TEHRAN—During their excavations in the Sialk hills, archaeologists have recently uncovered the ruins of a home, which according to preliminary estimates dates at least 5,000 years.
“Archaeologists in Sialk have recently discovered the ruins of a house which dates back to the 4th century BC,” National Museum of Iran Director Jebrael Nokandeh said on Friday.
Earlier this month, a team of cultural heritage experts and archaeologists was tasked with conducting extensive field research to verify the legal boundary of the magnificent Sialk hills, which are situated near Kashan in the heart of Iran.
The house is very worn out and in the coming days we (the archaeologists) will go to the lower layers of the southern hills of Sialk, which probably date from 5,500 to 6,000 years ago, Nokandeh, who leads the survey, said.
Situated halfway between Kashan and Fin in Isfahan province, Tapeh Sialk (“Sialk Hills”) has yielded interesting pottery pieces, metal tools, and domestic implements made from stone, clay, and bone that date from as early as the 4th millennium BC.
“Sialk is one of the most important hubs of civilization in Kashan and Iran. Due to this importance, determining the area and boundaries of this ancient site is the expertise of archaeologists and the final opinion must be announced by those experts,” Isfahan’s tourism chief Ahmad Danainia said earlier this month.
In addition, Danainia reminded efforts underway to register the site in the UNESCO World Heritage list, saying “For the global registration of these ancient hills, its limits should be modified…”
Experts believe that Sialk is a treasure trove of information about diverse subjects such as palaeobotany, palaeozoology, palaeoanatomy, diet, climate change and ancient metallurgy.
In 2019, the Louvre museum hosted an international conference on Tapeh Sialk (“Sialk hills”), which was attended by archaeologists from Germany, England, France and Iran. According to Louvre, the event was aimed to cast a new light on the ancient site some 80 years after its first excavation to lay an opportunity to present to the public the diversity of research and projects, as well as current issues of preservation and enhancement of the site.
According to the Louvre, the oldest levels document the occupation of the Iranian plateau from the Neolithic to the Chololithic over more than two millennia. Then, around 3000 BC, the site is integrated into the vast cultural area called Proto-Elamite, during which specific writing appears.
Much later, in the Iron Age, the local culture, represented by beautifully painted pottery, is best known through the excavation of necropolises. This culture, which appeared new in the region, has long been identified with the Medes and fueled the debate about the arrival of new populations speaking Iranian languages from which comes modern Persian.
Several excavation projects at the site have so far been conducted, beginning with a 1933 French Louvre delegation led by Roman Ghirshman; capping with a most recent project in 2009, which was led by Hassan Fazeli-Nashli, a faculty member of the Archeology Department, University of Tehran.
When it comes to tourism, travelers regularly opt to pass Kashan on their journeys between Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Yazd because this delightful oasis city on the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir is one of Iran’s most alluring destinations. Kashan not only boasts a cluster of architectural wonders, an atmospheric-covered bazaar, and a UNESCO-recognized garden, but it also offers some of central Iran’s best traditional hotels.