Art And Culture

Major Discovery on Settlement of the Medes in Hamedan Excavations

 A view of the excavation site in Hamedan A view of the excavation site in Hamedan

Evidence of Medes inhabitation was discovered in an excavation carried out recently in downtown Hamedan, capital of Hamedan Province.

Medes were a people of Indo-Iranian (Aryan) origin who inhabited the western and northwestern regions of present-day Iran. By the 6th century BC, the Medes were able to establish an empire that stretched from Aran (modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan) to Central Asia and Afghanistan.

The Hamedan Municipality started excavation work at Imam Khomeini Square to lay the foundation for a big fountain almost a month ago (November 4).  The excavation team led by archeologist, Mohammad Sha’bani, also had a municipality permit for digging a trench in the area.

During the digging process, ancient layers were discovered including those going back to the Median and Sassanid era settlements, as well as those of the Parthian and Seleucid era, Mehr News Agency reported.

As Sha’bani said, the team uncovered two clay coffins which he attributed to the Parthian era (a major political and cultural power in ancient Persia Iran and Iraq also known as Arsacid Empire) since similar coffins (belonging to the same era) were discovered in earlier excavations near the historic city of Hamedan. The team also came across relics of the Sassanid era.

The exciting part of the excavation was when the team found some boat-shaped bowls similar to the relics excavated in the archeological sites of Tappeh Hassanlu, south of Urmia Lake, and Noushijan Tappeh, north of Ilam Province, which belonged to the Medes.

“As per existing written sources, we had always believed that the civilization of Hamedan also includes the Median era. However, no physical proof was ever found to support this. Now, these potteries prove the settlement of the Medes in Ecbatana (an ancient name for Hamedan),” Sha’bani said.

Noting that the team has to wrap up the excavation work despite the strong possibility of finding more ancient relics, he added, “It is by the officials to decide whether to continue with the fountain project or instead build a museum at the site.”

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