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Archaeo News 

6 August 2006
Search for writing at 6000-year-old Iranian site

A team of Iranian archaeologists plans to search for signs of writing at the 6000-year-old Qoli Darvish Tepe site near the city of Qom (Iran) during their next phase of excavations, which is scheduled to begin in early September. "I am sure I will find an inscription at the site. Thus, it will be the first time such an event has occurred in the center of the Iranian Plateau," team director Siamak Sarlak said.
     During the third phase of excavations carried out at the site last year, the team had found evidence in the lower strata indicating its urbanization process began in the third millennium BCE. "These findings, including remains of architectural structures, pot burials, and a great number of special pots for measuring foodstuffs, which had never been seen before in the center of the Iranian Plateau, inspired us to center on writing in our upcoming excavations," Sarlak said.
"Measuring pots provide evidence for the urbanization of an archaeological site and were used by people to share foodstuffs in ancient times. We have unearthed over 1000 of such pots, which indicate the people's transition to the urban era," he explained.
     Qoli Darvish Tepe has been seriously damaged by construction of the Qom-Jamkaran Highway over the past decade, such that only ten percent of the ancient site remains intact. The tepe once covered 50 hectares and was 30 meters in height, but now it is 6 meters in height and only 10 hectares of the site remain untouched.
There is evidence that Qoli Darvish was inhabited from the fourth millennium BCE to the ninth century CE.

Source: Tehran Times (1 August 2006)

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