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19 August 2005
Ancient shards discovered in Persepolis sewage system

Archaeologists working at the Persepolis Complex have recently discovered 100 shards in the sewage system beneath Persepolis (Iran). The fragments were discovered during sediment removal operations.
     "The discovered items are similar to the earthenware presented by Achaemenid (Empire) delegates at Apadana Hall. They are yellow and bear no special patterns" Alireza Asgari added.
     The system, constructed beneath the palace of the ancient capital of the Achaemenid dynasty had a very systematic structure. About two kilometers of the sewer line were discovered during previous excavations. The ducts vary from 60cm in width and 80cm in height to 160cm in width and 8 meters in height.
     Archaeologists here are determined to reopen the main drain in hopes of preparing the way for making the sewer operational again after 2,500 years. Over 200 meters of the ducts will be dredged during this stage. Since the sediment has not been removed from the ducts, water gathers at the Persepolis Complex during the rainy season, which is a major threat to the structure.
     Back in December 2004, archaeologists had found part of one leg of the throne of Darius the Great during their excavations at Persepolis. The team also found a piece of lapis lazuli during their excavations of the sewage line that passes under the treasury in southeastern Persepolis. Studies on this artifact over the past year have led archaeologists to surmise that the lazuli gemstone was once part of a leg of the throne of Darius.
     Persepolis was built by Darius I in the late 6th century BCE, its ruins lie 56 kilometers northeast of Shiraz. Darius transferred the capital of the Achaemenid dynasty to Persepolis from Pasargadae, where Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire, had once ruled.

Source: Tehran Times (14 August 2005)

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