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Monday, October 20, 2008
Iranian, Italian archaeologists excavating sites near Persepolis
Tehran Times Culture Desk
TEHRAN -- A team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists is currently excavating sites near Persepolis.
The joint team led by Professor Pierfrancesco Callieri of the University of Bologna and Alireza Asgari of Iran’s Parsa and Pasargadae Research Foundation (PPRF) plans to find more information about the architectural structure of the ancient city, PPRF director Mohammad-Hassan Talebian told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.
The excavations, which began in late September, are based on geophysical studies previously carried out by Iranian experts, he added.
Over the past few years, Callieri has previously worked on the Tall-e Takht fortress of Pasargadae and an Achaemenid era rural settlement during an earlier dig in the nearby Bolaghi Valley in Fars Province.
Persepolis was unearthed during excavations conducted by U.S. archaeologist Ernest Hertzfeld in 1910.
In 1979, the Achaemenid site was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
PPRF is compiling information on ancient sites adjacent to Persepolis in order to attach the dossier to the Persepolis document registered on the UNESCO’s list.
In conjunction with the plan, experts are currently studying Naqsh-e Rajab, Naqsh-e Rustam, Mount Rahmat, the Sassanid city of Istakhr, and several other ancient sites near Persepolis.
According to the latest studies carried out by Iranian archaeologists, Persepolis is much larger than previous surveys have indicated.
The Sassanid city of Estakhr is located on the outskirts of the 6000-year-old Mount Rahmat (also known as the Rahmatabad Tepe) near Persepolis in the Marvdasht region.
Mount Rahmat is home to the tombs of many Achaemenid and Sassanid princes and commanders.
Naqsh-e Rustam and Naqsh-e Rajab are located six kilometers north of Persepolis and have bas-reliefs dating back to the Elamite, Achaemenid, and Sassanid eras.