IN 1958, archaeologist Robert Dyson was excavating the long-buried citadel of Hasanlu in Iran when he came across this beautiful gold bowl (pictured). But after a moment in the international headlines, the bowl and citadel were largely forgotten.
And so the unique circumstances under which the precious vessel fell to the bottom of a refuse shaft 2,800 years ago are only now coming to light, as Dyson’s former student Michael Danti of Boston University revisits the excavation notes.
Today, Hasanlu looks like a large dirt mound that rises 25 metres out of the Solduz valley in north-west Iran, but beneath the earth are the remains of a settlement that was occupied nearly continuously for millennia, from 6000 BC. Read more.