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Parthia in the News - 2002 and Prior

Click here to see index of all Parthia in the News articles

2002

Takht-e-Suleiman historic ruins on UNESCO's world legacy list (13 Jul 2002)
Porcelain objects in Veshnoveh dig carbon dated to Arsacid period (12 Jul 2002)
Hekmatâneh Hill : Full of Iranian Untold History (12 Jun 2002)

2001

1900-Year-Old Dam, Belong to Parthian Dynasty Registered as National Monument (25 Dec 2001)
Some Archaeological News from Baghdad (Nov 2001)
Parthian Dynasty Historical Edifice Identified in South-Eastern Iran (10 Aug 2001)
First Barrel-Shaped Grave of Parthian Period discovered in Mazandarân (24 Jul 2001)
Sculptures Recovered (May 2001)
A Parthian Ceramic Coffin Discovered in Hamedan (23 May 2001)
Events & Exhibitions: The Unknown Paradise: Archaeological Treasures from Bahrain (Mar 2001)
First-century Parthian Period Building Unearthed from Lower Persian Gulf  (2 Feb 2001)

2000

Iraqi museum reopens after ten-year closure (29 Apr 2000)
Iraq discovers pre-Islamic castle (3 Mar 2000)

1999

"Slipper coffin's" mysteries remain unsolved (7 Sep 1999)
Cities of Fars Province (part 2) Boroujen (30 Jun 1999)
Cities of Fars Province (part 3) (17 Mar 1999)

1998

Antique Collection Discovered in Hamedan (28 Nov 1998)
Seminar on Iran's Ancient Cultural Heritage, Anahita Opens (8 Sep 1998)

1995

Apadana Excavations Begin in Shoush (19 Apr 1995)
Sasanian City Found Near Bushehr (26 Feb 1995)


Takht-e-Suleiman historic ruins on the UNESCO's world legacy list

Tehran,13 Jul 2002 (Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization)

The world legacy committee of UNESCO held its 26th session in Budapest June 24 to June 29 and confirmed the nomination of Takht-e-Suleiman historic fort.  The Takht-e-Suleiman ruins are the fourth Iranian historic site to be catalogued in the world legacy. Also included were Chogha Zanbil, Perspolis, Isfahan's Imam Maidan. (click here to read full article)


Porcelain objects in Veshnoveh dig carbon dated to Arsacid period

(Tehran, 12 Jul 2002 (Iran Cultural Heritage Organization)

The village of veshnoveh, south of Qom contains the Chaleh qar, Laqehmorad and Mazraeh areas where more than 50 ancient mines have been found, some dating back 3 to 5 thousand years. The porcelain objects unearthed in the some of the mines convincingly tell us the objects were used for worship and, in pre-Islamic periods, the mines were holy places for ancient worshippers. Carbon dating indicates the discovered porcelain objects date back to the Sasanian and Arsacid periods. (click here to read full article)


Hekmatâneh Hill : Full of Iranian Untold History

Tehran, 12 Jun 2002 (Tehran Times)

The Hekmataneh hill which is located in the chains of Alvand Mountain slope and the south east of Hamedan, is full of untold secrets about Iran's sparkling history.

This 3000-year-old hill has buried the secrets of Iran's first kingdom and the greatness of the Iranian's rich and ancient civilization in itself.

Beneath vast layers of the soil which make up this hill, a city called Hekmataneh or Ekbatana is buried. This city which was Iranians first capital city, which was established by the order of King Diâoco, of the Median dynasty.

This city was made as a surrounding location for preventing the attacks of the foreigners and enemies. Therefore it was built in seven layers and in different colors and now only a hill has remained of it.

The first buildings of this city and its citadel were established at the time of Diaoco and then it was completed by his successor Khashtariteh and this building reached its height when Kiakasar was the king. It is known that Hekmataneh was attractive in Achaemenid's kingdom and in fact it was the capital of the kings at summertime.

The French researcher and archeologist Grishman who has studied the gold and silver plaques discovered from this era about Hekmataneh Hill which belong to Darius and his antecedents believes that after the Achaemenids dynasty's domination over the country, this city remained safe and even Cyrus the Great transferred all of the documents to this city. The buildings remaining from Achaemenids era in Hekmataneh Hill includes some stone pieces such as pillars which are all like Persepolis buildings. They reveal that great palaces were once built in this place.

