By Leila Imani*
Archeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. Archeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture.
Archeologists analyze artifacts, features, and other information recovered in ancient fields to help answer their research questions. During the investigative process, they might seek to learn when people occupied the site, the purpose of the objects recovered, what the people ate, the kinds of structures they built, with whom they traded, and much more.
The first archeological excavations in Iran were carried out by British archeologists William Kent Loftus from 1849 to 1851 in the ruins of Susa, the ancient capital of Elam (3100-2700 BCE), located in southwestern Iran. This date can be considered as the beginning of archeological excavations in Iran.
There are many ancient sites in Iran, each of which goes back to an ancient civilization, or part of the old history of the vast country.
The book entitled, “Archaeology of Iran in the Historical Period,” written by a large number of scholars from around the world, was published by the University of Tehran in 2020. It presents an up-to-date survey of pre-Islamic Iran, from the earliest dynasty of Elam to the end of the Sassanid Empire, encompassing a rich diversity of peoples and cultures.
The book is a collection of essays, and in one of which, entitled, “Archeological Study of Khorbas Cave on Qeshm Island,” the structure of the ancient cave is discussed.
In the southern province of Hormuzgan, Qeshm Island is Iran’s largest island, and Khorbas Cave is one of the most prominent examples of rock architecture in the region of the Persian Gulf.
Following is a lightly edited version of the article, accompanied by photos which appear in the book.
* Leila Imani is a staff writer in Iran Daily.