|Tappeh Noush-e Jaan, a puzzling Iron Age settlement||
The ancient Iron Age settlement known as Tappeh Noush-e Jaan is located 50 kilometers south of Hamedan. It is often described as a Median town, and perhaps rightly so. However, there is a problem.
According to written sources, the Medes were masters of large parts of Iran and Turkey. However, it has been impossible to link the objects to the Median era, Livius.org wrote.
The empire of the Medes is not an archeological fact, but exists only as something mentioned by Herodotus and texts based on this entertaining Greek author, like the Biblical book of Daniel.
A possible explanation for this discrepancy is that the Medians remained nomadic, and Herodotus has projected aspects of the Achaemenid Empire--a real, fully developed state--backwards.
Yet, there must have been a Median civilization, and it must have looked like Tappeh Noush-e Jaan, which was excavated in 1967-74 and has been made accessible more recently.
The complex was erected out of mud brick and consisted: a multi-storied fort with heavy walls and large store rooms; several palace-like rooms, called the “old western building”; a hall measuring 20x16 square meters with 12 columns (which the excavators have playfully labeled ‘Apadana’); a water tunnel that started in the hall, and finally a cross-shaped building that has been interpreted as a fire sanctuary, probably the oldest example of this type of building. The 14th century date suggests that it was built in 723 BC.
The buildings were erected in the second half of the eighth century and stood on a high, partly natural hill (not unlike contemporary Urartian Iron Age settlements, Chavustape).
No traces of a village have been identified near Tappeh Noush-e Jaan, which confirms that the inhabitants were nomads; the building of the complex appears to have been something of an innovation. Assyrian pressure may have been the reason for building the fort.
The site was abandoned at the beginning of the sixth century. Possibly, the summit was used as a lookout post during the Achaemenid age and--after a second gap--during the first century BC.
The walls of the complex are almost eight meters high. Because they are situated on a hill that rises about 37 meters above the fertile plain, Tappeh Noush-e Jaan is easy to see from the Hamedan-Malayer Road.
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