Tepe Sialk

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Tepe Sialk
Tepe Sialk, Kashan, Irán, 2016-09-19, DD 24.jpg
Tepe Sialk
Tepe Sialk is located in Iran
Tepe Sialk
Shown within Iran
Location Isfahan Province, Iran
Coordinates 33°58′08″N 51°24′17″E / 33.96889°N 51.40472°E / 33.96889; 51.40472Coordinates: 33°58′08″N 51°24′17″E / 33.96889°N 51.40472°E / 33.96889; 51.40472
Type Settlement
Site notes
Condition In ruins

Tepe Sialk (Persian: تپه سیلک‎‎) is a large ancient archeological site (a tepe, "hill" or "mound") in a suburb of the city of Kashan, Isfahan Province, in central Iran, close to Fin Garden. The culture that inhabited this area has been linked to the Zayandeh River Culture.[1]


The Sialk ziggurat was built around the 3000 BC. A joint study between Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization, the Louvre, and the Institut Francais de Recherche en Iran also verifies the oldest settlements in Sialk to date back to 5500–6000 BC [2] [3].

Sialk, and the entire area around it, is thought to have originated as a result of the pristine large water sources nearby that still run today, the Cheshmeh ye Soleiman ("Solomon's Spring") has been bringing water to this area from nearby mountains for thousands of years. The Fin garden, built in its present form in the 17th century, is a popular tourist attraction, it is here that the kings of the Safavid dynasty would spend their vacations away from their capital cities. It is also here that Piruz Nahavandi (Abu-Lu'lu'ah), the Persian assassin of Caliph Umar, is buried. All these remains are located in the same location where Sialk is.


Tepe Sialk was excavated for three seasons (1933, 1934, and 1937) by a team headed by Roman Ghirshman and his wife Tania Ghirshman.[4][5][6] Studies related to the site were conducted by D.E. McCown, Y. Majidzadeh, and P. Amieh.[7][8] Excavation was resumed for several seasons between 1999 and 2004 by a team from the University of Pennsylvania and Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization led by Sadegh Malek Shahmirzadi called the Sialk Reconsideration Project.[9][10][11][12]

Artifacts from the original dig ended up mostly at the Louvre, while some can be found at the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the National Museum of Iran and in the hands of private collectors.

These artifacts consisted of some very fine painted potteries.[13]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran (CHN) report: "Zayandeh Rood Civilization Linked to Marvdasht and Sialk". Accessed January 30, 2007. Link: Chnpress.com
  2. ^ Fazeli, H., Beshkani A., Markosian A., Ilkani H., Young R. L. 2010 The Neolithic to Chalcolithic Transition in the Qazvin Plain, Iran: Chronology and Subsistence Strategies: in Archäologische Mitteilungen Aus Iran and Turan 41, pp. 1-17
  3. ^ Matthews, R. and Nashli, H. F., eds. 2013 The Neolithisation of Iran: the formation of new societies. British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology and Oxbow Books, Oxford, pp272.
  4. ^ Roman Ghirshman, Fouilles de Sialk près de Kashan, 1933, 1934, 1937, vol. 1, Paul Geuthner, 1938
  5. ^ Ghirshman, Fouilles de Sialk, vol. 2, Paul Geuthner, 1939
  6. ^ Spyoket, Agnès. "Ghirshman, Tania" (PDF). Breaking Ground: Women in Old World Archaeology. Translated by Sylvie Marshall. Brown University. 
  7. ^ D. E. McCown, The Comparative Stratigraphy of Early Iran, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization no. 23, Oriental Institute of Chicago, 1942
  8. ^ Yousef Majidzadeh, Correction of the Internal Chronology for the Sialk III Period on the Basis of the Pottery Sequence at Tepe Ghabristan, Iran, vol. 16, pp. 93-101, 1978
  9. ^ S.M. Shahmirzadi, The Ziggurat of Sialk, Sialk Reconsideration Project Report No. 1, Archaeological Research Center. Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, 2002, (Persian)
  10. ^ S.M. Shahmirzadi, The Silversmiths of Sialk, Sialk Reconsideration Project Report No. 2, Archaeological Research Center. Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, 2003, (Persian)
  11. ^ S.M. Shahmirzadi, The Potters of Sialk, Sialk Reconsideration Project Report No. 3, Archaeological Research Center. Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, 2004, (Persian)
  12. ^ S.M. Shahmirzadi, The Smelters of Sialk, Sialk Reconsideration Project Report No. 4, Archaeological Research Center. Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization, 2005, (Persian)
  13. ^ Langer, William L., ed. (1972). An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 17. ISBN 0-395-13592-3. 


  • Les recherches archéologiques françaises en Iran. November 2001, Téhéran. Institut Français de Recherche en Iran, Musée du Louvre, ICHO.
  • Yousef Majidzadeh, Sialk III and the Pottery Sequence at Tepe Ghabristan: The Coherence of the Cultures of the Central Iranian Plateau, Iran, vol. 19, 1981

External links[edit]