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Prehistoric Persia

    Naturevolume 130page429 (1932) | Download Citation



    SHOULD subsequent investigation confirm the tentative attribution of a date contemporary with Susa I. to the Stratum I. in the mound now under excavation by the American Institute of Persian Art and Archæology at Damghan in northern Persia, the discovery fully justifies the claim for interest and importance made by Dr. Arthur Upham Pope in his letter to the Times of Sept. 12. He states that Dr. Erich Schmidt, field director of the expedition, has found in that stratum beautiful hand-made pottery and copper implements upon which he bases his suggested dating. He regards the lowest levels of the Inound upon which the expedition is now engaged as coming very close to the fourth millennium B.C. Further evidence of this extension of the early painted pottery culture will be awaited eagerly. The important structure revealed in Stratum III., dating from about 2000 B.C., is of exceptional interest, not only on account of the singularly rich treasure of objects of high artistic merit in gold, silver, copper, and semi-precious stone, but also for the remarkable burial of a dancing girl which was found in one corner of the building. The body was laid out in dancing pose, with silver rings on the fingers, copper rings in the ears, long coiled armlets, a necklace of effigies of turtles in lapis and silver and a little copper lion, silver tubes, lapis beads, and other objects and ornaments in metal and stone. The mere catalogue of the finds calls up an intriguing picture of the magnificence of this early eastern court, of which, however, the significance will be much enhanced when something more is known of its cultural and artistic affinities.

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