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March 22    Scripture

Ancient Persia: Archaeology & Sites
Expeditions, discoveries, reliefs and finds from the Ancient Persians

29 Achaemenid Governmental Seats Archeologists in Search of 29 Achaemenid Governmental Seats. By Soudabeh Sadigh. Discovery of one of 30 governmental seats in Nourabad Mamasani, Fars province, which were constructed during Achaemenid dynastic era has encouraged archeologists to undertake further excavations on the ancient path of Persepolis to Susa to find the other 29 centers.
http://www.payvand.com/news/07/mar/1022.html


Achaemenid Archaeology - History & Method of Research The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) IRANIAN ART & ARCHAEOLOGY: ACHAEMENID DYNASTY By: Professor David Stronach. Patterns of discovery. While outside Iran the Bible, the Histories of Herodotus, and a host of other early sources served to preserve a knowledge of the conquests of Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great, in Iran itself all accurate memory of Achaemenid achievement was lost for many centuries. From 1474 onward, early travelers to Iran reported (and on occasion took leave to doubt) the popular belief that the still-intact fabric of Cyrus's tomb represented the "tomb of the mother of Solomon" (A. Gabriel, Die Erforscltung Persiens,Vienna, 1952, pp. 49f.). There matters largely stood until 1802, when G. F. Grotefend, working from the first accurate copies of the cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis, was able to identify them as records left by the Achaemenid kings (cf. C. F. C. Hoeck, Veteris Mediae et Persiae monuments, Gottingen, 1818, p.56.). Similarly, as late as 1818 R. Ker Porter found the relief of Cyrus the Great at Bisotnn to depict a "king of Assyria and the Medes" before captive "representatives of the Ten Tribes" (Travels in Georgia, Persia, Armenia, Ancient Babylonia during the Years 1817, 1818, 1819, and 1820 1, London, 1821, pp. 507f.). H. C. Rawlinson was the first to reach the relief and to begin to copy its adjacent trilingual inscriptions something only accomplished with the aid of ropes-in 1835. But from this moment onward progress was rapid: Barely ten years were to pass before Rawlinson had completed his translation of most of the Old Persian version of Darius the Great' inscription (H. C. Rawlinson, "The Persian Cuneiform Inscription at Behistun, Decyphered and Translated...," JRAS 10, 1847-48, pp. xxvii-xxxix).
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/Hakhamaneshian/achaemenid_archaeology.htm


Achaemenid city ruins found in Iran Archeologists have discovered the ruins of an Achaemenid city during excavations in the southern city of Nourabad Mamasani in Iran.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=39054§ionid=351020105


Achaemenid Remains in Parthian City In Search of Achaemenid Remains in Parthian City. While looking for evidence of the Median civilization in Ecbatana historic hill in Hamadan, remains of the Parthian civilization were discovered. New season of excavations in this ancient hill will focus on the rich civilizations of the Parthians and the Achaemenids. Last year, archeologists started their excavations in the historic Ecbatana (Hegmataneh) hill in Iran's Hamedan province, looking for evidence of Median civilization which is believed to have populated this area sometime between 728 BC and 550 BC. Instead, excavations in the lower layers of this hill resulted in the discovery of a number of historic remains which archeologists believe to have belonged to the Parthian Empire (248 BC"AD 224) and surprisingly no single evidence from the Medians was found, making archeologists suspicious of the existence of the Medians in this hill at all.
http://www.payvand.com/news/06/nov/1033.html


Ancient Iran Site Map Oriental Institute This first installment of the Oriental Institute Map Series presents seven Site Maps covering the ancient Near East (Egypt, Sudan, The Levant, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran), locating primary archaeological sites, modern cities, and river courses set against a plain background. They enlarge to 300 dpi. Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/lab/map/maps/iran.html


Ancient Salt Cured Man Found in Iranian Mine National Geographic News. Another "natural mummy" the sixth so far" has emerged in Iran's Chehrabad Salt Mine, archaeologists say. The individual, who was naturally mummified by the preserving properties of salt over the past 1,800 years, was recently exposed when heavy rains pounded the salt mine. The functioning mine is located in the Hamzehlu region near Zanjan, a northwestern Iranian province. Scientists believe the man was a Roman Empire-era salt mine worker killed by falling rocks during an earthquake. Scientific Treasure Trove. Five other "salt men" have been found in the mine in recent years. They range in date from the Achaemenid period (539 to 333 B.C.) to the Sasanian era (A.D. 240 to 640).
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070703-salt-man.html


Archaeological Sites in Iran
http://www.shortopedia.com/A/R/Archaeological_sites_in_Iran


