UK archaeologist: Iran is influential country with rich heritage Tourism
Speaking to IRNA on the sidelines of the 14th Annual Symposium on the Iranian Archaeology, underway at Iran National Museum in Tehran (March 6-8), Sauer provided a profile of his excavation work in Gorgan, north of Iran, in the Caspian Sea and said he had come to the symposium to brief the audience on the research findings.
He said his excavations supported a heritage dating back to Sassanid era and said yet more excavations should be done in the country in many other sites and on many other periods.
He added that not much research has been done thus far. 'Much research should be done and much has to be learnt.'
He went on to say that financial problems figure prominently as obstacles on the way as excavations are expensive projects in their kind.
Elsewhere in the interview, he lauded Iranian archaeologists in terms of their knowledge and said they are hardworking, dedicated, with impressive performance and with great deal of intelligence.
He said he had come to the symposium because it provides an opportunity for information and experience sharing.
He added that he aims cooperation with Iranians, yet believing it should be mutual.
The fieldwork, Sauer did along with Iranian archaeologists, uncovered some of the reasons for the Sassanid Empire’s success. The 200-km long Gorgan Wall, with over 30 associated forts, has now been firmly dated to the 5th and early 6th century AD and thus to the period of Sasanian rule.
The Gorgan Wall, the longest and most sophisticated ancient defensive wall between central Europe and China, helped to keep the Empire’s economic assets by and large safe from the threat posed by its northern neighbors.
The joint venture was done in cooperation with Hamid Omrani Rekavandi and Jebrael Nokandeh in Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organization and Professor Tony Wilkinson in the University of Durham.
The Sasanian Empire, lasting for over four centuries (from the 3rd to the 7th), was centered on modern Iran and stretched from Mesopotamia (Iraq) in the west to the western parts of the Indian Subcontinent in the east. In the north it reached into the area of modern Dagestan (Russia), Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan; in the south, into the Arabian Peninsula.
The Sasanian Empire, long neglected and underrated, was astonishingly resourceful and well organized. At the time when the Western Roman Empire was carved up by its northern enemies, the Sasanian Empire was not only able to hold its ground, but had gone in the lead in terms of military innovation.