Archaeological excavations in 4 significant archeological sites in the basin of Chaparabad Dam in Oshnavieh city led to the discovery of artifacts from the prehistoric period of the 5th and 4th millennia BC the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and the 3rd and 4th lunar centuries.
In line with the agreement between the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Research Institute and the Regional Water Company of West Azerbaijan Province on conducting archaeological research in the catchment area of Chaparabad Dam in Oshnavieh city, archeological excavations began in 4 important archeological sites, such as Shaykh Rash 1, which according to the archeologists, is a rare and invaluable site in the north/west of our country. According to ILNA, Ali Farhani, project manager of rescue excavations of Chaparabad Dam and head of excavation of Shaykh Rash 1 site, said in this regard: The director of the research institute and the director of the archeological research institute, after issuing the necessary permits, started the first phase of archeological excavations in 4 important archeological sites and ended them in 3 areas, and another excavation in a different site is nearing the final stage.
He stated that archaeological excavations in 4 sites had been carried out by researchers from the Archaeological Research Institute (2 teams) and freelance researchers, and named Shaykh Rash 1, under the supervision of Ali Farhani, a member of the scientific board of the Archaeological Research Institute, Shaykh Rash 2 under the leadership of Fereshteh Sharifi, Kani Hava, headed by Bayram Oghalar, and Gargaru under supervision of Hanan Bohranipour, as experts of the research institute.
A member of the scientific board of the archeological research institute pointed out: “This area contained works from the prehistoric period of the 5th and 4th millennia BC, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and the first centuries of Islam (3rd and 4th centuries May).”
The archaeologist, referring to the extensive damage to the excavated sites, called the results of all excavations noteworthy, and added: “These results are of particular importance in the reconstruction of the historic features of the north/western region of the country, in various historical periods.”
Farhani said: “Shaykh Rash area with an area of more than one hectare is located on the eastern bank of Kani Rash River at a distance of 700 meters from the crown of Chaparabad dam and includes two separate areas but connected, part of which is in the plain adjacent to the river and another part.” It is located on a ridge at the height of 30 meters from the surrounding ground.
He added: Shaykh Rash 1, with an area of nearly 5000 square meters, has been formed on top of conical hills overlooking the surrounding plain, and its name derives from the existence of a personal tomb with the same name.
The head of the Archaeological Board pointed out that these and other sites were first visited by foreign archaeologists such as Clais and Salvini in the 1960s and 1970s, and brief information about them was published in German and Italian. Shaykh Rash 1 site led to the detection of artifacts from the early centuries of Islam.
The findings include part of the cohesive that is deemed to have been the center of economic activities, using carcass stone and clay with mud mortar and including right-angled rooms along a central corridor perched on a rock base, and there were two ovens in each room.
He gave information about more than 3,000 pieces of pottery, stone and glass, and metal as other excavation findings, and said: “Several items of pottery were also found in this excavation.”
Farhani said that in addition to the complete recording of architectural findings, information about 2,500 pieces of pottery and other objects obtained were carefully studied and documented. He added: “A few samples of the pottery at site were collected and will be tested to define the exact age of settlement in this area, with the help of the research institute for preservation and restoration of historic and cultural monuments.”
He described the initial results of the excavations of the Shaykh Rash 1 site as being a single period settlement in the early centuries of Islam, and according to many, in the 3rd and 4th centuries, and added: “This site is of special importance because where most of the sites belonging to the Islamic era show evidence of a number of continuous settlement periods, the Shaykh Rash 1 site is an exception in the west of our country.”
The archeologist concluded that the excavation team had explored more than 100 square meters of the site in total and expressed hope that they would gain more information about this area as the excavations continued.