Tehran, May 7 : Archaeologists have come up with a new theory, which suggests that the prehistoric site of Jiroft in Iran is the lost ancient city of Marhashi.
According to a report in Tehran Times, Piotr Steinkeller, professor of Assyriology in Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of Harvard University, developed this theory.
Marhashi, (also known as Warahshe) was a 3rd millennium BC polity situated east of Elam, on the Iranian plateau. It is known from Mesopotamian sources, and its precise location has not been identified.
An inscription of Lugal-Anne-Mundu, the most important king of the Adab city-state in Sumer, locates it, along with Elam, to the south of Gutium, an ancient polity in upper Mesopotamia.
The inscription also explains that Lugal-Anne-Mundu confronted the Warahshe king, Migir-Enlil.
According to Steinkeller, Marhashi was a political and economic power in eastern Iran, which had been in a close contact with Babylonia. This relationship had been developed over two periods, which has influenced the political history of the region for at least a half century.
Steinkeller had previously been searching the Kerman region in order to identify a site from the 3rd millennium BC, which he could consider it as Marhashi.
Though he had found Tepe Yahya and Tall-e Eblis, Steinkeller believes that Tepe Yahya is too small to be considered as Marhashi and Tall-e Eblis has been has almost entirely been destroyed over the years.
But, Steinkeller found that Jiroft, which had been located between Anshan and Meluhha, lies in the heart of the ancient city of Marhashi, which led him to come up with his theory.
Over 700 ancient sites such as tepes and graves have been discovered in Jiroft over the past six seasons of excavation by a team of archaeologists led by Majidzadeh.
Majidzadeh's team unearthed a great number of artifacts at Jiroft as well as three tablets in one of the present-day villager's homes and a brick inscription near Jiroft's Konar-Sandal region, wherein they also discovered ruins of a large fortress, which previously was believed to be a ziggurat.
The pottery works and the shards discovered in the Konar-Sandal fortress date back to an interval between the fourth millennium BC and early years of the Islamic period, according to Majidzadeh.
He has described the inscriptions as unique and has also elaborated that the tablets and the brick inscription bear a script, which has been invented along with the Mesopotamia script at the same time.