Friday, April 21, 2006

Ancient Graves of Hamadan Await Excavations


Tehran, 21 April 2006 (CHN) -- Scattered human bones from graves belonging to the Iron Age found in the vicinity of the Ecbatan Dam in Hamadan Province give clues to a possible graveyard behind this dam. To find this cemetery, which is estimated to date back to second millennium BC, archaeologists are to carry out excavations in the area.
According to Motarjem, besides the bone fragments found in the area, there have also been several reports on discovery of a number of pottery behind the dam which go back to the same period of time.
As regards to the dam itself and the possible hazards its flooding might pose to the ancient site which lies just behind it, Motarjem explained, “Since this dam is supposed to be inaugurated this year, we must start our excavations as soon as possible.”
“Although the permission to conduct archaeological excavations in this area was issued from Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) last February, we did not start excavations right away as we were waiting for the raining season to end since raining while the excavation is in progress would cause serious damage to the discovered historic relics and would ruin this ancient site. But now that the raining season is over, we are ready to start the process,” said Motarjem, adding that the only reason they are still waiting to begin is the 5,000 USD amount which was supposed to be given to the team of archaeologists from authorities of Hamadan’s Water Supply Organization which was never received. According to Motarjem, ICHTO has instead promised to grant a total of approximately 3,000 USD for this project.
“Considering the more appropriate weather condition and also ICHTO’s financial supports, we are going to begin excavations behind the Ecbatan Dam from next week,” concluded Motarjem.

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