Traces of metal smelting workshops discovered in ancient site northern Iran

July 2, 2022 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Archaeologists have found new traces of metal smelting workshops near the ancient town of Masuleh in Gilan province, northern Iran.

Further evidence concerning the (ruined) structures of metal smelting workshops has come to light in an excavation, which is currently underway near Masouleh, the provincial tourism chief Vali Jahani said on Saturday.

The official expressed hope to establish a site museum for showcasing those traditional metal smelting workshops and their associated cultural heritage in the near future, CHTN reported.

“It is the 3rd archaeological season being carried out here in Masuleh... Previous seasons, held in 1370 (1991) and 1391 (2012), yielded artifacts belonging to the fifth to eighth centuries AH, Jahani said.

The current excavation is aimed to discover fresh evidence of human life in the touristic Masouleh and its surrounding properties.

“Remains of residential buildings, smelting workshops, tools for the extraction and manufacture of metal objects (Challangari), and glazed potteries related to the Seljuk era (1037–1194) were found in previous excavations,” the official added.

“The present archaeological season seeks to obtain additional information about the approximate extent of Old Masuleh, to unearth ancient artifacts, and to explore possible reasons for the migration of its inhabitants to the current village.”

Available documents suggest the earthquake of 890 AH and the outbreak of the plague in 943 AH were possible reasons for the migration of the ancient people of Masoleh to the current location of this historic village, Jahani explained.

Newly-found archaeological evidence indicates the history of human presence in mountains near Masouleh dates back to the late Bronze Age (2000-1500 BC), which is extremely older than previously believed.

Archaeological research held last year concluded that human beings resided in these highlands seasonally, at least since the late Bronze Age. 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.

Iran is hoping to win UNESCO recognition for the ancient town, which is famed for its Lego-shaped earthen houses built on another’s rooftops. According to the UN cultural body, the existence of numerous graveyards inner and outside of the city proves its old texture.

Masouleh is one of the many stepped villages that are quite common to find around the country, especially in Iranian Kurdistan and around Mashhad. They have been built on a hill so steep that the roof of one house is the pathway for the next.

Surrounded by green valleys, misty forests, and 3,000m peaks, Masouleh is one of the ultimate trekking destinations in Iran, offering several trails that include both day treks and multi-day treks. 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.

AFM

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