News ID: 129307
Published: 0210 GMT October 19, 2015

US team ready to cooperate on Jondishapour excavations

US team ready to cooperate on Jondishapour excavations

An American archeological team has voiced readiness to collaborate with Iranian experts on excavation projects that are going to be resumed in the historical city of Jondishapour, in southwestern Khuzestan province, after a 50-year hiatus.


The decision was taken following a visit this week to a number of ancient sites in the city by a team headed by Prof. Donald Whitcomb from the University of Chicago.

The team comprised six other archeologists from the University of Chicago including Dr. Abbas Alizadeh, a US-based Iranian university instructor.

“In addition to American archeologists, teams from Europe have expressed readiness to cooperate with their Iranian counterparts on the excavation projects in Jondishapour,” Alizadeh said.

He added that Iranian, European and American archeologists will discuss a range of issues linked to the resumption of excavations in Jondishapour to reach a comprehensive agreement.

Alizadeh described the city as a valuable historical site in the world that can reveal mysteries about the lifestyle of its ancient residents.

“Jondishapour had a complex irrigation system during the Sassanid era. The water pipes and cisterns of the ancient city are still regarded as unique engineering masterpieces of their era,” he said.

“The city was also home to the word’s first university built about 1,800 years ago upon the order of Shapour I of the Sassanid Dynasty. Students were taught philosophy, medicine and astronomy at the University of Jondishapour,” he said.

Alizadeh said the last excavations were conducted in 1961 at Jondishapour under the supervision of Prof. Robert McAdams from the University of Chicago.

“The historical site has remained untouched since then. The new phases of excavations will be supervised by Dr. Negin Miri,” he said, adding Jondishapour — with its streets, houses, shops, hospital and palaces — could be regarded as the world’s most historical university.

“Jondishapour was established by Ardeshir, the founder of Sassanid Dynasty, and expanded by his son, Shapour I. The city has a unique circular architecture,” he explained.

Regretting the smuggling of archeological findings out of Iran by the Americans in the past, Whitcomb noted that every artifact found in future excavations at Jondishapour must be kept in the city.

Yaqoub Zolqi, the head of Jondishapour Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said the excavations which are due to be conducted in collaboration with foreign researchers would be the largest of its kind in the city.

Jondishapour, which spreads over and area of 800 hectares, is located 12 kilometers from the city of Dezful.

The relics unearthed from the city were registered on the National Heritage List 84 years ago.

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