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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Discovery of Large Number of Achaemenid Dynastic Sites in Markazi Province


05 March 2009



Khandab_Petrograph1WM.jpg (25614 bytes)

Khandab PetrographWM.jpg (54811 bytes)

Two of the Khandab Petrographs

(Click to enlarge)


LONDON, (CAIS) -- Survey of the town of Khandab in Markazi province, Iran, resulted in identification and discovery of over 80 sites and remains, the majority of which belonged to the Achaemenid dynasty, reported the Persian service of CHN on Wednesday.


This is the first time archaeologists have identified such historical sites as these, in the western sector of Markazi Province that dates to various historical periods, in particular the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE), said Ali Asadi, the director of archaeological research team in Khandab.


According to Asadi, archaeologists have discovered large numbers of Achaemenid pottery, similar to those were found in Fars province, which demonstrates that the area was a prosperous and an important area to the Achaemenid government.


This could also be confirmed through the geographical location of Sharā, since it is situated on the road which connects Fars to Ecbatana (modern Hamadān), another seat and one of the capitals of the Achaemenid dynasty. In addition, due to the large size of some the sites, perhaps we can speculate that they were a military base or governmental bases, said Asadi.


He announced that the evidences of post-Sasanian to middle-Ages settlements were also discovered in the area, including glazed pottery.


In addition to Khandab, he mentioned about the Dehestān-Sang village, which was included in their survey. With regard to pre-historical petrographs around Khandab he said dating them are very difficult, but due to their abundance scattered around the area they are worth cataloguing.


Asadi concluded “after completing the survey and archaeological works, we’ll have a better understanding of the history of Markazi Province.”




The town of Khandāb is part of an area known to locals as Sharā, is located at the mouth of Sharā River (also known as Qareh-Chāi). The Sharā River after flowing to Hamadan Province returns to Markazi and then ends up in Hoz-Soltān lake in Qom province.


Apart from Khandāb, other main towns in the area are Gurzār, Javersīyān, Sang-Sefid, Ostoveh, Anāj and Deh-chāl. All these towns are located in the vicinity of the Sharā river apart from Sang-Sefid which is situated in a mountains area and 10 kilometres away from the river.


In Khandāb there is a mountain called Shāh-Zendeh/Shāhzand or Kuh-Shāh in short, contains a cave known as Kay-Khosrow, which is sacred to locals and Zoroastrian community.


According to the local folklore, legendary Kay-Khosrow, the mythical King of Kayānid dynasty disappeared in this cave after renouncing his kingship. He was an ascetic and altruistic king who did not like the kingship and its ceremonies – and before giving up his kingship in favour of Lohrāsp, he distributed his treasures between his needy, widows, orphans and blind subjects.


According to locals his soul is still alive in the cave; hence the name of the mountain is the Shāh-Zendeh/Shāhzand (alive king).





Portions of this news have been excerpted from Persian service of CHN and translated and modified by CAIS. [*]




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