Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Zooarcheology Center to be Established in Iran


Tehran, 1 February 2006 (CHN) -- The first center for research and archive of animal studies in archeology will start its work from the coming spring in Iran’s National Museum.
“Unfortunately despite the existence of many historical sites in Iran and the close relations between human beings and nature seen in different Iranian ethnic groups, we do not have a center for archeological and historical studies on animals and Dr. Marjan Mashkour, the only archaeozoologist in Iran, has to carry out her researches outside the country,” said Mohammad Reza Kargar, director of Iran’s National Museum.
In order to solve this problem, director of Iran’s National Museum is going to establish a research center for animal studies in archeology with the cooperation of Dr. Mashkour who is also a member of France National Research Center in Iran’s National Museum.
Considering the development in archeology, studying the remains of the discovered plants and animals from different areas will be the main aim of this research center. Studies on various kinds of animals and plants will reveal some important secrets about life during different periods of time.
According to Kargar, this center will be established by next spring and it will provide facilities for paleontologists to carry out their studies in this respect. “The bone remains of different animals are being kept in Iran’s National Museum. Besides, Mrs. Maskhkour will cooperate with the center by sharing her enormous findings and researches on this field,” explained Kargar.
In Iran, some animal studies in archaeology have been done so far by Marjan Mashkour who conducted her research mostly on the animal remains of Zagheh Tepe. This is one of the most important historical sites of Iran, located near Boien Zahra in Qazvin province, with 7000-years of civilization. The bone remains of sheep, deer, cow, and some other domestic and wild animals found in the initial studies on the soil of this region indicate the developing coexistence of human beings with environment some 7000 years ago.
More zooarchaeology studies in this historical site led to the discovery of large amounts of jackal bone remains in this site. This discovery revealed that Zagheh city had seen two periods of human settlements. There must have been a 50-year interruption between these two periods during which the city was abandoned completely by human beings and occupied mostly by jackals.

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