavation, a sequence of occupation phases from the Achaemenid to Parthian dynastic eras was detected, with some phases having structures and others just fireplaces and other features, he said.
team also discovered a heap of ashes, indicating that there was a major fire at
the site in ancient times, he added.
The BIPS archaeological team led by Professor David Stronach found traces of a fire during their 1961-1963 excavations which could be the same fire, Callieri stated.
Stronach said he believed the fire was not started by the Greeks but occurred around 200 BCE during an uprising against the invaders by the local Pars aristocracy, who were trying to bring the Fratarakas (kings of Pars) back to power, Callieri said.
Pars was the original name of the area currently called Fars Province. The word Persia is derived from Pars and the inhabitants of Pars were the original Persians.
The uprising of the Pars aristocracy was successful, and they were able to establish an independent state that was not directly controlled by the Parthian dynastic Empire, but it seems that they paid tribute to the Arsacids, Callieri explained.
Tall-e Takht is important for the history of Fars and Iran, he noted.
Tall-e Takht was established by Cyrus the Great as a ceremonial site, but Darius the Great converted it into a fortress, Callieri said.
An Achaemenid dynastic era settlement of commoners located below the fortress has never been excavated, he added.
Callieri also worked on the first excavation ever of an Achaemenid era rural
settlement during an earlier dig in the nearby Bolaghi Valley.
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