Archaeology of Ancient Iran Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies. Articles on ancent Iranian art, archaeology and architecture.
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/archaeology_of_ancient_iran.htm


Bolaghi Gorge Bolaghi-Gorge the Biggest Archaeological Salvage Operation in Iran. Bolaghi Gorge is to be immersed under water once the Sivand Dam is inundated, however, its salvation project, the biggest one in the history of Iran's archaeological activities, has engaged the presence of several archaeological teams from 8 countries and spending of hundreds of thousands dollars. Day-in-day-out excavations in every inch of the site all through the year and the domestic and international efforts in King Road have made the project a global one, which represents the crucial importance of the site and its Achaemenid artifacts.
http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2005/October2005/04-10-05c.htm


British Institute of Persian Studies: Susa Archaeological Site, Susa (Biblical Shushan also Greek: ΣÎ λεÏ?χεια, transliterated as Seleukeia or Seleukheia; Latin Seleucia ad Eulaeum; modern Shush, coordinates: 32.18922° N 48.25778° E empires of ) was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian Iran, located about 150 miles east of the Tigris River in Khuzestan province of Iran. As well as being an archaeological site, Susa is also a lively village due to the devotion of Shi'a Muslims and the Persian Jewish community for the prophet Daniel.
http://www.bips.ac.uk/sites/Susa


Eastern Porch of Darius' Palace Discovered in Bolaghi Gorge By Soudabeh Sadigh. Following the discovery of black plinths, archeologists succeeded in pinpointing the location of the eastern porch of a palace denoted to Achaemenid King Darius the Great, found recently in Bolaghi Gorge, Fars province. In continuation of their excavations in area number 34 of the historic site of Bolaghi Gorge where evidence of a palace denoted to Achaemenid Emperor Darius the Great (549-486 BC) had previously been discovered, Iranian and French archeologists succeeded in discovering the eastern porch of the palace.
http://www.payvand.com/news/07/mar/1100.html


Excavations at Chogha Bonut Oriental Institute " Excavations at Chogha Bonut: The Earliest Vilage in Susiana, Iran. By Abbas Alizadeh, Research Associate. The Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. The University of Chicago. The political upheavals in Iran in 1978/79 interrupted the process of momentous discoveries of the beginning of village life in lowland Susiana. The Oriental Institute excavations at Chogha Mish (recently published by the Oriental Institute Publications Office) not only provided a long uninterrupted sequence of prehistoric Susiana, but also yielded evidence of cultures much earlier than what had been previously known, pushing back the date of human occupation on the plain for at least one millennium. The work of Helene Kantor and Pinhas Delougaz at Chogha Mish, the largest early fifth-millennium site, added the Archaic period to the already well-established Susiana prehistoric sequence. The sophistication of the artifacts and architecture of even the earliest phase of the Archaic period showed that there must have been a stage of cultural development antecedent to the successful adaptation of village life in southwestern Iran, but surveys and excavations had failed to reveal such a phase in that region.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/nn/spr97_alizadeh.html


Funerary Sites Excavations of Bronze Age Funerary Sites in Arran Province (Nowadays Republic of Azerbaijan). By: G. Goscharly, D. Maynard, R. Moore & N. Musei. A number of archaeological sites are being excavated in advance of construction of the BTC pipeline in former Iranian province of Arran today known as the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Baku and British archaeologists are conducting the work. Up to the end of 2003, two sites had been completed: a kurgan burial mound in Goranboy Region and a cemetery at Zayamchai in Shamkir Region. Both sites are of Bronze Age date, although there is evidence of later use. Approximately 20 other sites have been examined during 2004.
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/Pre-History/zayamachi_cemetry.htm


ISTAKHR, THE ISLAMIC CITY MOUND Oriental Institute Photographic Archives. The large mound of the Islamic city of Istakhr lies five kilometers north of Persepolis at the end of the Pulvar Valley, where it opens into the plain of Marv Dasht. The exact date of the founding of Istakhr is not known. Historical and archaeological evidence points to the importance of the city in Sasanian and Islamic times (beginning of the third century to the end of the ninth century A.D.) and to its prominence as a fire sanctuary of the goddess Anahita. Istakhr suffered extensive damage and capitulated to the Arabs in 648 A.D. When Shiraz was founded in 684 A.D., Istakhr was finally replaced as capital of the province of Fars.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/collections/pa/persepolis/istakhr.html


