Experts estimate a thorough identification and documentation of an astounding 4 billion artifacts in the Burnt City (Shahre-Sokhteh), southeast of Iran, would require some 400 years at least, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported on Friday.
Archeologists have already managed to document and profile 102 villages of the sprawling city, located south of Zabol in the eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. Archeologists have meanwhile found some new artifacts including marble and pottery dishes, semi-precious stones and insignias, said Tahereh Shahraki, head of research in Sistan Cultural heritage and Tourism Organization.
The unexpected appearance & the quick disappearance of the city baffled experts for years. Excavations and researches have found the Burnt City was the independent from Mesopotamia. Judging by the artifacts recovered in the area, the inhabitants seem to have been intelligent farmers & crafters. So far no military ware has been discovered, suggesting the peaceful nature of the residents.
Strange enough, the city has no connection to any other ancient civilizations in the area, as if it had completely emanated from somewhere else. Signs of civilization, first laid down in the Burnt City in 3200 B.C., remained intact up to the years 2100-2000 B.C. and during four successive periods in history. One of the prominent relics found in the Burnt City is a skull that according to the anthropological studies, is the first evidence of brain surgeries in prehistoric Persia.
Hasan Sargazi, head of the excavation teams, also said experts estimate there are about 4 billion artifacts in the 55 hilltops dug so far this year, requiring 400 years to identify them.
Experts believe that the discovery of a large number of seals and calculation devices in the site proves that it was, in addition to being a religious place, used as a center for economic activities. The 5,000-years-old history of the Burnt City makes it one of the largest and most ancient sites in the Middle East. Various industrial and residential units, as well as cemeteries and monumental relics litter its 151 hectares of land.
... Payvand News - 7/9/04 ... --