Nav: Home

Archaeologists from Mainz University continue their excavation work in Iran

November 05, 2015

Archaeologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have been progressively examining the city located in the ancient Elamite site of Haft Tappeh in southwestern Iran since 2002. Their excavations have revealed important information relating to the city's structure and its historic development, but have also produced evidence of a human tragedy that occurred here 3,400 years ago.

In the middle of the second millennium BC, a city emerged approximately 15 kilometers south of the capital Susa that would soon ascend to become the most prominent center within the Elamite empire. Within a relatively short period of time, the Elamite kings Tepti-ahar and Inshushinak-shar-ilani built here monumental structures such as temples and palaces, and the area covered by the city was extended to roughly 250 hectares. The city continued to flourish for about one hundred years, and trade and political relations with neighboring states such as Babylon were established. A discovered workshop with attached clay tablet archive provides ample evidence of the expansion of commerce, arts, and crafts. At the end of the 14th century BC, the urban developments in Haft Tappeh stagnated for reasons that are as yet unknown. Some of the monumental structures were abandoned while others ceased to be used; materials from their ruins were subsequently employed by the population to build simple homesteads.

A team of archaeologists from Mainz University headed by Dr. Behzad Mofidi-Nasrabadi recently discovered that the city's population fell victim to a massacre at the end of the settlement phase. They found a mass grave containing the skeletal remains of several hundred people in a street between the dwellings of the final building layer. The dead had simply been haphazardly piled one on top of another behind a wall.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has recently approved the continued financing of the project. Thus it will now be possible to continue the excavations in order to reveal the particular circumstances of this human tragedy and its historical background. Mainz University had provided start-up funding for the excavation campaign in early 2015.
-end-
photos: http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/07_altertumswiss_iran_grabungen_01.jpg
Excavation area IV of the Haft Tappeh archaeological site in southwestern Iran
photo/©: Behzad Mofidi-Nasrabadi

http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/07_altertumswiss_iran_grabungen_02.jpg
Mass grave on the ancient Elamite Haft Tappeh site
photo/©: Behzad Mofidi-Nasrabadi

http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/07_altertumswiss_iran_grabungen_03.jpg
Grave goods found in the tomb of a high-ranking female official in Haft Tappeh, 15th century BC
photo/©: Behzad Mofidi-Nasrabadi

http://www.uni-mainz.de/bilder_presse/07_altertumswiss_iran_grabungen_04.jpg
Terracotta statue found in Haft Tappeh, 15th century BC
photo/©: Behzad Mofidi-Nasrabadi

Further information:
Professor Dr. Doris Prechel
Ancient Near Eastern Philology
Department of Ancient Studies
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone: +49 6131 39-38320
e-mai: prechel@uni-mainz.de
http://www.altertumswissenschaften.uni-mainz.de/the-institute-of-ancient-studies/

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

Related Archaeologists Articles:

Archaeologists uncover new clues to Maya collapse
Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, a team of archaeologists, led by the University of Arizona, developed a high-precision chronology that sheds new light on patterns leading up to the two major collapses of the Maya civilization.
Swedish and Greek archaeologists discover unknown city in Greece
An international research team at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, is exploring the remains of an ancient city in central Greece.
Mummified remains identified as Egyptian Queen Nefertari
A team of international archaeologists believe a pair of mummified legs on display in an Italian museum may belong to Egyptian Queen Nefertari -- the favorite wife of the pharaoh Ramses II.
UF archaeologist uses 'dinosaur crater' rocks, prehistoric teeth to track ancient humans
Where's the best place to start when retracing the life of a person who lived 4,000 years ago?
Archaeologists use drones to trial virtual reality
Archaeologists at The Australian National University and Monash University are conducting a trial of new technology to build a 3-D virtual-reality map of one of Asia's most mysterious sites -- the Plain of Jars in Laos.
More Archaeologists News and Archaeologists Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...