Archaeologists Uncover 5,000-Year-Old Water System in Iran

Archaeologists Uncover 5,000-Year-Old Water System in Iran

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Archaeologists Uncover 5,000-Year-Old Water System in Iran

In the second season of the rescue excavation project at the Farash antique historic site in the Seimareh Dam reservoir field in Western Iran, a 5000-year-old water structure has been uncovered.

The pipeline of a 5000-year-old water system is seen in a trench dug by an archaeological team during a rescue excavation project on the beach of the Seimareh Dam
The pipeline of a 5000-year-old water system is seen in a trench dug by an archaeological team during a rescue excavation project on the beach of the Seimareh Dam

An archaeological team led by Leili Niakan had carried  out a second season of rescue excavation after the Seimareh Dam came on stream, the Persian service of CHN reported.

The team plans to save ancients artifacts and gather information about the ancient sites, which are being submerged by the dam that became operational in early March of 2014.

This system, which comprises a small pool and an earthenware pipeline, was discovered on the eastern beach of the dam on the border between Ilam Province and Lorestan Province, Niakan said.

The archaeological team is now working hard to unearth the rest of the pipeline, which may lead archaeologists to its source. The aim is to recover as much as possible before it all goes underwater when the filling of the dam is complete.
The archaeological team is now working hard to unearth the rest of the pipeline, which may lead archaeologists to its source. The aim is to recover as much as possible before it all goes underwater when the filling of the dam is complete.

Part of the water system has been submerged as the water level has risen. However, the team covered that part of the system beforehand to save it for more archaeological excavations while the dam is out of commission.

Each earthenware conduit measures about one meter in length and it is likely that they were made and baked in this region, Niakan stated.

The team is still working on the site to unearth the rest of the pipeline, which may lead the archaeologists to the source of the pipeline, she added.

An aerial photo of the Seimareh Dam region
An aerial photo of the Seimareh Dam region

Over 100 sites dating back to the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Copper Age, Stone Age, Parthian, Sassanid, and early Islamic periods were identified at the dam’s reservoir in 2007.

Afterwards, 40 archaeological teams from the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR) were assigned to carry out Iran’s largest rescue excavation operation on the 40 ancient sites at the reservoirs of the dam in the first season.

Signs of the Mesopotamians’ influence in the region were also identified by studies carried out on the ancient strata at the reservoir.

Most of the sites have been flooded by the dam and the rest will go underwater after the filling of the dam is completed.

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Jessica Saraceni has been a part of Histecho Since 2018, drawn to the site for its quirky character and through Articles about the Mysteries of earth and human behavior. previously, she was an assistant editor and Research fellow at Archaeology magazine, where she gained an appreciation for the field work. A master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental science from the Center for Archaeological Research, the University of Texas at San Antonio. She enjoys all forms of exercise; reading works by her favorite author, Haruki Murakami; and playing with her sons.

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