New archaeological season begins at Tepe Sagz Abad

September 20, 2021 - 21:1

TEHRAN - A new round of archaeological excavation has recently commenced at a millennia-old cemetery situated in Tepe Sagz Abad in Buin Zahra county, Qazvin province, west-central Iran.

In the project, a detailed chronology and stratigraphy of the Iron Age cemetery will be provided in order to investigate burial practices and methods of the time, Mostafa Dehpahlavan who led the excavation project said on Monday.

Through previous excavations, 65 graves were uncovered, showing three types of burials, he added.

In all graves remains of animals such as goats, immature sheep, cows, camels, and horses were found, which points to the burial of animals alongside the human corpse, the archaeologist explained.

Other objects were also found in the graves, such as cylinder seals, metal ornaments, earthenware, and stone containers that date from the Iron Age, he mentioned.

He also noted that the current archaeological season is being carried out observing health protocols and social distancing rules.

In 2019, dozens of cylinder seals, which once belonged to Assyria, the kingdom of northern Mesopotamia were discovered in the cemetery.

Based on research on the spheres of physical anthropology, genetic, ancient zoology, and rare burial traditions, we obtained a shred of ample evidence that suggests cultural, political, and economic interactions of the inhabitants with remote areas of the western edge of the Iranian plateau, Dehpahlavan explained.

The historical site of Sagz Abad is one of the oldest archaeological sites in the whole world. It was mentioned by Venetian explorer and writer Marco Polo in the 13th century; however, it seems the site is much older as several Iron Age relics have been discovered during several excavations in the region.

Once the capital of the Persian Empire under Safavids from 1548-98, Qazvin is currently a major tourist destination with wonderfully restored historical sites, some quirky museums, and a handful of decent eating options.


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