Home Destinations Traces of a 7,000-Year Civilization in the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

Traces of a 7,000-Year Civilization in the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

by Parastoo Sahebi
12 minutes read
the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

The Sialk Mounds of Kashan are one of the most famous tourist attractions in this city, registered as a valuable historical site by the Cultural Heritage Organization and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Sialk Mounds are an ancient area located in the southwestern part of Kashan, along the road from Fin to Kashan. With a history dating back 8,000 years, it is considered one of the oldest historical sites in the world.

This area has hosted significant artifacts from various periods of human history, including the Neolithic period and the rule of the Medes. The Sialk Mounds were registered as a national heritage site in Iran on 24th Shahrivar 1310 (Solar Hijri calendar) and have since become one of the prominent and well-known attractions in Kashan, located in the Isfahan province. The Sialk Mounds hold immense value and importance for archaeologists, representing a rich history and ancient civilizations that once thrived in this historical region.


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If you are interested in unraveling the mysteries behind these ancient mounds and exploring the historical attractions of our country, be sure to follow this article by Eligasht magazine until the end. We will provide you with interesting insights into the Sialk Mounds’ ancient heritage.


Introduction to the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

The Sialk Mounds, with a history of over 8,000 years, are among the most famous archaeological sites in Iran and the world. This area has revealed numerous artifacts from the Neolithic period, the Copper and Stone Age, the urbanization period, the Iron Age, and the Medes period, bearing witness to human life in this ancient region. Important findings in this area include the first human settlements and houses, the first kilns for pottery and metal smelting, and the earliest traces of writing.

When introducing the Sialk Mounds of Kashan, it is important to note that this area has witnessed significant historical events, some of which have been lost over time. Currently, limited remnants of human life from 8,000 years ago remain in this archaeological site. These mounds were listed as a national heritage site in Iran, and in 1977, they were included in the temporary World Heritage list. However, they have not yet been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

The Sialk Mounds are located on the southwest side of Kashan, on the right side of Amir Kabir Street, along the road from Fin to Kashan. Tourists can visit this site every day by purchasing an entrance ticket.


History of the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

The Sialk Mounds are considered one of the largest and most valuable archaeological sites in Iran and the world. This area, which has witnessed human history for approximately 8,000 years, is highly regarded by archaeologists as a significant location. The mounds are divided into four sections: the Northern Sialk Mounds or Small Sialk with an area of five hectares, the Southern Sialk Mounds or Large Sialk with an area of eight hectares, Cemetery A, and Cemetery B. Visitors can explore different sections of this archaeological site in detail during their visit.

Various artifacts from different periods of human civilization can be observed in these areas. The remnants found in the Sialk Mounds of Kashan range from the Neolithic period to the Medes period.


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The Discovery of the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

One of the intriguing aspects of the Sialk Mounds of Kashan is the accidental discovery of these mounds. Approximately a century ago, the Sialk Mounds were uncovered as a result of a flood in the Kashan region. The flood caused the ancient Sialk civilization to resurface. The locals believed that the area had been cursed until the discovery of the mounds and considered it a haunted place.

However, a severe flood that occurred several decades ago in this region caused the land to shift, resulting in unexpected consequences. As a result of this flood, some graves, tools, and pottery emerged suddenly from the ground. Opportunistic individuals attempted to excavate these mounds to extract and sell the ancient artifacts.

During this process, valuable artifacts, including ancient tools and pottery, were discovered, attracting the attention of the world. Roman Ghirshman, a renowned archaeologist, traveled to Iran, including the Sialk Mounds, to study and preserve the area. The antiquities were transferred to museums in Western countries, including the Louvre Museum in Paris.

the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

Research Results of Roman Ghirshman on the Sialk Mound

A French archaeological team led by Roman Ghirshman embarked on a mission to investigate the antiquity of these mounds in the years 1312, 1313, and 1316 AH (Islamic calendar). Through their excavations, they successfully discovered valuable ancient artifacts from the Sialk Mound. Roman Ghirshman, in collaboration with Andre Godard, who was the director of the National Museum of Iran, initiated extensive excavations in this region and published the results of their research in two volumes in French, which were later translated and published in Persian. The French archaeological team estimated the age of the Sialk civilization to be approximately ten thousand years and published their reports in two volumes titled “Sialk Kashan” in French.


Results of Iranian Archaeologists’ Research

Dr. Sadeq Malek Shahmirzadi is one of the most renowned individuals who has discovered historical artifacts in the Sialk Mound. During his excavations, he uncovered a place of worship called Sialk, which was associated with ancient times, in these ancient mounds. The interior walls of this place of worship were adorned with clay, and the deceased was placed on the floor in the burial chambers in a fetal position.

The entry of the Iranian archaeological team into the Sialk Mound brought attention back to this area, and measures were taken to preserve this valuable archaeological site. Dr. Sadeq Malek Shahmirzadi, along with his efficient team, began archaeological operations in this area in 2001. They gathered more information about the Sialk Mound and published their research results in 2006.

