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.CAIS NEWS©

LATEST ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD

 

Excavations In Iran Unravel Mystery Of 'Red Snake'

 

20 February 2008

 

 

New discoveries unearthed at an ancient frontier wall in Iran provide compelling evidence that the Iranians matched the Romans for military might and engineering prowess.

LONDON, (CAIS) -- The 'Great Wall of Gorgan'in north-eastern Iran, a barrier of awesome scale and sophistication, including over 30 military forts, an aqueduct, and water channels along its route, is being explored by an international team of archaeologists from Iran and the Universities of Edinburgh and Durham.

 

This vast Wall-also known as the 'Red Snake'- its foundation is old as the Great Wall of China, and longer than Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall put together.

 

Until recently, nobody knew which Iranian dynasty had built the Wall. Theories ranged from Cyrus the Great, in the 6th century BCE, to the Parthian emperors, or Sasanian dynasty's King of Kings Khosrow I in the 6th century CE. Most scholars favoured a 2nd or 1st century BCE construction, during the Parthian dynasty (248 BCE-224CE), but the scientific dating has now shown that the Wall was built in the 5th, or possibly, 6th century CE, by the Sasanian dynasty (224-651 CE). This Sasanians has created one of the most powerful empires in the ancient world, centred on Iran, and stretching from modern Iraq to southern Russia, Central Asia to Pakistan and Yemen.

 

Modern survey techniques and satellite images have revealed that the forts were densely occupied with military style barrack blocks. Numerous finds discovered during the latest excavations indicate that the frontier bustled with life. Researchers estimate that some 30,000 soldiers could have been stationed at this Wall alone. It is thought that the 'Red Snake'was a defence system against the White Huns, who lived in Central Asia.

 

Eberhard Sauer, of the University of Edinburgh's School of History, Classics and Archaeology, said: “Our project challenges the traditional Euro-centric world view. At the time, when the Western Roman Empire was collapsing and even the Eastern Roman Empire was under great external pressure, the Sasanian Persian Empire mustered the manpower to build and garrison a monument of greater scale than anything comparable in the west. The Persians seem to match, or more than match, their late Roman rivals in army strength, organisational skills, engineering and water management.”

 

The research is published in the new edition of Current World Archaeology and the periodical Iran, Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies 45.

 

 

 

Extracted From/Source*: Science Daily

 

*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, students and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.

 

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