Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Experts to Unravel the Mysteries of Post-Achaemenid ear Laodicea Temple

LONDON, 07 March 2006 (CAIS) -- The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) plans to buy a number of houses in a region of Nahavand (Nahâvand), which archaeologists believe the Hellenistic Laodicea Temple lies buried, the Persian service of CHN reported on Tuesday.
Last June, a team of Iranian archaeologists led by Mehdi Rahbar began searching for the temple in Nahavand, which is 40 kilometers southeast of Malayer in Hamedan Province . The locals have been building many residential units on the site over the years, so the ICHTO must buy the houses in order to facilitate the excavation of the area.
“The team’s archaeological studies determined that only 12 residences must be bought in the first phase,” the director of the Laodicea Archaeological Study said.
The upcoming excavations will help determine exactly how many other houses must be bought to make the archaeological project possible, Ali Torabi added.
In 1943, archaeologists discovered an 85x36 centimeter ancient inscription of 30 lines written in Greek calling on the people of Nahavand to obey the laws of the government. The inscription indicated the existence of the Laodicea Temple, which had been built by the Seleucid ruler who ruled Asia Minor, Antiochus III (223-187 BC), for his wife Laodicea.
Two other inscriptions as well as four bronze statuettes have been unearthed at the site, which are on display in the National Museum of Iran in Tehran . A number of capitals and bases of the temple’s columns excavated over the years are currently being used as decorations in Nahavand’s Hajian Bazaar and several other parts of the city.


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