After the overthrow of Achaemenid dynasty, the ancient city of Hekmataneh became under the control of Seleucidians, and later Iranian dynasties of Parthians and Sasanian. The discovered coins of Sasanian era reveal that Hekmataneh was one of the main mints of that era.

The documents show that despite the attacks and the interference and possessions made in the ancient citadel of Hekmataneh city during pre-Islam era and also till 882CE, it was still utilized over a period of 1600 years.

Since Hekmataneh was a prominent city during Achaemenids era, the Arab invaders considered the opening of this city in 666 to be their greatest victory after the conquest of Nahavand and their victory over the Sasanians.

The surviving monuments of Hekmataneh Hill include some parallel routes and passages which are located by 36m from each other, each one of them has 3.5 width and in the distance between some buildings were made.

The monuments and artefacts discovered from Hekmataneh Hill gold plaques which date back to Aryans, Darius the Great and Darius II, silver plaque dating back to Darius the Great, a fragment of a silver dish which dates back to Xerxes, plates and silver cups from Artaxerxes I and the stand of a stone pillar which holds the name of Artaxerxes II along with a lot of jewellery.

Some archaeologists believe that these artefacts are among the precious materials which were hidden by Darius III in Hekmataneh Citadel when Alexander Maqdouni attacked there and on the other hand when Alexander got his hand on the monuments of Persepolis, he transferred them to Hekmataneh.

After the discovery of many different pottery, stone made and also metal made objects belonging to different ancient eras, they were put to display for the public. The Head of Hamedan Touring and Tourism Organization Rashid-Beigi announced:" By now Hekmataneh Hill has been excavated for 11 times and in near future the 12th excavation of this location will be started. The monuments and precious artefacts discovered from Hekmataneh are now kept in the temporary Hekmataneh Museum located in the ancient building of Parvaresh School in the east side of the hill for the visit of the public."

According to him during the past year over 72,000 domestic and 360 foreign tourists visited this ancient and historical monument. Hamedan which is a cultural and historical province enjoys over 1000 historical and ancient monuments belonging to different eras.


1900-Year-Old Dam, Belong to Parthian Dynasty Registered as National Monument

Tehran, 25 Dec 2001 (CAIS Archaeological & Cultural News)

The 1900-year-old Kerit Dam in Tabas has been registered as a national monument. It is one of the unique dams of Iran.

Kerit Dam is located at the foot of Kerit Mountain. Research indicates that this dam was first was built during the Parthian era and that it has been rebuilt three times, for the last time in 700 years ago.

A careful examination of the dam system shows the great skill of its architects and engineers. The beautiful scenery of the region has made it a tourist site.


Some Archaeological News from Baghdad

(London: BSAI Newsletter No. 8, Nov 2001)

The Iraq Museum has an exhibition of recent (1999-2001) excavations by Iraqi archaeologists in its the Assyrian Hall. Important artefacts from over twenty sites from different parts of Iraq are on exhibit.

Excavations have resumed at Nimrud after an absence of ten years. At the Ishtar Temple, Muzahim Mahmoud Husein uncovered two winged lions flanking the eastern gate. Between them was a stone slab with an inscription of Assurnasipal II recounting in thirteen lines the building of Nimrud. Other finds include cylinder seals, painted palace ware and decorated glazed ricks, one showing a bareheaded male figure. One fragmentary prism chronicles a king's campaigns up to his ninth year. It is not clear which king is referred to. Dr Nawala al-Mutawalli believes it was Assurnasirpal II while Khalid Ismail, University of Mosul believes it to be Assurbanipal. Many interesting objects were discovered from the site of Umma, including a number of diorite fragments of statues, from the temple of Shara Fragments of one diorite statue found in an Akkadian level are of particular interest as they are exact replicas of parts of the Bronze head of Sargon and include the head band, the eyebrows and the curls of the beard. Other finds include a large stone statue of a crouching monkey and a large Old Babylonian terracotta relief of the goddess Lama.

Apart from the spectacular architectural discoveries in the nearby site of Umm al-Aqarib which include an Early Dynastic temple, a 36m long wall surrounding the temple area, an unusual tripartite temple with walls still standing up to 7m, a palace (area 2500m) and a cemetery; finds include a limestone ram found by the entrance of the temple, a number of cylinder seals, pottery vessels and a fine copper pot.

