Genetic studies to shed new light on civilizations once flourished in Iranian plateau  

July 27, 2021 - 21:38

TEHRAN – A new round of genetic studies is expected to shed new light on human communities and ancient civilizations which were once flourished across the Iranian plateau.  

The Biodegradation Laboratory of Research Institute for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural and Historical Monuments in Tehran is slated to study the genetics of bone remains excavated from archaeological sites across Iran, CHTN reported. 

The project is aimed to determine the ethnicity and authenticity of ethnic groups in the Iranian plateau, Parastu Erfanmanesh, the head of the laboratory, said on Tuesday. 

Some samples, which will subject of the study, have been obtained from prominent discoveries made in Seymareh of Ilam, Gohar Tepe of Mazandaran, Kucheri Dam of Isfahan, as well as remaining connected with the famed Saltmen found in Chehrabad Salt Mine in Zanjan, she explained, CHTN reported. 

Human and animal bones discovered during archaeological excavations are very important for indicating the ethnicity of parts of a collection, while identification and preservation of these remains are very crucial, Erfanmanesh added.

Biotechnology, today, helps to solve many of society’s problems in different fields, including medicine, agriculture, the environment, and climatology, and has accelerated the development process in these scientific and research areas in some countries, she explained. 

To use it effectively, the first step is to identify and evaluate problems and needs, followed by setting research priorities across a range of scientific fields, she added. 

She also noted that conserving cultural values as well as recognizing the historical identity of each nation should be considered in every country and should be among the top priorities of relevant institutions.

Biological sciences can therefore answer many questions in ancient studies because their use is very practical in many fields, she mentioned. 

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, embracing settlements dating back to 4000 BC. It also hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural, rural landscapes as well as 24 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The name of Iran, formerly known as Persia, mostly conjures up the first Persian Empire, ruled by the Achaemenids (ca. 550 – 330 BC) and sites such as Pasargadae and Persepolis. However, there are tens of prehistorical sites as the Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchestan, Tepe Sialk in Kashan, Susa, and Tchogha Zanbil in the Khuzestan province, and Ecbatana in Hamedan which predate the Achaemenid period.

From a wider point of view, Iranian history can be divided into Pre-Islamic and Islamic eras. The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) that put an end to the mighty Sassanid Empire (224–651) was a turning point in the history of the nation.


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