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31 January 2009
German-Iranian team to study prehistoric site

The city divisions of the ancient site of Gohar-Tappeh in Iran's northern province of Mazandaran will be studied by a joint team of German and Iranian archaeologists in the near future. "We plan to study that how the city's divisions and governmental centers were formed at the site during the forthcoming season of excavation," team director Ali Mahforuzi said. Another team led by Mahforuzi had demarcated the city over the previous season of excavation, which was carried out in late 2006.
     The team plans to use topographic studies in this season, Mahforuzi said, adding, "Study of the ancient shards scattered at the site will also be helpful. However, the excavation of the lower strata should contribute more information in determining the exact location of the centers and divisions." Research may also lead to the identification of social classes that existed in the region 3000 years ago, he noted.
     A large number of graves and artifacts found during the previous seasons of excavation date back to the first millennium BCE. "However, a 5000-year-old city is buried in the lower strata of the site," Mahforuzi said. Mahforuzi's team had previously unearthed a cobble-stoned lane at Gohar-Tappeh during the fifth phase of excavations in 2006. In addition, a skeleton of a warrior buried in an attacking pose with a dagger in his hands in one grave, a skeleton of a child and a bronze pendant with a bullhorn motif in another grave, and a number of bull statuettes have been found at the site during previous phases of excavations in 2005.

Source: Tehran Times (31 January 2009)

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