Evidence pushes back history of human presence in Masuleh to late Bronze Age

October 2, 2021 - 20:46

TEHRAN – A series of newly-found archaeological evidence indicates the history of human presence in Masuleh and its surrounding mountains in northern Iran dates back to the late Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), which is extremely older than previously believed.

“According to archaeologists, new findings show that human beings resided in these highlands seasonally, at least since the late Bronze Age,” ISNA quoted the director of Masuleh Cultural Heritage Research Center as saying on Saturday.

“Other findings date back to the eras of Iron Age I (1500-1100 BC), Iron Age III (800-500 BC), Parthian (247 BC to 224 CE), Buyid (943–1029 CE), Seljuk (1043–1051 CE) and Ilkhanid (1306–1335 CE),” Mohammad Sanai added.

The survey was carried out as part of a preliminary process to compile an all-inclusive dossier for the touristic village to be presented to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Masuleh is famed for its Lego-shaped earthen houses built on another’s rooftop.

The archaeological survey was carried out under the direction of Fereidoun Biglari, a senior researcher at the National Museum of Iran, on the mountain ranges in the core and buffer zones of Masuleh in the Gilan province. It revealed remains of late prehistoric, historic, and Islamic times on highlands top above 2500 meters above sea level.

According to Biglari, the discovery of stone artifacts on these highlands indicates that the area was seasonally visited by prehistoric human groups. He added that archaeological evidence found in other parts of Gilan, such as Darband Rashi Cave, shows that the western half of the Alborz range has been inhabited by Paleolithic hunter-gatherer groups, since the Lower Paleolithic period.

“Therefore, considering the existence of numerous caves and suitable stone raw resources in the study area, we expect to find more definitive archaeological evidence of the Paleolithic occupation of the Masuleh region,” Biglari explained.

Masuleh is pretty, composed of some yellowish houses which disappear behind the mist during the early morning hours. Being the most visited stepped village in Iran, Masuleh has all types of opinions. On the one hand, the most well-traveled backpackers will tell you that Masuleh is not worth the journey unless you don’t mind eating in overpriced restaurants or trying to bargain ridiculous fares with taxi drivers. On the other hand, less demanding travelers will tell you that Masuleh is such a lovely village which you can’t miss.

Close to the peak, the landscape turns from misty forests to vast green, gorgeous meadows covered in blankets of flowers, a stream, and a few more shepherd shacks, like in a fairy tale. Visitors can find both expensive hotels and budget guesthouses. To find a homestay, you just need to walk around town and someone will approach you.


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