Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Remains of Darius’ Palace Unearthed in Bolaghi Gorge

Tehran, 24 May 2006 (CHN) -- Following the discovery of the remains of a huge palace which is believed to date back to the Achaemenid era (648-33 BC) and is denoted to Darius the Great, by the Iran-French joint archaeological team at the Bolaghi Gorge in Fars province, archaeological excavations continued in the area which led to unearthing the remains of the palace.
“Prior to this, the remains of a summer residential palace belonging to the Achaemenid era was identified in area no. 85. However, archaeological excavations show that this palace was destructed due to the later constructions during the Sassanid and Safavid periods. Moreover, we were able to find the remains of an estimated 900-square-meter palace which for sure must have belonged to the Achaemenid kings and for some unknown reason was destroyed by bulldozers,” said Mohammad Taghi Atayi, Iranian head of Iran-France archaeological team in Bolaghi Gorge in the one-day Bolaghi Gorge archaeology seminar which was held today in National Museum of Iran with the attendance of heads of Iranian and foreign archaeological teams active at the Bolaghi Gorge.
Discovery of the base of a pillar and the platform of the palace assured archaeologists that this palace must have belonged to the Achaemenid era. According to Atayi, archaeologists have succeeded in saving some parts of the palace; however other parts of the palace such as the base of the pillars have been destroyed by bulldozers.
In this one day summit, Remy Boucharlat, the French head of Iranian-French joint archaeological team in Bolaghi Gorge, issued his report on their accomplishments in Bolaghi Gorge and the discovery of the Achaemenid palace in this historical site.
Among other participants in this one day seminar were heads of archaeological teams in historical sites of Kalat Qafkhaneh in Shahrud, Pardis Tepe in Varamin, Sang Tarashan in Khoram Abad, Chehr Abad salt mine in Zanjan, and Bandian Dargaz in Khorasan. The participants presented their reports on their archaeological findings across Iran. However, the main focus of this seminar was on the discoveries of the Bolaghi Gorge area, especially the newly discovered palace of Darius the Great.
Excavations at the Bolaghi Gorge started almost two years ago with the aim of saving the remains of archaeological evidence before the inundation of the nearby Sivand Dam. Currently, some groups from Italy, France, Germany, Poland, and a large number of Iranian archaeologists are busy on the site with the Bolaghi Gorge salvation project.


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