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27 November 2006
Excavations on the 14000-year-old island of Khark

A history of more than 5500 years of human settlement on the Persian Gulf Island of Khark (Southern Iran) which raised from the waters some 14 millennia ago has encouraged archeologists to excavate this southern Iranian Island, looking for more historic evidence.†
     Based on the available historic accounts and archeological evidence, about 14000 years ago Khark Island emerged from the depth of the Persian Gulf. The same documents suggest the existence of human settlements on this island as far back as the mid third millennium BCE. Head of the team of archeologists which is to scan the entire Island for historic evidence, Hamid Zarei, said that the studies at Khark Island aim to identify and document all the archeological and historical sites of the Island.
†      According to Zarei, since Khark Island alone accounts for 80 percent of the countryís crude oil production, it has always been a hot spot for oil companies. However, he lamented that activities by these companies have resulted in the destruction of some of the Islandís most ancient sites and said that the new phase of excavations at Khark Island hopes to prevent repetition of such tragedies by identifying the existing historic sites of the Island. Due to the economic importance of Khark and the large amount of oil reserves in this Island, the number of oil companies who choose this Persian Gulf Island as their center of activities is currently on the rise. This increases the possibility of destruction of the regionís historic sites and highlights the necessity for identifying those ancient sites in the shortest possible time. Archeologists are hoping to find traces of prehistoric dwellings in this Persian Gulf Island during their studies which will begin shortly.

Source: CHN (24 November 2006)

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