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16 October 2005
Winged goddesses flew over Iran

The recent excavations in Rabat Teppe archaeological site in Sardasht, Northwestern Iran, led to discovery of a series of icons of winged goddesses on bricks which belong to 3000 years ago. These are the first ever winged goddesses found in Iran.
     In initial measures, the area of the archaeological site was believed to be 14 hectares but recent studies extend its measures to 25 hectares. "This season of the excavations has led to discovery of four winged goddesses in Rabat Teppe which can be traced back to the Iron Age, about 3000 years ago. This kind of icons has never been seen in any Iranian archaeological site before," said Reza Heydari, an archaeologist of Western Azarbaijan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization. According to him, "The found icons are women with haunches that are similar to deer or cow. Each one of the four goddesses initially found has 2 raised wings."
     The most outward level of the site dates back to the first millennium BCE. The archaeologists' excavation is an effort for a comparison of the site to the Mushashir’s civilization.
     A few days after the first discovery, the bas-reliefs of two other winged - nut this time naked - goddesses were found on another brick found at the same site. "The discovery of naked winged goddesses in the region has astounded everyone. The goddesses are lean. Thus the archaeologists believe that they are not goddesses of reproduction and fertility," said Reza Heydari. "The newly discovered goddesses have two wings leaning toward below. They have also two arms opened horizontally. The bodies of the goddesses are white and one of them has some rings on her belly. The wings have been colored yellow and white. Both of the images are headless and one of them is legless. The archaeologists have not been able to determine what the naked goddesses symbolized or how the colors were produced and used in the region during that time," Heydari added.

Sources: Cultural Heritage News Agency (12 October 2005), Mehr News (15 October 2005)

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