In 1999 the Department of Antiquities started excavating at Ur in the Old Babylonian levels of the private houses. Apart from the usual finds, pottery, copper bowls, cylinder seals and a large number of beads. One find that stands out is a brick, with a "building plan" incised on it. Another ancient capital that is being excavated by Iraqi archaeologists is Assur (a German expedition is also excavating at the site), here they dug a children cemetery near the west gate. They also excavated private houses of the Parthian period. Near the ziggurat of Assur, a large stone tablet of Shalmaneser I (1274-1245 BC) was discovered, mentioning the renewing of the Temple of Assur and the building of the two towers by the Kal-kal gate. One stamped brick of Adad Nirari I (1307-1275 BC), and numerous economic tablets, some belonging to the end of the Assyrian empire were also recovered.

At Abu Sukhair near the city of Najaf a Sasanian cemetery was discovered with over three hundred graves. The graves were dug into the ground and covered with four to five pottery vessels, some were brick-built. What is remarkable is the quantity of miniature glass bottles of various types and designs. Nearly every grave had about four to five bottles as burial gifts, in addition to bead necklaces of semi precious stones, lapis lazuli, carnelian and glass.

Other sites to be mentioned include Tell Musaihili south of Assur, with beautiful painted Ubaid pottery;. in the south, Tell al-Wilaya, Bismaya and Shemit, all revealed Early Dynastic buildings and finds; at Bezikh, near Qalat Sukar, an Ur III temple was unearthed; in the Diyala region Tell Kristal has largely Hellenistic and Sasanian finds, and so do the mounds in the Anbar region on the Euphrates where most of the finds are Partho-Sasanian and Islamic. Interesting are bone pins in the shape of nude females. Habil Ibrahim south of Babylon also has Parthian, Sasanian and early Islamic finds. The site of Harba north of Baghdad has fine style pottery vessels.

Among the exhibit were a number of Antiquities that were confiscated from illicit diggers, among them a unique Old Babylonian clay statue of an enthroned Ea the Water god (about half a metre high), painted in red and black he rests his feet on two fish men, and holds a flowing vase.

Unfortunately despite all the attempts by the Department of Antiquities to fight the illicit diggers, they still cause a great deal of damage. Last spring at Hatra an important stone slab from the entrance of Temple 14, inscribed in Aramaic with the name of the builder, the name of his tribe and the date of the building of the temple (101 AD), was stolen. Fortunately Dr Jabir Khalil Ibrahim has already read the inscription which will be published in a forthcoming volume of Sumer.

One sad piece of news was the demolition of the east wing (library), of the Gailani Mosque, one of the few complete Ottoman buildings in Baghdad, to give way to a Disney style annex. The writer tried for years to save it, but alas, to no avail.

-- Dr Lamia al Gailani Werr


Parthian Dynasty Historical Edifice Identified in South-Eastern Iran

Chābahār , 10 Aug 2001 (IRNA)

Archaeologists have found an historical edifice belonging to the Parthians (Arsacides) dynasty in Bahukalāt area in Chābahār in south-eastern Iran, a local source said Thursday.

The supervisor of archaeology project of Chābahār told that this edifice called "Dambikūh or ambiānkūh" is located about 90 km north-east of Chābahār near Bolūrmochi village in Bahukalāt region, Dashtyari district and its height is about 600 meters.

Ruhollāh Shirāzi added that at the foot of this mountain and in a length of about 1300 meters there are about 5000 tombs, constructed form of rock chambers without using any mortar, each having one to two trap doors.

He described the form of the tombs as rectangular, oval and circular and their measurement at 1x1, 1.5x2 and 2x2 meters. In early 1930s a British archeologist had visited this ancient grounds and excavated some 40 tombs, he said.

He added that according to Stein's report, the tombs contained whole and broken pottery pieces, and pre-historic painted pottery had not been found in these tombs.

According to him in Sistan and Baluchestan province (south-east of Iran) only in one other place called "Kooh-e Jhajeh" artifacts related to Parthians had been discovered.


First Barrel-Shaped Grave of Parthian Period discovered in Mazandarân

Sâri, Mazandaran, 24 July 2001 (CAIS Archaeological & Cultural News)

The first barrel-shaped grave of Parthian period has been discovered in the process of archaeological studies on Dâmir graveyard in Mazandaran plain.

According to an archaeologist from Mazandaran branch of Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization (ICHO), Ali Mâhfrouzi, since the barrel-shaped grave symbolizing the burials under Parthian dynasty was discovered, various objects such as stone Jewellery, dishes, and metallic knives have also been observed adjacent to it.

