A History of Archaeological Activities

Haft Tappeh was first found and visited by Jean-Jacques de Morgan, contemporary head of French expedition at Susa, in the late nineteenth century. Afterwards, Robert McCormick Adams, from the University of Chicago, investigated the site and spotted it on a map as KS 98.
During early 1960s, with the advent of Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Agro-Industry Company, land leveling projects started to run. Once, while land leveling, a bulldozer hit the arch of an Elamite tomb made of baked brick. Therefore, as the result of the officials’ timely decision, land leveling was stopped and Dr. Ezatollah Negahban was sent to the place from the Iranian Archaeology Center. After a visit to the site, archaeological excavations began at Haft Tappeh in 1964 under Dr. Negahban and continued till 1979 in collaboration with the University of Tehran. The excavations, which were conducted every year for three months during winter, demonstrate a proper and efficient example of collaboration between the General Directorate of Archeology and the university. This strongly contributed to training Iranian students and archaeologists as well as yielding archeological Elamite documents and finds for research purposes. Over the course of these excavations, about 150 trenches measuring 10×10 meters were dug. During early seasons, excavations were more focused on the northwest of the site where the bulldozer had exposed parts of the ruins for the first time. That said, excavations developed to the southeast in the ensuing seasons.

Figure 1: Excavations at the round-arch tomb

Figure 2: Excavations at Haft Tappeh

Following Islamic Revolution in 1979 and also Iran-Iraq War, the excavations came to a halt. After a long while in 2002, however, the World Heritage Base of Tchogha Zanbil and Haft Tappeh was established and archaeological surveys and excavations were resumed by Dr. Behzad Mofidi in large scales.
New studies at Haft Tappeh were actually in line with previous attempts and supposed to complete them. Efforts for identifying the spread and interconnection of the architectural remnants have been made through methods such as geophysical surveys in recent excavations. Ever since new excavations began until the latest ones in 2006, geophysical surveys were done at different parts of the site, and a span of approximately 1100 m3 area was excavated. Haft Tappeh geophysical surveys were operated in geomagnetic and geoelectric methods over a period of time from 2002 to 2006 covering a 26-hectare area. These studies have brought about a more accurate insight into the dispersal of constructions as well as the ruins’ position in a short period of time without any types of excavation. Now, there is a more comprehensive map of Haft Tappeh thanks to the synthesis of the past and present studies.

Figure 3: Geophysical surveys at Haft Tappeh

Figure 4. New excavations at Haft Tappeh