Lower Paleolithic sites discovered in southeastern Iran

TEHRAN, Sept. 1 (MNA) -- Seven sites dating back to the Lower Paleolithic (c2,000,000–c200,000 BC) era have recently been discovered in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

The sites were identified during archaeological studies, which have been carried out over the past few weeks on Mount Khajeh by an Iranian team of experts led by Kurosh Mohammadkhani, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.


Located at a distance of 20 kilometers southwest of the city of Zabol, Mount Khajeh is comprised of a number of trapezoidal-shaped lava flows.


It also contains ruins of mud-brick structures dating back to the Parthian era. However, a number of shards from the Achaemenid period have previously been unearthed at the site.


The mount, a lone peak located in the middle of Hamun Lake (Hamun-i-Helmand), is turned into an island during the rainy seasons of the year.


Only five other sites in Iran from the Lower Paleolithic era have previously been identified so far, Mohammadkhani said.


One of the sites is located in the Kagia region in Kermanshah Province and another in the bed of the Kashf-Rud River near the village of Baqbaqu in the Khorasan region.


The Ladiz region, located 65 kilometers south of the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, also has one of Iran’s Lower Paleolithic sites.


The region in northwestern Iran located among the cities of Tabriz, Maragheh and Mianeh has another site and the fifth is located in the Ganjpar region in the lower strata of the Jalalieh Tepe in the Kaluraz valley of Gilan Province.


The ancient architectural ruins on Mount Khajeh, which has been dubbed ‘The Mud-Brick Persepolis’, were discovered by the Hungarian-British archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein in 1916.


The German archaeologist and Iranologist Ernst Herzfeld conducted excavations on the site from 1925 to 1929.


In addition, several Iranian archaeologists including Soroor Ghanimati of the University of California at Berkeley, Mahmud Musavi, and Mansur Seyyed-Sajjadi have conducted excavations at the site over the past decade.





News Code 35662

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