Italian conference to focus on Iran’s Burnt City

April 7, 2007
TEHRAN -- Iran’s 5200-year-old Burnt City will be one of the main subjects of the 19th International Conference on Southern Asian Archaeology, which will be held at Italy’s Ravenna University in July.

“The conference is held biennially and this year’s conference will allocate a day to the Burnt City,” Mansur Sajjadi, the director of the team of archaeologists working at the Burnt City, told the Persian service of CHN on Friday.

“Since the subject has been discussed in previous conferences, the Burnt City has become the highlight of the event,” he added.

Foreign archaeologists Michèle Casanova, Loredana Costantini-Biasini, Loredana Mugavero, Mateo Delledonne, Lorenzo Constantini, and Kirsi Lorentz along with Iranian experts Sajjadi, Ruhollah Shirazi, Mohammad Zaruri, and Farzad Foruzanfar will be giving lectures on the ancient metropolis during the conference.

Sajjadi will give a lecture on the results of the latest excavations, and Shirazi will talk about the marble stones found during the 1997-2004 excavations.

Sajjadi, Zaruri, Foruzanfar, and Costantini-Biasini will be talking on the subject of the 4800-year-old artificial eye discovered in December 2006.

In addition, Casanova and Mugavero will make speeches about luxury artifacts and pottery works found at the site.

Lorenzo Constantini will lecture on the restoration of the Burnt City’s architecture while Lorentz will talk about how the ancient inhabitants used their teeth as tools for things other than eating.

Textiles, gifts, diet, and other cultural aspects of the ancient site will also be discussed during the conference.

Nine seasons of excavations have been carried out at the Burnt City, which is located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

Archaeologists have discovered many artifacts including a 10-centimeter ruler with an accuracy of half a millimeter in the ruins of the ancient city.

They have also unearthed an earthenware bowl at the site which experts believe has the world’s oldest ‘animated’ picture depicted around it.

Covering an area of 150 hectares, the site was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. It was built circa 3200 BC and destroyed some time around 2100 BC.

The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after the last time it burnt down, it has been named the Burnt City.