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6 August 2006
Roads threatening 6000-year-old mound in Iran

Road construction and railroad development are threatening the 6000-year-old Yaqut-Tappeh mound near Behshahr in Iran's northern province of Mazandaran. A team of archaeologists recently began excavations at Yaqut-Tappeh to save artifacts from sections of the site which will be buried under the road being constructed for Amirabad Port.
     Railroad construction previously destroyed over 3000 square meters of the site 70 years ago. "However, some parts of the mound are still intact. The team has excavated the site and found evidence from the Chalcolithic period, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age," team director Ali Mahforuzi said. "The team has also unearthed a 40-centimeter black stratum, which is believed to be sediment brought by a flood over 30,000 years ago. We have discovered three graves dating back to the Iron Age. One of the graves is intact," he added.
     "The mounds date back to the third and fourth millennia BCE and the two regions had relations during Gohar-Tappeh's transition phase to urbanization. The theory has been proven due to the slag that has remained from the Bronze Age kilns. Some evidence also increases the possibility that Yaqut-Tappeh was an industrial site," Mahforuzi explained.
     Mazandaran is one of Iran's archaeological poles. Urbanization is thought to have developed in the region some time around 3000 BCE, and the new findings at Yaqut-Tappeh and Gohar-Tappeh may provide further evidence for this theory.

Source: Tehran Times (31 July 2006)

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