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Iran's Gorgan Wall undergoing new excavation season

The eighth excavation season of Gorgan Wall has begun in cooperation with Iranian and international archaeologists, said the head of Gorgan Wall Archaeological Project.

Iran's Gorgan Wall undergoing new excavation season
Excavation of a fort along the Gorgan Wall [Credit: Arman Ershad]
Jebrael Nokandeh further said that experts from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, Gorgan Wall Cultural Heritage Base, and Golestan Cultural Heritage Department are involved in the project.

Moreover, archaeologists from Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Georgia and Ireland are also participating in the studies, he noted.

Iran's Gorgan Wall undergoing new excavation season
Aerial view of the wall running through the country. Note square embankment (a military fortified outpost)
 in the foreground [Credit: British Institute of Persian Studies]
Archaeological studies, he added, have been focused on Castle No. 2 to identify the architectural structures of the barracks in the vicinity of the Great Wall of Gorgan, as well as the eastern part of the wall and the human settlement along the wall.

Marine geophysical studies and underwater archaeology are the other areas of investigation, he added.

Iran's Gorgan Wall undergoing new excavation season
LANDSAT image of Gorgan Plain, indicating the Alburz Mountains (to the south) and the Gorgan Wall (red) 
[Credit: Gorgan Wall Archaeological Project]
Great Wall of Gorgan was registered on the National Heritage List in 1999. It boasts 40 castles, installations, irrigation network, and hydro-structures.

The wall originates on the Caspian coast, circumvents the north of Gonbad-e Kavous, proceeding towards the northwest before disappearing behind the Pishkamar Mountains.

Iran's Gorgan Wall undergoing new excavation season
A section of the Gorgan Wall in the hills [Credit: Arman Ershad]
The Wall of Gorgan is attributed to the Sassanid era (224-651 CE).

It is second only to the Great Wall of China as the longest defensive wall in existence, but it is perhaps even more solidly built than the early forms of the Great Wall.

Source: Iran Daily [October 06, 2016]

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