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500 Ancient graves identified in SE Iran

Tehran, Archeological studies and research works have so far led to the identification of about 500 ancient graves in the Mehdiabad Oliya cemetery in the city of Rigan, Kerman Province, which some archeologists attribute to the Parthian period and others to the Achaemenid era.

Koroush Mohammad Khani, head of the team for archeo-geophysics studies through magnetometry method in the ancient cemetery of Mehdiabad Oliya in Kerman Province, was quoted by the Public Relations Office of the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT) as saying that magnetic examinations for determination of the dispersal of ancient graves in the enclosure has led to the identification of over 500 ancient graves.

Mohammad Khani who is the Associate Professor of the Department of Archeology of Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, referring to the identification of the ancient site of Mehdiabad Oliya in the visits of the archeologists to the site of Bam World Heritage in early 2010's, said that in March 2016, rainfalls and floods in the area caused the appearance of many graves in that section which contained many cultural materials.

Expressing regret over the breaking and collection of the objects by the unknown local people, he said the base of Bam World Heritage and its cultural landscape, in order to determine the limits of the area and the extent of the dispersion of the graves with an aim of planning for the protection of the site, put the archeogeophysics study through magnetometry method in that area on its agenda.

He noted that the purpose of the surveys and determination of the extent of the dispersion of the graves and the extent of the graveyard was to plan for the protection of the ancient site with the assistance of the General Department of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism of the province and the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.

The expert of archeogeophysical investigators further remarked that the early results determined the vast dispersion of the graves and in an area of eight hectares which has already undergone magnetometric measures, the location of over five hundred ancient graves was identified.

He said archeologists of Bam World Heritage, based on the early studies of conducted on the pottery discovered from the ancient graves, believe that the site belongs to the Achaemenid period while other archeologists who are working in the area and busy with scientific studies, believe that the graves date back to the Parthian era.

The archeologist further remarked that identifying the precise cultural period of the graves is possible only through probing, exploration and comparative studies in the future.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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