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2 November 2008
7000-year-old mound excavated in Iran

Archaeologists were given a second chance by drought to excavate the Mehr-Ali Tappeh at the reservoir of the Mulla Sadra Dam in Fars Province, southern Iran.  The 7000-old-year mound and many other ancient sites were entirely submerged after the Islamic Republic's officials at the Mulla Sadra Dam began filling the reservoir in May 2006.
    The Mehr-Ali Tappeh has reappeared following a period of dry weather over the past few months and a team of archaeologists recently returned to the site. "This is an ideal opportunity to resume archaeological excavations at the site," team director Alireza Sardari said. "We could not reach the lower strata during the first season of excavations because they had already been submerged," he said. "However, artefacts dating back to the Bakun period (late 5th to early 4th millennium BCE) were discovered during the season," Sardari added. Ruins of some residential areas, kilns, and a large amount of shards have also been unearthed. 
    The large amount the shards indicated that the Mehr-Ali Tappeh had been one of the more important prehistoric sites of the region. "We aim to reach the lowest cultural strata of the mound in order to scrutinise the earliest habitations of the site," Sardari noted. The team has created two small trenches at the outskirts of the Mehr-Ali Tappeh and their excavating will continue until they reach undisturbed earth.

Source: CAIS (29 October 2008)

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