Experts to excavate pre-Elamite site in southwestern Iran

November 10, 2009

TEHRAN -- Thirty-three years after the first excavation on the Zebarjad Tepe, an Iranian archaeological team is scheduled to return to the pre-Elamite site in the Izeh region of Khuzestan Province.

The new season of excavation will be conducted by Abbas Moaqaddam, Izeh Cultural Heritage Center Jafar Mehrkian told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.
No precise date was mentioned for the excavation.
“Zebarjad and the Sabz-Ali Tepe of the region were the sites wherein some training courses were held for archaeology students,” he added.
“About 33 years ago, a group of today’s prominent Iranian archaeologists, who wanted to be employed by the archaeology center at that time, conducted the first season of excavation on Zebarjad under the supervision of (the American anthropologist) Henry T. Wright,” he explained.
After that first season, no further excavations were conducted on either of the two mounds and both had similar fates, he said.
According to Mehrkian, the Sabz-Ali Tepe was annexed by the Water and Electricity Organization and was hidden behind a fence built by the organization.
“The Zebarjad Tepe has also been entangled in urban construction projects,” he explained.
------Zebarjad Tepe workshop------
The Zebarjad Tepe had been used as a workshop location for yesterday’s Iranian students who are today’s prominent Iranian experts.
The mound was first dug in 1976 by a team of Iranian students of archaeology led by Henry T. Wright, a professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan.
The students had previously completed a three-month course working on ancient sites of Sagzabad, Qabrestan, and Zagheh in the Qazvin plain. However, the director of the archaeology center of the time believed that the course fell short of the standards required for employment.
As a result, the center asked Wright to select another site for additional coursework for the students. Wright chose the Izeh region.
Iranian archaeologists Mansur Seyyed-Sajjadi, Esmaeil Yaghmaii, Elaheh Shahi, Esmaeil Banaii, Shahin Atefi and several other experts had accompanied Wright in the course held at the Zebarjad Tepe of Izeh.
“Wright selected the sites of Zebarjad and Sabz-Ali for their importance, which is still remains,” Mehrkian said.
The Zebarjad Tepe dates back to the Uruk period (ca. 4000-3100 BC), which existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to the early Bronze Age period in Mesopotamia.