| 1 October 2005
Animal footprints discovered on ancient bricks
A team of archaeologists working at the Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat Complex (Iran) recently discovered the footprints of several animals at the ancient site. Archaeologist Mohammadreza Rokni said that the team has discovered footprints similar to those of camels and wild pigs at the entrance of the Hishmitik-Ruhuratir temples.
Studies on the footprints indicate that the animals walked on the bricks about 3200 years ago when the bricks were being dried on river banks, he added. "The footprints are not deep, showing that the bricks were almost dry when the marks were left. The bricks were later baked and used," he explained. In addition, several human footprints, most probably made by children, are visible on the grounds of the site.
The only surviving ziggurat in Iran, Chogha Zanbil is a major remnant of the Elamite civilization. It is located near Susa, the ancient capital of Elam, and was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. Built about 1250 BCE under the direction of the Elamite ruler Untash-Gal during the Middle Elamite period (c. 1500–c. 1000 BCE), the complex was dedicated to Inshushinak (Insusinak), the bull-god of Susa. The square base of the ziggurat, 344 feet (105 meters) on each side, was built principally of brick and cement. It now stands 80 feet (24 meters) high, less than half its estimated original height.
Source: Mehr News (30 September 2005)
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