It is said that during the Parthian dynasty, the corpses of the dead were kept in a barrel, and their food dishes, and personal belongings were also

buried because of their belief in postmortem life.

The graveyard covering an area covering an area of 160 by 180 square meters, is probably filed with buries corpses of Parthian era, as well as later periods before Islam.

According to the report issued by the media and information center of ICHO, some archaeologists discovered evidences of Parthian era during last year's searches in the northern and northeastern parts Sari and Behshahr cities.

Based on the recent discoveries in Damir graveyard, a new chapter in the field of archaeology is expected to be opened up in the Mazandaran Plain. Daamir graveyard is located 7 km north of Sari. (click here to read full article).


A Parthian Ceramic Coffin Discovered in Hamedan

Tehran, 23 May 2001 (CAIS Archaeological & Cultural News)

A 2000-year-old ceramic coffin, which belongs to Parthians era was discovered at one of the old districts of Hamedan Province, western Iran, on Monday.

The Director General of Hamedan Cultural Heritage Organization (CHO), Habibollah Rashid Beigi, said that the coffin had been found during an excavation at the yard of a house located around Hamedan's Abu Ali Sina Hospital.

The discovered coffin was transferred to CHO laboratory of Hamedan Province by experts, in order to be repaired and renovated, he added.

Rashid Beigi also said that the coffin was made of coarse ceramic without being enameled, measures 1.95cm by 48cm and is 25cm height. He added that the coffin has been shaped like a human body except that it was broader at higher part and narrower at lower part. He mentioned that the only part of an artificial human forearm made of an unknown material had been found in the coffin.

Several ceramic coffins and ancient graves have been previously discovered at various districts of Hamedan, pointing to the vast area and the great population of Hamedan during different pre-Islamic periods, especially during the reign of Parthian dynasty. (click here to read full article).


Sculptures Recovered

(London: BSAI Newsletter No. 7, May 2001)

It is a pleasure to report some success in the recovery of antiquities plundered from sites in Iraq.

Five pieces of Sennacherib relief which had been on display in the palace on Kouyunjik were brought to the attention of a museum in Jerusalem in 1995. One of these pieces was later discovered to be in London in the possession of a Mr. Shlomo Moussaieff who had apparently purchased it "in good faith" in Geneva from a dealer named Nabil Asfar. To recover the piece in the UK therefore required an action in the civil courts, and in 1997 the Iraqi Interests Section began legal proceedings. Some four years later we learn that an agreement has been reached whereby the relief will at last be returned to the possession of the Iraqi government. Of course this is only a minor success: the four other Sennacherib pieces are still missing, and the whole process has involved the expenditure of a great deal of time and money.

Earlier this year a Parthian Medusa mask cut from the walls of Hatra was spotted in a London gallery by an Italian archaeologist and Scotland Yard were notified. When informed of its provenance the dealer entrusted the piece to them, and it will now be restored to its rightful owners.

-- Nicholas Postgate


Events & Exhibitions: The Unknown Paradise: Archaeological Treasures from Bahrain

(Saudi Aramco World (Mar-Apr 2001), p. 49)

The Unknown Paradise: Archaeological Treasures from Bahrain presents nearly 600 objects outlining 4500 years of the history of this past and present center of international trade in the Arabian Gulf. As the bronze-age commercial link among the civilizations of the Indus, Oman and Mesopotamia, Bahrain was the home of the rich and sophisticated Dilmun civilization (2100-1700 BC), whose most important trading commodity was copper. Bahrain enjoyed another, less well-known florescence at the intersection of Hellenic and Parthian culture (300 BC-AD 600), when it was known as Tylos.

Information: +49- 351-814-450. Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte (Museum of Prehistory), Dresden, through July 8. [2001]


First-century Parthian Period Building Unearthed from Lower Persian Gulf

2 Feb 2001 (CAIS Archaeological & Cultural News)

Click to enlargeA huge square building dating back to the Parthian period of first century AD has been unearthed by the archaeological expedition at Meleiha site.

The 3,600 square meter building contained a large number of jars, ceramics, glassware, bronze and iron items plus pottery which had originated in Egypt, Khwarvaran province (what id today known as Iraq) and India. The significance of such findings is that they shed light on the development of trade between the southern region of Iranian empire region and these countries.

The building has huge walls and the whole structure was surrounded by a two-meter thick wall. The huge wall had eight square towers. The building contained a chain of chambers, each used for a specific purpose, including one as a kitchen and another as a storage for household items.

