The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- A team of Iranian archaeologists began the
second season of excavation at the northern mound of the 7500-year-old Sialk
site near the central city of Kashan last week.
“This part is the very village, which we
believe is Iran’s and even the world’s most ancient village. Thus we are
carrying out our studies in the line with last year’s research on the ancient
strata,” team director Mohammad-Hassan Fazeli Nashli told the Persian service
of CHN on Tuesday.
He is also the director the Archaeological
Research Centre of Iran.
A 170-centimeter wall comprising 13
courses of mud bricks was discovered during the first season of the new
excavations, carried out by a joint Iranian and British archaeological team in
2008. It is one of the earliest examples of ancient Iranian architecture.
The second season of excavations will run
for a month at the site.
Prior to the new seasons of studies, the
Sialk Tappeh had been excavated by Iranian archaeologist Sadeq Malek Shahmirzad,
whose studies were published in a five-volume book.
The cultural strata in the northern mound
of Sialk are about 14 meters thick. A number of stone, pottery and copper
artefacts as well as seashells have been found there during previous research
Some graves have also been discovered in
an ancient house unearthed from the mound during the previous excavation.
Located in the suburbs of the city of
Kashan, Sialk Tappeh was excavated for the first time by French archaeologist
Roman Ghirshman and his team in 1933 and then again in 1934 and 1937.
Sialk Tappeh, believed to be the world’s
oldest ziggurat, consists of two mounds known as northern and southern Sialk,
which are located about 600 meters apart. The artefacts unearthed in the
northern mound are more ancient than those of the southern one.
As early as 3200 BCE, inhabitants of Sialk
used a type of script known as proto-Elamite, whose signs combined pictograms
and numerals. Sialk was eventually abandoned at the end of the Iron Age, before
the advent of the first Iranian dynasty, the Medes.
Recent studies by Iranian archaeologists indicate that the first houses were built at the Sialk site about 7500 years ago.
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