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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Earth Still "Best Trustee" for Achaemenid Palace


13 August 2008



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LONDON, (CAIS) -- Once again the earth itself is the best trustee for pre-Islamic Iranian cultural heritage, as archaeologists reburied the ruins of an Achaemenid palace due to lack of an appropriate plan necessary for the protection of the site. 

"Protecting the ancient and historical sites is our most important task," Fars Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (FCHTHD) director Alireza Barzegar told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.

"Thus, if we don't have any appropriate plan to protect the excavated site, the sites should be once again covered by earth after the experts carry out studies on them," he added.

The palace, which is located in Sorvan near Nurabad Mamasani in Fars Province, was discovered in 2007. However, a large part of the ruins were unearthed during the second season of excavations, jointly carried out by a team of Iranian and Australian archaeologists in February 2008. 

Australian team leader, Dr. Daniel Potts, had put forward a proposal to FCHTHD to establish a site-specific museum for the Achaemenid palace.

"The palace has the potential to be converted into a museum and tourist site, but a comprehensive plan and a large budget are needed," Barzegar noted.

FCHTHD lacks the necessary funds, so they have decided to rebury the ruins of the Achaemenid palace, he added. 

After concluding the second season of excavation, the archaeologists said that they might have discovered the Achaemenid city of Lidoma, which has been named in a collection of ancient tablets previously unearthed at Persepolis. 

The structure covers an area of 1,500 square meters and its original height has been estimated at 14 meters, based the width of the column footings unearthed at the site. 

The remains of stairs, halls and the column footings of the structure were revealed during the second season of excavation. The team also unearthed the original stone surface of the Achaemenid dynastic site and numerous marble artefacts.

The ruins also included a 30-meter long hallway with a flagstone floor. It is believed that it was originally an iwan. The walls of the iwan have been constructed from stairs of crenellated stones.

The column bases and stairs of crenellated walls are very similar to those belonging to the Sad-Sotun (100-Column) Palace at Persepolis.

Iran has previously re-covered many ancient sites and also has left many artefacts in situ due to the dearth of equipment necessary for protection of the sites and artefacts. The Archaeology Research Centre of Iran (ARCI) director Mohammad-Hassan Fazeli Nashli once called the earth "best trustee" for Iranian cultural heritage. Many Iranian archaeologists believe pre-Islamic Iranian heritage is safer buried, rather than being exposed, at the mercy of Islamic Republic."




Extracted From/Source: Mehr News [*]




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