The building had a huge square in the center with a total area of 1,050 square meter. Most of the pottery was found in the chambers in the eastern and southern parts of the building, while the wall of one room on the southern part of the building contained a small canal used to drain water to the square in the middle of the building.

Stairs leading to the upper part of the building were located on the northern part of the building. It stretched from the main entrance to the huge fort. The building was part of a huge fort unearthed in 1992.

Unfortunately, excavation stopped in 1995 as a big part of the fort was hidden under the highway connecting Dhaid with Madam. Excavation resumed in 1998 and a joint team of local and French archaeologists will continue excavating.


Iraqi museum reopens after ten-year closure

(London: BBC News reports, 29 Apr 2000)

Iraq has re-opened its national museum in the capital, Baghdad, nearly ten years after it was closed to avoid damage at the start of the Gulf War.

The museum houses one of the world's most important archaeological collections, consisting of more than ten thousand items from the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia and elsewhere.

These include a Neanderthal skeleton and the remains of a royal tomb from the biblical city of Ur.

Opening the museum, the Iraqi Culture Minister , Humam Abdul Khaleq, said the world should compare this legacy of civilisation with what he called the uncivilised aggression against Iraq.

A BBC correspondent says that, during the closure, some exhibits disappeared or were smuggled abroad.


Iraq discovers pre-Islamic castle

(London: BBC News reports, 3 March 2000)

The discovery in Iraq of a pre-Islamic 'castle' with Parthian and Sasanian structures and artifacts is reported.


"Slipper coffin's" mysteries remain unsolved

By Joanne Nesbit, News and Information Services
Ann Arbor, University of Michigan, The University Record, 7 Sep 1999

Slipper coffinThe Parthian coffin is made of reddish brown clay broken by plaster patches. From above it seems to form an oval pinched at one end to a narrow point. From the side it looks like a slipper with a hole for the lid in the location where the ankle would leave the shoe.
-Photo by Paul Jaronski, Photo Services

Unearthed in 1927 during the University's excavations at Seleucia-on-the-Tigris, about 20 miles south of modern Baghdad, the Parthian slipper coffin went unnoticed in the basement of the Kelsey Museum until summer 1998. It was then, more than 70 years after its initial discovery, that the coffin was discovered again—this time by Will Pestle, a research assistant at the Museum.

Among the stacks of handwritten field notes and diaries left by the original excavators, Pestle had found only a brief mention of a small coffin containing the remains of two infants. Pestle and Museum Registrar Robin Meador-Woodruff, located the coffin looking nothing like they expected. "The coffin's shape is reminiscent of a ballet slipper," Pestle says, "narrower at one end than the other, with a hole in the wide end to accommodate the lid."

When the small circular lid was removed, the coffin revealed a jumble of bones piled along with peanut shells, cotton, straw packing material and pieces of paper with both English and Arabic script. "This was evidence that the contents had been disturbed," Pestle says.

The mix revealed unburned human skeletal remains that contradicted the field notes. The coffin contained four individuals, none of whom was an infant. Pestle determined that one of the individuals was 12–15 years of age and possibly male, a second 6–8 years of age and of indeterminate sex. Pestle determined the third individual to be 4–6 years of age and of indeterminate sex and the fourth to be an adult male.

Pestle says the coffin lacks any obvious decoration, in contrast to coffins found at other Parthian sites. But under raking light, Pestle did find incised lines on both the lid and the top that formed symbols of an unknown nature. He dates the coffin at about 143 BCE–48CE.

One unanswered question raised by Pestle's examination of the coffin and its contents is why so many individuals were present in such a small funerary container. "Perhaps the individuals here interred were part of a family group," Pestle says, "or they may have been siblings." Still, Pestle speculates, there could have been a reburial of these individuals, or the primary inhabitant of the coffin could have been exposed for the purpose of "defleshing" prior to burial and when the remains returned to the coffin, fragments of other individuals were mistakenly included.

"While all of these are possibilities," Pestle says, "a definitive answer is almost impossible to formulate." (Click here to read full article)


Cities of Fars Province (Part 2)

(Tehran Times, June 30, 1999)

Boroujen --- is the second most populated town of the province. It is located 60 km to the east of Shahr-e Kord and is 2,220 meters above the sea level. Some of the most important tourist attractions in this city are as follows:

1. Choghakhor Pond Measuring 2,300 hectares in area, it is located at the foot of Baraftab and Kalar mountains, along Shahr-e Kord-Khouzestan road, near the town of Boldaji. The pond serves the migratory and native birds every year.

