Iron Age earthenware restored in Semnan laboratory

January 17, 2023 - 22:49

TEHRAN – A number of ancient earthenware, estimated to date from the Iron Age, has recently been restored to the closest original state at a special laboratory in Semnan province.

The relics have been excavated from Mersin cemetery, which is situated close to the Sefidrud River on the southern flanks of the Alborz mountain range in Mehdishahr county of the north-central province.

Documentation, preparation of special certificates, the removal of sediments from the surface, re-joining and strengthening, reconstruction of missing parts, and color matching were done in this stage of restoration, a local tourism official said on Tuesday.

Rescue excavations in Mersin cemetery started in 2014 to investigate burial methods, social classes, and trade relations based on the burial objects, the official added.

A rescue archaeological survey in the Fenisk Dam basin area uncovered the site. The cemetery was dated to the late Iron Age III and early Iron Age IV (c. 600-400 BC). Human collagen from several graves was given a radiocarbon date to support this dating.

The Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research began conducting regular excavations at the site under the supervision of Malekzadeh in August 2014 because the Iron Age culture in the province of Semnan has not been widely recognized. Over a total area of 235 square meters, three trenches were dug. There were fifteen human graves distributed evenly throughout trench three (10 by 5 meters). While some graves were disturbed, it was still possible to identify them by their common characteristics, such as their rectangular shape and the presence of a single body laid to rest on its back in each grave. All graves except grave 4—which was disturbed— had large stones separating them from the resting place and contained grave goods.

Graves 5 and 10 are examples of graves covered by large, flat slabs of wood and soil, while the remaining graves can be categorized into one of two general categories: graves with only soil coverings. The body is not always buried in the same direction. There were a variety of grave goods, including pottery vessels of various types, including single-handled pitchers, bridge spout bowls, pots with spouts and handles, small jars, pedestal bowls, and twin-joined small jars.


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