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Iranian and French Experts Team up for Archaeogeophysical Studies at Pasargadae


15 March 2008



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  Aerial view of Pasargadae Acropolis and Fortification (Click to enlarge)

LONDON, (CAIS) -- A joint team of Iranian and French experts have recently resumed archaeogeophysical studies in the ancient city of Pasargadae in Iran’s southern Fars Province.


The studies, which constitute a new joint endeavour on the part of the Archaeological Research Centre of Iran, the Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation and France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), aim to make new demarcations for the city of Pasargadae and will also entail in-depth research on the first Achaemenid dynastic capital.    


“These studies are more significant than previous projects,” Iranian team director Kurosh Mohammadkhani told the Persian service of CHN on Saturday.


“In the past research has centred on the constructions used for imperial activities, but this joint team plans to survey the areas around the those structures by using archaeogeophysical methods,” he added.


The team is also scheduled to scrutinise the Achaemenid irrigation system located on the Morghab plain and, in addition, to examine an ancient stone canal linked to a small dam near the village of Shahidābād. The investigation will also verify the materials, which include limestone, used in the main structure of the canal and the type of braces used to hold the sections together, he explained.


It is hoped that the fieldwork will shed light on whether the water barrier is an Achaemenid structure or a relic of subsequent eras. The team also plans to determine precisely how the canal functioned and its original purpose, Mohammadkhani noted.


In this collaborative project, which is considered as the sixth season of archaeogeophysical studies, the CNRS team led by Rémy Boucharlat comprises a number of experts from the Université Lumière Lyon 2.


The first season of research was undertaken in 1999.


Pasargadae, located in the mountain-ringed Morghab Plain of southwestern Iran at an elevation of 1,900m above sea level. Pasargadae was founded by Cyrus the Great soon after his conquest of Lydia (c. 547 BCE).


Early Achaemenid dynastic art and architecture took shape at Pasargadae and Cyrus the Great, founder of the first Persian Empire and the second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenids (550-330 BCE), was buried there.


While the name of the site is rendered as Batrakataš in the Elamite cuneiform of the Persepolis fortification tablets, the name in current usage derives from a Greek transliteration of an Old-Persian toponym of still-uncertain meaning.


The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) registered Pasargadae on the World Heritage List in 2004.






Information for this report was obtained from: Mehr News  [*]




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