Their efforts led to the preservation of this valuable archaeological site and introduced the Sialk civilization to the world. After opening the existing tombs in this ancient mound, numerous objects were discovered, including precious metals and valuable jewelry. These investigations not only provided a remarkable reflection of ancient Iranian civilization in the Sialk region but also demonstrated that this area has a long and significant history. The results of the Iranian archaeological group’s excavations have been published in the following books:

Sialk Ziggurat: Report on the First Season of Excavation

Sialk Potters: Report on the Second Season of Excavation

Sialk Silversmiths: Report on the Third Season of Excavation

Sialk Hunters: Report on the Fourth Season of Excavation

Sialk, the Oldest Enclosed Village in Iran: Final Report of the Excavation

Sialk Villagers: Collection of Research Articles on the Excavation

the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

Discovered Objects in the Sialk Kashan Mounds

In the Sialk Kashan mounds, a variety of objects were discovered by local people and Iranian and foreign archaeological groups, which not only referred to the history and authenticity of Iran but also to the ancient civilization of this region throughout history. However, it should be noted that not all the discovered artifacts from the Sialk mound archaeological site are preserved in Iranian museums, and unfortunately, most of these precious objects are currently located in the Louvre Museum in France. These objects include the following:

Human Skeletons: Several human skeletons were discovered in the Sialk mound sanctuary, indicating the life and death of ancient people in this area.

Valuable Metals: Precious metals such as gold and silver were also discovered during the excavations at this archaeological site.

Beautiful Vessels with Eye-catching Designs: Ceramic vessels with beautiful patterns and designs were found in the Sialk mound, demonstrating the artistic skill and taste of ancient Iranians.

Jewelry: Evidence of ancient jewelry was also discovered in this location, reflecting the beauty and artistic taste of ancient people.

Spindles and Weaving Tools: Objects related to spinning and weaving processes were among the valuable artifacts discovered in the Sialk mound, indicating the expertise and weaving techniques of individuals in this region.

Metal Melting Furnaces: The presence of furnaces for metal melting in this area showcases the technical and industrial capabilities of ancient people in blacksmithing and related industries.

Human Sculptures: The discovery of human sculptures indicates the use of sculpture art in this region and identifies Iran as one of the first countries to have engaged in sculpture art.


Where is the Sialk Mound located?

The Sialk Mound is located in Kashan, Isfahan Province, Iran. To reach the Sialk Mound, if travelers are heading from Tehran towards Kashan, they need to drive approximately 235 kilometers, which takes about 2 and a half hours. The Sialk Mounds are situated on Amir Kabir Street, southwest of Kashan, and to access them, one must enter the Kashan-Fin Road.

The Sialk Mound is located in the southwest of Kashan, on the right side of the Kashan-Fin Road. By following this route, you will have access to it. Visiting the archaeological site of the Sialk Mounds is possible every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and tourists have the opportunity to visit this museum every day of the year.

Address of the Sialk Mounds: Sialk Cultural Heritage Base, End of Zolfaghar 10th Street, Amir al-Momenin Street, Kashan, Isfahan Province.

the Sialk Mounds of Kashan

Final words

The history of the Sialk Mounds dates back more than 8,000 years. The ancient Sialk Mounds in Kashan were the dwelling place of ancient Iranians from the Medes tribe in distant times. When these mounds were discovered, many valuable historical artifacts from that era were found, some of which are now kept in European museums. Visiting these ancient mounds and exploring the remains of past lives is fascinating and educational for all history and civilization enthusiasts in Iran.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1- Where are the Sialk Mounds located?

The Sialk Mounds are located in the southwest of Kashan, in Isfahan Province. To access these mounds, you first need to enter the city of Kashan and then head to Amir Kabir Street, which is located on the right side of the Kashan-Fin Road, where these ancient mounds are situated.


2- What are the visiting hours for the historical Sialk Mounds?

Those interested in visiting this historical mound can visit the Sialk archaeological site every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and explore the remaining attractions in this area up close.


3- How far back does the history of the Sialk Mound go?

The history of these historical mounds dates back approximately eight thousand years, from the Neolithic period to the Medes period. However, some archaeologists, like Roman Ghirshman from France, believe that the history of the Sialk Mound goes back more than ten thousand years.


4- What are the most famous artifacts in the Sialk Mound?

During a visit to the Sialk Mounds in Kashan, you can observe the first human settlements and houses built by humans, the first domesticated animals and plants, the first pottery kilns and metal smelting furnaces, and the first evidence of writing and script.


5- Is it possible to purchase airplane tickets to various cities in Iran from the Eligasht website?

Yes, you can purchase flight tickets or recreational tours to various cities in Iran and around the world completely online, 24 hours a day, through the Eligasht website. You can travel to your desired destination with peace of mind regarding the quality of your flight and journey.


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