French, German archaeologists expected to resume excavations in northeast Iran

April 10, 2021 - 18:53

TEHRAN – The tourism chief of Iran’s North Khorasan has announced plans to resume several excavations across the northeastern province using the expertise of archaeological teams from France and Germany.

“Joint archaeological excavations with German archaeologists are planned to resume across Tepe Rivi if the coronavirus situation allows,” ILNA quoted Habib Yazdanpanah as saying on Saturday.

“Moreover, we have are perusing to restart work on the historical town of Faruj with the presence of French archaeologists,” the official said.

Last October, experts from the Louvre and the University of Tehran were granted a license to conduct a new round of excavation on the ancient town of Faruj. “Experts from the University of Tehran and the Louvre museum in Paris will conduct a new season of archeological excavation in the ruined city of Faruj with a permit obtained from the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage & Tourism,” according to Iranian archaeologist Meysam Labbaf-Khaniki.

In the same year, experts from the Louvre and the University of Tehran unearthed the ramparts and towers of an ancient fortress, believed to date from the times of Parthians (247 BC – 224 CE) in Viran-Shahr near Faruj.

Furthermore, teams of Iranian and German archaeologists have completed several archaeological seasons across Tepe Rivi, which has so far revealed magnificent remains of the Bronze Age up to the Sassanid period.

Archaeological research works in Rivi started in 2012. Since then archaeologists accessed remains of settlements from the Bronze and Iron Age, the Achaemenid, the Parthian, the Sassanid dynasties, and the early Islamic period.

The previous rounds of research had been hired various experts in archeology, geography, geophysics, geomorphology, and ecology who took part from the [Ludwig Maximilian] University of Munich; the [Free] University of Berlin; the University of Tehran; and Shahid Beheshti University, the report said.

Based on the studies, various architectural and archaeological evidence from the Parthian and the Sassanid era were discovered in the Rivi site, which is situated in Maneh-Samalqan county of modern North Khorasan.

The evidence, according to Mohammad-Javad Jafari who headed the fifth season of archaeological excavation at Rivi site, indicates the sequence of settlement in the area in the aftermath of the Achaemenid era, according to the Archaeology News Network.

In 2019, several historical clay stamps, estimated to date from the Achaemenid and Parthian eras, were discovered in the ancient site. “The seals were found alongside clay urns in a large hall and the seals are imprinted in a variety of geometric patterns [depicting] plants, animals, and human figures. Studying the findings can yield valuable information on the economy, culture, and arts of the ancient societies,” Jafari said.

“These stamps represent the widespread and complicated economic relations that people of the time had with other communities in such a way that made them bring together and store goods.” Evidence suggests that residents of this area sealed the urns that were loaded with particular goods then tied them with ropes, the archaeologist said.

The history of Khorasan stretches back to very ancient times. It was part of the Achaemenian Empire of the 6th to 4th century BC and the Parthian empire, which spanned from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century CE.


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