Archaeologist says newest Ecbatana excavations yielded ‘satisfying’ results

July 19, 2020 - 18:28

TEHRAN – Senior Iranian archaeologist Mehrdad Malekzadeh has said results of the 22nd archaeological season recently conducted on the ancient city of Ecbatana in west-central Iran were “satisfying”.

“It seems that the 22nd season of excavations has led to significant achievements and cultural elements about the Median period, 37 years after the excavations began at the site, and after six decades of choosing the location of Tepe Hegmataneh in a historical section of the present city of Hamedan,” CHTN quoted Malekzadeh, who led the 22nd season, as saying on Sunday.

Ecbatana is widely believed to be once the capital of Medes, an ancient city on the site of which stands the modern city of Hamadan in west-central Iran. Ecbatana was subsequently the summer residence of the Achaemenian kings and one of the residences of the Parthian kings. According to ancient Greek writers, the city was founded in about 678 BC by Deioces, who was the first king of the Medes.

“In the 22nd season, we succeeded to discover remnants of a rampart tower in a location we expected before through a trench carved based on the topography of the hill and our studies…. One of the most important potteries we found is called the known 'Median bowl' which dates back to late Iron Age,” Malekzadeh explained.

The 70-day archaeological season came to an end late in June aimed at exploring and re-examining the stratigraphy of the hill, to shed new light on its lowest layers which are deemed to be related to the [early] settlement on Hegmataneh hill and the foundation of its [ruined] fortress and towers.

Ecbatana is deemed to be remaining a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, for decades or even centuries to come as the site of the ancient city lies partly within the modern city of Hamadan, which has never been excavated before.

According to ancient Greek writers, Ecbatana was founded in about 678 BC by Deioces, who was the first king of the Medes. The city was subsequently the summer residence of the Achaemenian kings and one of the residences of the Parthian kings. It is deemed to be remaining a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, for decades or even centuries to come as the site of the ancient city lies partly within the modern city of Hamadan, which has never been excavated before.

The Greek historian Herodotus described the city in the 5th century BC as being surrounded by seven concentric walls. Ecbatana was captured from the Median ruler Astyages by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, and it was taken from the last Achaemenian ruler by Alexander the Great in 330 BC.

AFM/MG

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