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Scientific Research Confirms the Parthian Origin of Hegmataneh Tappeh


09 February 2008




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  Pictures: Left column: CAIS image archive and right column: courtesy of Persian service of ISNA (Click to enlarge)


LONDON, (CAIS) -- Thermoluminiscence and C14 testing carried out on Hegmataneh Tappeh (Ecbatana mound) remains, confirms the date of the construction to the third Iranian dynasty, the Parthians (248 BCE-224 CE), the Persian service of ISNA reported on Saturday.


"Hegmataneh Tappeh is considered to be one of the most invaluable historical sites in Iran. Previously Iran's Archaeological Research Centre conducted extensive research, which led to the discovery of a number of architectural remains from this archaeological mound", said Dr Masoud Azarnoush, veteran Iranian archaeologist and director of archaeological research team at Hegmataneh Tappeh. 


He added, "despite all these discoveries, there has always been a question unanswered, regarding the actual date of the site; - to determine the age of the mound we therefore have proposed a three year stratigraphical research programme plan to Iran's Archaeology Research Centre, and despite all the limitations the result was quite staggering. 


Azarnoush continued: "although, the architectural and construction methods as well as the stratigraphical and potsherd studies have confirmed the site was Parthian, we had to back them up, using scientific dating methods."


"We therefore, carried out two scientific dating methods - one, thermoluminescence tests on the building materials as well as potsherds, and the second a C14 testing on organic materials retrieved from the site. The thermoluminiscence tests have confirmed my Parthian theory of the site." said Azarnoush.


According to Azanoush, following thermoluminiscence tests, the organic samples were sent to Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU). The results were also supported the Parthian origin of the site. C14 testing were carried out on charcoal and bone fragments salvaged from 30 cm above the virgin soil level, which dated to 2nd to 1st century BCE, i.e. beginning to the middle of the Parthian dynastic period. The samples from 60cm above the virgin soil, however date the remains to Sasanian dynasty, and therefore confirms that the construction began during the latter part of Parthian dynasty."


The historic Hegmataneh or Ecbatana is located within the boundaries of the modern city of Hamedan and covers an area of 30 hectares. Hegmataneh in historic classical sources had named as the capital of the first Iranian dynastic empire, the Medes (728-550 BCE). It later became one of the main seats of their successors, the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE), though Persepolis near Shiraz was considered the centre of the throne, Ecbatana was considered a strategic place. The city continued to kept its' importance during the following dynasties, the Parthians (248 BCE-224 CE) and Sasanians (224–651 CE).




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


*Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.


All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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