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EghtesadOnline: News media reports on the discovery of a skull belonging to the first millennium BC in Safi Alishah Avenue of Tehran has raised questions and different ambiguities in the media realm and among experts, Research Institute of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT) says.

According to the Public Relations Office of RICHT, the timely presence and documentation of the archaeologists of the Institute of Archeology led to the monitoring of information and sound understanding of the historical position of the works, which have so far been unearthed in the course of construction excavations.

RICHT quoted Farshid Mosaddeqi, a faculty member of the Institute of Archeology, as saying that the location of the underground remains in Safi Alishah Avenue is an identified zone due to historical background and its urban texture during the Qajar period.

He said in the course of drilling for wastewater project, architectural remains, clay works and remains of a skeleton dating back to the pre-contemporary era in Tehran were discovered.

The archeologist further remarked that in one of the ditches scattered remains of a skull and part of the jaw of a man, two simple and unidentified clay pieces in beige and brick red colors and a piece of a porcelain plate broken into two pieces were discovered at the time of excavations.

He said the beige clay is part of a large pottery and the brick red color piece is a broken part of a large vascular broken pipe and the porcelain piece is part of a smaller and fine dish (plate of a saucer) over which Arabesque designs in blue, red, green and golden can be seen.

However, the archaeologist said, the relationship between each of the clay pieces together with the stone remains is not clear due to the disruptive location.

According to Mosaddeqi, in another ditch in the south of the previous ditch, there are rectangular broken bricks, old and contemporary, which are indicative of older construction below the layers of the present layer of Safi Alishah Avenue.

As for the discovered clays, he said in conducting further surveys more clay pieces either simple or glazed, some with simple parallel lines and a piece of a mouth, shoulder and connecting handle (belonging to a crock-shaped vessel or a jar), was discovered.

But, he further stressed, the most interesting sample was the same cap-shaped piece which after being cleaned and washed the writings and geometric designs over its external surface became visible.

The more accurate checkout of the beige color cap-shaped clay revealed a table with square type drawing and numbers and written words and names beside the geometric network the objective for which was neither for entertainment nor writing memories but to make a wish by resorting to non-material elements and forces.

The faculty member noted that in fact such works are included among remains, which are referred to, in archeological and social history writings, as 'amulet' or the 'refuge' or under subjects as 'astrology' and 'pray writing'.

In other words, the author or designer of the figures, the numbers and the names on the clay pieces, based on the common belief and mentality common among the fortune tellers and writers of prayer, intended to “open the fortune', 'attract luck', 'realize unattainable desires ' or to 'tie up' or 'close' the affairs in human relations.

According to the archaeologist, since there is no new fractures, cuts, smashing or cracking on the edges of the clay piece, it can be concluded that the designer of the patterns, numbers and words had written his wish on a piece of clay and waited to see the result.

He said, as a result, the location of the identified subsurface remains in Safi Alishah Avenue in historical terms and urban texture during the Qajar rule is an identified zone with entertainment, housing and communication establishments, IRNA reported. 

According to the archaeologist, this area in the period before the Qajar (the Tahmasbi Fence) was located outside the original range of Tehran and no obvious consistency in terms of settlements (residential, services, and communication) could be seen in it.

He said the dense disposition with thick layers of sand and soil (from wind to fine, soft and large pebble) was a proof of the flow of waters of local floods with different speed and density over time.

It should be noted that earlier it had been reported that a 3000-year skull has been accidentally discovered during drilling operations of the Water and Wastewater Organization in Safi Alishah Avenue.

Iran archaeologism Tehran history