Mamasani Archaeological Project (Iran) The Mamasani Archaeological Project is a collaborative fieldwork expedition directed by Professor D.T. Potts (University of Sydney), Mr. K. Roustaei (2003-2005, Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research), and Mr. Alireza Asgari Chaverdi (2006-present, ICAR). The project is investigating the Mamasani district in the highlands of Fars in southwest Iran. Mamasani lies strategically on the route between the ancient highland and lowland capitals of successive early states that existed in the region, notably Elam and Persia, and is critical in understanding their origins and development. The Mamasani Archaeological Project developed from a wider survey in SW Iran undertaken by D.T. Potts, K. Roustaei, Dr. C.A Petrie (Cambridge University) and Dr. Lloyd Weeks in November 2002.
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/archaeology/research/scape_mamasani.php


Median Archaeology: History and Method of Research By: Professor David Stronach. The rise of the Medes and the Achaemenids, the first and second Iranian dynasties was in part a product of changes that took place far beyond the bounds of the ancient kingdoms of the Near East. The establishment of Indo-European populations on the steppe lands west of the Tien Shan, followed by the emergence of pastoral economies based on horse riding, served to bring successive waves of invaders into more fertile lands to the south. At least as early as 2000 BCE, the long-established Bronze Age settlements located southeast of the Caspian Sea became subject to external attack, and anywhere from five hundred to a thousand years later the main body of the Iranian tribes can be presumed to have established themselves on the upland plateau that today bears their name. Among such invaders it was the Medes of Iranian stock, close cousins of the Persians, who assumed the dominant role in the early 1st millennium BCE.
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/median_archaeology.htm


Persepolis and Ancient Iran Oriental Institute. Catalog of Expedition Photographs. This document is a catalog of 999 photographs contained in an Oriental Institute text/microfiche publication entitled Persepolis and Ancient Iran. With an introduction by Ursula Schneider, former Oriental Institute photographer, it presents a comprehensive survey of archaeological sites in the environs of Persepolis.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/collections/pa/persepolis/


Persepolis Terrace Architecture, Reliefs, And Finds " Oriental Institute Photographic Archives. The magnificent palace complex at Persepolis was founded by Darius the Great around 518 B.C., although more than a century passed before it was finally completed. Conceived to be the seat of government for the Achaemenian kings and a center for receptions and ceremonial festivities, the wealth of the Persian empire was evident in all aspects of its construction. The splendor of Persepolis, however, was short-lived; the palaces were looted and burned by Alexander the Great in 331"330 B.C. The ruins were not excavated until the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago sponsored an archaeological expedition to Persepolis and its environs under the supervision of Professor Ernst Herzfeld from 1931 to 1934, and Erich F. Schmidt from 1934 to 1939.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/collections/pa/persepolis/persepolis.html


Post-Achaemenid Archaeology History & Method of Research. The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) IRANIAN ART & ARCHAEOLOGY: Post-Achaemenid Period By: K. Schippmann. Very few monuments from this period have been discovered in Iran, and probably none from the time of Alexander the Great, though it has been argued by H. Luschey that the long known life-size stone lion of Hamadân was erected by Alexander as a cenotaph for his male-lover Hephaiston, who died suddenly at the games held in Ecbâtânâ in 324 BCE (A MI, N. F. I , 1968, pp. 115ff.). The only other monument which could perhaps be attributed to the Alexandrian period is the town of Ai Khanum (Ay Xânom, q...v.) in the east of Greater-Iran, in what is today known as Afghanistan. P. Bernard, who excavated the site from 1964, does not rule out this possibility, though he is more inclined to date the foundation of the town from the reign of Seleucus I (312-281 BCE) (Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1971, pp. 450f.; MDAFA 21, 1973; Comptes Rendus, 1975, pp. 167ff.)...The famous capital of this Greco-Bactrian kingdom, Bactra, modern Balkh, might also date to Alexander, however, the few excavations carried out there have produced no evidence concerning the post)Qxhqe,enid period, and no firm conclusions can be drawn (A. Foucher, MDAFA 1, 1942, pp. 98ff.; J.-C. Gardin, MDAFA 15, 1957).
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/Post_Achaemenids/post_achaemenid_archaeology.htm


Pre-Achaemenid Vilage Discovered in Iran Discovery of a village belonging to the pre-Achaemenid period in Gandab historical site in Semnan province has stunned archeologists. Considering the existence of a 1.5-hecatare cemetery in the area, archeologists believe that about 100 families might have lived in this historical village during the Iron Age III. "Discovery of a village belonging to more than 2500 years ago in Gandab historical site was absolutely surprising. Archeological excavations in the region resulted in unearthing a residential settlement area 500x300 square meter in size which is likely to span over more than one hectare area once its boundaries are determined," said Siamak Sarlak, head of archeology team of the third season of excavations in the ancient cemeteries of Gandab and Kharand.
http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2006/October2006/29-10-pre.htm


