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20 November 2005
Team of archaeologists to explore Mazandaran caves

Scholars from Lyon and Toronto Universities have asked to carry out excavations in the ancient caves of Mazandaran province in Iran. Previous studies and excavations in the caves indicate that human settlement in Mazandaran province dates back to 40,000 years ago.
     Mazandaran province, in the southern coastal line of the Caspian Sea, enjoys several unique caves such as Kushiman. Mazandaran is one of the most historical provinces of Iran, the inhabitants of which have lived in urbanized societies from the 5th millennium BCE. Until now a lot of mysteries of the 5,000-year-old life of the people of the region have been revealed. "We are determined to start digging archaeological boring pits in the historical Kumishan cave. The cave has undergone excavations both before and after the revolution, but none of them were systematic," said Ali Mahforouzi, head of research center of the historical caves of Mazandaran province.
     According to Mahforouzi, since during the excavations, stratigraphy studies have also been carried out, the upcoming season of excavations of Kushiman cave is very important. The request of the Canadian and French archaeologists for taking part in the excavations of Kushiman cave has been submitted to the ICHTO Archaeology Research Center, however, their presence is not yet confirmed.
     Mazandaran caves including Kumishan, Kamarband, and Hoto are the most important historical caves of the country, in which some evidence of cave dwelling human beings have been discovered. No comprehensive archaeological excavations have been carried out on these caves so far. Kumishan is one of the famous caves of Mazandaran which dates back to the Paleolithic era and the new discoveries indicate that it was then used as a human habitation.

Source: CHN (19 November 2005)

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