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Tepe Sialk

It is an ancient archaeological area with more than 8000 years of history

Tepe Sialk is a large ancient archeological site in a suburb of the city of Kashan, Isfahan Province, in central Iran, close to Fin Garden (iran tours)

The Sialk ziggurat was built around the 3000 BC (Tepe Sialk) . 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 .

Tepe Sialk


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 , the Persian assassin of Caliph Umar, is buried. All these remains are located in the same location where Sialk is.

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This site is one of the few sites that has had human residence of about 7500 years ago. The burial ceremonies in this ancient city are different from other ancient cities in Iran. Many of the items found in Sialk excavated from the necropolis.


Tepe Sialk

Sialk is one of four ziggurats built by the Elamite civilization. The other three are: Choqa Zanbil (1250 BC), Susa ziggurat (1800 BC), and Haft Teppeh (1375 BC), all in Khuzestan.

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“Teppe Sialk” (In Persian, Tappe means “hill” or “mound”) was first excavated by a team of European archeologists headed by Roman Ghirshman in the1930s.  But like the thousands of other Iranian historical ruins, the treasures excavated here eventually found their way to museums of Europe, America and private collectors.

The northern mound (tell) is the oldest; the occupation dates back to the end of the seventh millennium BC.The mound is composed of two levels: Sialk I (the oldest), and Sialk II.

Sialk I level architecture is pretty rudimentary.Tombs containing pottery have been uncovered. The ceramic is initially rather rough, then becomes of better quality with the time.

Zagheh archaic painted ware (ca. 6000-5500 BC) is found in Tepe Sialk I,sub-levels 1-­2. This is the early painted ware, that was first excavated at Tepe Zagheh in the Qazvin plain.

In sub-periods 3, 4 and 5, the pottery has a clear surface with painted decoration. Stone or bone tools are still used.

Tepe Sialk


The Sialk II level sees the first appearance of metallurgy. The archaeological material found in the buildings of this period testifies to increasing links with the outside world.

The south tell includes the Sialk III and IV levels. The first, divided into seven sub-periods, corresponds to the fifth millennium and the beginning of the fourth (c. 4000 BC). This period is in continuity with the previous one, and sees the complexity of architecture (molded bricks, use of stone) and crafts, especially metallurgical.


Tepe Sialk


The final, sixth period, started about 900 BCE, when the fifth town was destroyed. The conquerors build a new city on top of the old one, but otherwise, there is no continuity. For example, the newcomers buried their dead on cemetery B, about 250 meters west of the southern hill. It is possible that the invaders belonged to the great immigration of Iranian-speaking peoples. They were certainly the people who made the pots with the long-beaked sprouts for which Tepe Sialk is famous.

Tepe Sialk was destroyed in the eighth century BCE.

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