Save the Archaeological Sites of Pasargad Archaeological Committee to Save the Archaeological Sites of Pasargad
http://www.savepasargad.com/european_languages.htm


Temple of Anahita at Kangavar On the road traveling from Tehran toward the city of Kermanshah "Bakhtaran," one passes through the valley of Asad-abad. In small town of Kangavar, ruins of a majestic historic site start to appear right by the roadside. The site is known as the Temple of Anahita, built by Achaemenian Emperor Ardeshir II (Artaxerxes II), 404 BC to 359 BC. Kangavar was mentioned by the Greek geographer Isidore of Charax in the first century AD, under the name of Konkobar in ancient province of Egbatana; its name may be derived from the Avestan Kanha-vara, 'enclosure of Kanha'.
http://www.vohuman.org/SlideShow/Anahita%20Kangavar/Anahita-00.htm


The Burnt City, a Great Civilization in a Small Desert By: Nastaran Zafar Ardalan. Abstract: The Burnt City in eastern Iran dates back to 5,000 years ago and is spread in an area of 150 hectares. In its life span of 1100 years, the Burnt City has been witness to four civilization eras. It was unearthed in the year 1915. The area, 56 km from the city of Zabol in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, is the place that is known by some local people as the "region of bandits" but in fact far from any wickedness, it is the place where our past history has taken shape. The place is the "Burnt City", a land that has come from 5000-years ago, and has opened up its secrets to archaeologists to enable them to reveal its magnificence to the contemporary generation.
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archaeology/Pre-History/burnt_city.htm


The Persian Expedition - Oriental Institute During the winter of 1930-31, the Oriental Institute organized a Persian Expedition to conduct excavations in the largely unexplored mountainous regions east and southeast of the Mesopotamian plain. James Henry Breasted requested, and was granted, a concession to excavate the remains of Persepolis, an Achaemenid royal administrative center in the province of Fars. Thanks to an anonymous benefactress, work started the same year under the direction of Ernst Herzfeld, Professor of Oriental Archaeology at the University of Berlin. Herzfeld served as director of the Persian Expedition until the end of 1934, when he was succeeded by Erich Schmidt, who continued to excavate in the region until 1939.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/projects/per/


The Prehistoric Mound Of Tall-i-Bakun Oriental Institute Photographic Archives. Three kilometers south of Persepolis, in the plain of Marv Dasht, lies the prehistoric site of Tall-i-Bakun, consisting of two flat hillocks. Here in 1928, Ernst Herzfeld, of the University of Berlin, decided to undertake a trial excavation of the western mound, where he had previously discovered many prehistoric sherds Iying about on the ground. Later, in 1932, he conducted more extensive excavations, subsequently continued by Erich F. Schmidt (1935"37).
http://oi.uchicago.edu/museum/collections/pa/persepolis/bakun.html


The Tall-e-Bakun Project Report Tall-e Bakun is a twin site located in the fertile Marv Dasht plain of Fars, near Persepolis, the Achaemenid ceremonial capital. Bakun has played a prominent role in the understanding of the prehistory of Fars, partly because it was the first large-scale excavation of a prehistoric mound there, and primarily for the richness of its finds.
http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/projects/bak/


Underwater Archaeology in Iran As evidenced by archeological documents, the ancient city of Kish, the wall of the ancient city of Gorgan, Takht-e Suleiman and part of the Portuguese Castle are submerged in Iran's coastal waters. Although Iran's underwater archeological activities are over half a century old, this topic is yet to be treated in a suitable manner.
http://www.iranian.ws/cgi-bin/iran_news/exec/view.cgi/2/4325


Urban Planning Used in Dahaneh Gholaman 2500 Years Ago. Dahaneh Gholaman. CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS. Studies on the precise architecture and great harmony in the design of the Achaemenid era city of Dahaneh Gholaman indicate that it was constructed based on urban planning, the director of the Iranian archaeological team working in the region and at the 5200-year-old Burnt City said on Saturday."No architectural plan for a city in any ancient site in the world, and particularly prehistoric sites, has ever been observed until the Achaemenid era. In fact, the sites had been small villages which had grown into cities due to an increase of the population, but the stratigraphy studies and research carried out by Iranian and Italian archaeologists indicate that this city had been constructed based on preplanning with precise and unique architecture," Mansur Sajjadi added.
http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2005/february2005/26-02.htm


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