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26 November 2005
Japanese team return to Gilanís ancient sites

After a four-month hiatus, a team of Japanese experts, who had previously worked on the ancient sites of northern Iranís Gilan Province along with a number of Iranian archaeologists, has recently returned to Iran to resume their studies on December 29.
     "This will be the second stage of the last phase of research. The team completed its first stage in late August this year," Ali Jahani, an Iranian member of the archaeological team, said. "The first stage was dedicated to the restudy of previous yearsí findings of the late Iranian archaeologist Ali Hakimi at the cemetery of the Kaluraz ancient site, which are kept at the National Museum of Iran. Now the Japanese team has returned to begin the second stage along with the Iranian team," Jahani explained.
     The joint team plans to revise the information gleaned from the findings of the last four phases of excavations in the Rostamabad region. The Iranian part of the team, led by Mohammadreza Khalatbari, is currently working on Kaluraz, which is one of the many ancient sites of the Rostamabad region.
     In early November, Khalatbariís team unearthed ruins of a number of architectural structures believed to date back to the Parthian era. They previously unearthed 3000-year-old gray shards in the lower strata of the site, which dates back to the first millennium BCE. The archaeologists believe these items indicate that Kaluraz was a residential area during the Iron Age. The joint team also made the first discovery of a Neolithic Age site in Gilan near the Sefidrud River in September 2004. The archaeologists have estimated that the Neolithic site is nearly 7500 years old.

Source: Tehran Times (21 November 2005)

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