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19 December 2005
Iron Age temple discovered in Iran

During the archaeological excavations in the historical site of Qoli Darvish Tepe in Qom, a temple and a brazier dating back to the Iron Age have been unearthed, which are believed to be the most ancient ones in the Central Plateau. The brazier has a hole inside in which remains of ashes can still be detected.
     Qoli Darvish historical tepe (hill) is one of the most important historical sites in the Central Plateau belonging to the Iron Age, located on the way of Qom-Jamkaran highway. The construction of an highway resulted in the destruction of more than 40 hectare of the 50 hectare area of Qoli Darvish Tepe; and the height of the hill was reduced to 6 meters while once it was more than 30 meters high. Archaeological excavations in Qoli Darvish site indicate that residency in Qom dates back to fourth millennium BCE.
     "After studying the upper layers of Qoli Darvish Tepe, some parts were removed in order for the archeologists to gain access to the lower layers. During that process we surprisingly discovered the remains of a temple alongside a brazier beneath a clay platform," said Siamak Sarlak, head of archaeological excavation team at Qoli Darvish Tepe about the latest discoveries in the site. "The discovered temple dates back to 3300 years ago. The temple is made of adobe mortar and was designed by stucco mason," added Sarlak.
     According to Sarlak, the temple consisted of several earthen raised platforms. There is a flat square shaped brazier made of clay in the center of the temple. The evidence indicates that the brazier was broken in the past and was later repaired with stucco. "The raised clay platforms are located in the eastern and western sides of the area. The remains of a staircase made of adobe belonging to the Iron Age have been found on the eastern platform. Two and a half stairs are remained and the rest have been destroyed by bulldozers," said Sarlak. According to the archaeological evidence, a large part of the temple had been remained intact before the highway construction.
     Sarlak believes that based on the current evidence, the temple should have been used for holding special religious ceremonies. The way these ceremonies were held is still unknown for archeologists. The temple was beautifully decorated and strengthened with stucco which shows the importance of worship places during the ancient times.

Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (14 December 2005)

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