Saturday, April 08, 2006

Archeologists in Search of a Port Lost 700 Years Ago


Tehran, 8 April 2006 (CHN) -- Archaeological excavations are still continuing in Minab plain in order to discover the Old Hormoz Port which mysteriously disappeared in the 1300s and is believed to have been located around the present-day Hormozgan Province.
“The main aim of these excavations is to discover the original location of the Old Hormoz Port. It was a city which turned into an important international trade port after the collapse of Siraf Port. A lot of people even some contemporary historians believe that the present city of Minab is the old Hormoz. However, according to what is recorded in historical evidence such as the itinerary of Morco Polo, the famous Italian explorer, this can not be true and the old Hormoz port was different from the present Minab. Besides, Hormoz was a trade port with some places for ships to berth while the case is not true with Minab city,” said Siamak Sarlak, archaeologist and head of excavation team in Minab and Roodan.
In 1300 AD, a group of Mongols attacked the old Hormoz. Following that attack which devastated this portal city the governor of Hormoz accompanied by the residents migrated to the present city of Minab. Since that time the old Hormoz disappeared and no one knows precisely where it was located. “It is nearly 700 years since the old Hormoz port has vanished and no archaeologist has managed to find its exact place yet,” explained Sarlak.
According to Sarlak, 84 historical relics have been unearthed during the excavations in Minab port so far, some of which date back to the ancient Stone Age (some 150,000 years ago). However, there is not much information to assist archeologists to identify the origin settlements there.
“The previous excavations led to the discovery of two linear and radial styles of settlements in the area. Linear settlements are those which are situated in lines. This style of settlement goes back to the Islamic period. But radial settlements have a pattern of lines that go outward from a central point, making a circular shape. This style of settlement goes back to the pre-Islamic period. These excavations resulted in the discovery of about five or six ancient areas,” added Sarlak.
According to Sarlak, discovering the real place of the old Hormoz would be a great achievement for Iran’s history and archaeology.

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