1100 GMT December 04, 2021
Iron Age Museum Site of Tabriz is one of the unique museums of this historical city. This site museum in northwestern Iran leads you through a time tunnel to the depths of history – the Iron Age. The existence of ancient graves embracing Iron Age skeletons and burials in the heart of an urban texture of a modern city is not normally seen elsewhere in the country. The escape from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as the people and stepping into the world of the past conveys a great feeling to the visitors of this site museum.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, the head of the Iron Age Museum Site of Tabriz, Hassan Asgari Abedi, elaborated on the details of the uncovering course of the archeological site in Tabriz, the capital city of East Azarbaijan Province in northwestern Iran.
The remains of the prehistoric cemetery were uncovered in 1997 during the construction of a shopping center adjacent to the Blue Mosque (Masjed-e Kabud) in Tabriz, Asgari said.
The total area of the cemetery is estimated at three hectares, which is located entirely in the historical context of Tabriz. The houses and urban facilities within the area of 4,000 square meters have been owned by the city’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department so far. The tombs that have been unearthed are within the area of just 400 square meters, he said.
Since 1976, several phases of excavations have been carried out in this archaeological site museum, during which several burials and historical objects have been found, the head of the museum said.
An archaeological site museum is defined as a museum conceived and set up to protect natural or cultural property, movable and immovable, on its original site, that is preserved at the place where such property has been created or discovered.
The discoveries made from the excavations in the deepest parts of the ancient tombs are related to the Iron Age and are over 3,200 years old, Asgari said.
“But the discoveries are not limited to the Iron Age,” he said, adding that the graves had been covered with other historical layers, most of which relate to the early Islamic period, especially the Safavid Era (1501-1736).
Most of these early Islamic-period discoveries have been transferred to the Azarbaijan Museum and other places, and only discoveries related to the Iron Age have been displayed in their original place, he explained.
Referring to the unearthed objects, the museum chief said most of the items found in the graves are skeletons and the objects that are buried with them, including decorative objects, various types of pottery, daggers, and swords made of bronze and iron.
But the objects of the higher layers are related to the early Islamic and Safavid periods, including pottery, utensils, and old pitchers, he said.
The museum chief said the city’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department will do its best to expand the amount of exploration and reach new dimensions of discovery.