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10 August 2006
Bolaghi Gorge prehistoric ovens to be relocated

Archeologists of Parse-Pasargadae Research Center have started transferring of clay baking ovens found in Bolaghi Gorge (Iran) during archeological excavations to the nearby Palace of Persepolis, hoping to take them off the ground safely. These ovens were unearthed by the joint Iranian-German archeology team and are believed to date back to 5000 BCE. So far, five ovens have been found in the region which are to be transferred to Persepolis to prevent being drowned after the inundation of Sivand Dam, constructed in Bolaghi Gorge.
     "So far, we have finished the first phase of the project during which one of the ovens was packaged using polyethylene substances to prevent any damages when lifted by derricks," explained Hassan Rahsaz, head of the salvation project for saving ancient ovens of Bolaghi Gorge.
     The discovered ovens are made of clay and were buried for nearly 7000 years, making it hard to transfer them from one place to another. However, experts have tried to carefully wrap them with materials to ensure that no harms would threaten these ancient ovens during the transferring process. Small shovels and hand tools were used by archeologists to detach the oven from the ground by scrapping the soil underneath. According to Rahsaz, this has slowed down the whole project, but has increased the level of accuracy and ensured minimum harm to the oven. He said this is the first time ever that a prehistoric clay structure the size of these ovens is being taken off the ground.
     Archeologists have so far been able to find five clay ovens in Bolaghi Gorge along with other numerous discoveries in this ancient site. However, geophysical studies suggest there must still be four other clay ovens buried in this area. Based on the evidence at hand, experts believe that there must have existed a large clay workshop in Bolaghi Gorge sometime around 5000 BCE.
Bolaghi Gorge is an archeological site in Fars province which will be flooded once the nearby Sivad Dam is inaugurated, the date of which has not yet been determined. Archeologists are boosting their excavations at this historic site to save as much as possible the evidence of thousands of years of civilizations before the entire area is drowned.

Source: Payvand (7 August 2006)

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