Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Discovery of an Ivory Scabbard in Lorestan


Tehran, 24 May 2006 (CHN) -- Discovery of a scabbard made of ivory was one of the most important achievements during the third season of excavations in Sangtarashan in Lorestan province. This is the first time a scabbard with such a material belonging to the end of the Iron Age has been discovered in this area.
“The third season of excavations led to discovery of two iron swords and an iron axe. What makes these swords unique among all the other discoveries in this historical site so far is that there is a thin layer of decorative bone, most probably ivory, between these two swords. It is believed that this layer is the remains of the scabbard of one of these swords. It is the first time an ivory scabbard has been discovered in Lorestan province. These swords were kept in an appropriate climatic condition and therefore the bone decorations of the handles have remained almost intact which provides us the chance to restore them,” said Mehrdad Malekzadeh, head of excavation team in Sangtarashan historical site.
Malekzadeh explained “50 other bronze relics including a wide variety of war instruments such as different kinds of swords in different sizes, battle axes, and some dishes such as teapots, pitchers, bowls and glasses have also been discovered during the excavations.”
According to Malekzadeh, one of the other unique discoveries during this season of excavations is a very beautiful bronze glass with a very delicate etching work on its body and the design of a lotus flower on its bottom. “Although this glass has been partly damaged over time due to humidity and other natural factors, the etching work on it show that it is a unique object and we have sent it to the restoration laboratory of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Lorestan province to be studied more,” added Malekzadeh.
Some 400 square meters have been excavated during three seasons of archaeological excavations in Sangtarashan and some 350 ancient bronze relics have been unearthed so far in this historical site which date back to the end of the Iron Age. However, no architectural evidence or cemeteries have been discovered in this historical site so far. “Although no architectural evidence has been discovered so far in this area, we still believe that a prayer house might have existed in this region, although its exact place has remained a question to us,” explained Malekzadeh.
Sangtarashan historical site is located 52 kilometers from Khoram Abad on the height of “80 Pahloo” and “Taf” mountains and is considered an important archaeological site in Iran.

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