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15 October 2006
3000-year-old cobblestoned lane unearthed in Iran

A team of archaeologists unearthed a cobblestoned lane at the 3000-year-old site of Gohar-Tappeh in Iranís northern province of Mazandaran during the fifth phase of excavations, which have been underway since September 2. "The lane is 10x2 meters, which has not been excavated entirely yet. It is covered by riverbed rounded stones and the ruins of a house have also been unearthed beside the lane," team director Ali Mahforuzi said. "The rubble indicates that the house collapsed over time, so it was abandoned for a long time," he added.
     The archaeologists had believed that the site was used as a cemetery by the ancient inhabitants of the Caspian Sea coast, but the new discovery shows that it was also a residential site and that the people of the region had reached urbanization at that time. The pathway is the first paved lane ever discovered at an Iranian Iron Age site. "The foundation beneath the cobblestone was constructed using pressed mud and ashes from kilns," Mahforuzi said. The team has also discovered a hole containing shards, animal bones, and some other things, and they believe the hole was used as a garbage dump in a primitive kind of environmentalism, he added.
     Archaeologists and experts from Cyprus, Britain, Poland, Greece, and Germany are working alongside the team. The team unearthed a skeleton of a warrior buried in an attacking pose with a dagger in his hands in one grave, a skeleton of a child and a bronze pendant with a bull-horn motif in another grave, and a number of bull statuettes at the site during previous phases of excavations in September and October 2005. They also discovered an unidentified artifact in a grave beside a skeleton, which some prominent musicians of Mazandaran believe looks like a clarinet.

Source: Tehran Times (8 October 2006)

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