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6 December 2008
Archaeologists rush to save Bronze Age sites in Iran

Five archaeological teams have been sent to East Azarbaijan to carry out rescue excavations at the reservoir of the Khoda-Afarin Dam, north of the country. "The research will be carried out at the main parts of the dam and will be of great importance," said Hassan Fazeli, the director of the Archeology Research Center of Iran's Cultural Heritage, and Tourism Organization (ICHTO). He also said that many Bronze Age sites will be submerged by the dam after it becomes operational. "Tumuli areas are currently under research. The practice in the area dates back to 2000 BCE and the late Bronze Age," he added.
     Tumuli are large mounds of earth or stones laid over a grave or graves during ancient burying rituals. According to Fazeli, the practice later expanded to Europe and therefore necessitates Iran to pursue more extensive knowledge. The result of the research will be presented at Iran's 10th international archaeological conference, which will be held in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas in mid-December. "Carbon-14 dating experiments will be carried out on the artifacts being unearthed in the sites and the results will be considered as a primary database of the Bronze Age in northwestern Iran," Fazeli Nashli said. "The dam has been completed one year ago and its filling was postponed following an ARCI's appeal for rescue excavations, which are being financed by the dam's officials," he added. "Some artifacts, which been have unearthed so far, are intact and they can be displayed in a site-specific museum if the dam's officials are willing to finance its construction," Fazeli Nashli noted.

Sources: Payvand (2 December 2008), Press TV (3 December 2008)

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