Friday, October 07, 2005

Excavation of Ecbatana to Resume

Description of Selected News: "A team of Iranian archaeologists are excavating a stratum of the ancient site of Ecbatana which they believe dates back to the Sassanid or Parthian era.

Covering an area of 35 hectares, the site of Ecbatana is located in the northern section of the western Iranian city of Hamedan. Ruins from various historical periods have been unearthed during previous excavations at the site which indicate that the ancient inhabitants practiced progressive urban planning.

?The new phase of the excavations aims to shed light on the lifestyles during various periods. Thus we don?t expect to unearth important artifacts,? archaeological team director Masud Azarnush told the Persian service of the Cultural Heritage News (CHN) agency on Saturday.

Ecbatana was the capital of ancient Media and later the summer residence of Achaemenid and Parthian dynasty kings. It is beautifully situated at the foot of Mount Alvand, northeast of Bisotun. In 549 B.C., it was captured by Cyrus the Great. It had a royal treasury which was plundered in turn by Alexander, Seleucus, and Antiochus III.

Also called Hegmatana, the site has never been thoroughly excavated since it is mostly covered by the modern city of Hamedan."

Although the article said that the excavation team expected to uncover few artifacts, as a Philalexandros I am still excited. It would be wonderful is some remnants of Alexander's occupation were found.