2. Imamzadeh Hamzeh-Ali (AS) Imamzadeh Hamzeh-Ali (AS) is one of the descendants of Imam Sajjad (AS), the fourth Imam of the Infallible Household of the Holy prophet (S). His shrine is some 35 km outside Boroujen on the outskirts of Boldaji. It is one of the tourist attractions and pilgrimage sites in the region. Among other tourist attractions of this city are Gandoman Pond, Siahsard Spring, Gerd-Bisheh Promenade, Overgan Garden, Tang-e Vastegan, Mother-and-Daughter Mausoleum, Imam Gheis and Naghmeh Grand Mosque.

Farsan --- is the third most populated town of the province. It is 2,040 meters above the sea level. This town is at a distance of 35 km from the center of the province. Chelgerd tourism center has turned Farsan into one of the important tourism centers of the province. The main tourist attractions of Farsan are as follows:

1. Dasht-e-Laleh (Tulip Plain) The plain, measuring 3,600 hectares in area, is at a distance of 12 km from Chelgerd, near Banooestaki Village in Kouhrang region. The plain is covered with red and yellow tulips.

2. Dimeh Spring It is located in Kouhrang region, near the village of Dimeh. The spring's water has therapeutic properties and has been recognized as the most digestible water of the world.

3. Chelgerd Ski Run The ski run is along Chelgerd Village, on the east side of Karkonan Mountain foot. It is about 800 meters long with a slope of 20 percent. Due to long duration of cold season, the ski run can be used almost throughout the year.

The other sights of Farsan are as follows: Sardar Asad Castle in Jouneghan, parthian stone vaults (8 km from Jouneghan), Sarab-e-Baba-Heidar Cave, Malek Heidar Mausoleum, Pir-Ghar and Kouhrang springs, Sheikh Alikhan Ice Cave, Kouhrang water-conveying tunnels, Zardkouh Heights.


Cities of Fars Province (Part 3)

(Tehran Times, 17 March 1999

Lar ---Located 360 kilometers southeast of Shiraz, Lar is the province's second largest city after Shiraz. It is an ancient city, which had a certain importance as a focal point at the time of the Sassanids. The new city has been built near the ruins of the ancient city with the same name whose urban fabric is still a visible sight.

The shortage of water has limited the city's agricultural activities; however, its major products are mainly grains, date and cotton. Lar has a tourist guest house.

Marvdasht --- Some 45 kilometers from Shiraz, is located on a smooth plain by the Kor River. Its importance is due to the existence of sugar, petrochemical, meat processing and some other industries, while handicrafts like carpet and rug weaving are also prevailing in Marvdasht. The city owes its importance in view of tourism to its proximity to Persepolis, Naghsh-e Rostam and Passargadae.

Mamassani (Nourabad) --- It is located 158 kilometers northwest of Shiraz in a mountainous area.

Most of its people work as farmers or cattle breeders. There is an abundance of historical remains from the parthian, Sassanid and earlier times in Mamassani and Nourabad regions. These include the Ilamid reliefs, the Dragon Tower fire temple, the parthian tower of Nourabad and the Sarab-e Bahram reliefs.

Nayriz --- This city is located 220 kilometers east of Shiraz in the vicinity of Bakhtegan Lake. Excavations made in the region have revealed the area's ancient civilization.

At the time of the Achaemenids, Nayriz was a major producer of weapons. The city's Grand Jame' Mosque has probably been a Zoroastrian fire temple before being turned into a mosque. The main occupations of the region's people are agriculture and animal husbandry.


Antique Collection Discovered in Hamedan

(Tehran Times, 28 November 1998)

HAMEDAN A collection of antiques was seized from a smuggler in this western province by Law Enforcement Forces this week. Commander of the provincial Law Enforcement Forces Brigadier General Hossein Zolfaqari said Thursday that the collection comprising 1,076 pieces of valuable artifacts was confiscated from a smuggler in Malayer who concealed some of them in his house in the provincial capital, Hamedan. The antiques included 924 coins belonging to the Parthian, Sassanid, Seleucid and Qajar dynasties, 79 manuscripts, 21 necklaces, rings and bracelets, five bronze animal figures, 10 silver tablets, 20 seals and stones, two spears, one canteen and 12 guns. (IRNA)


Seminar on Iran's Ancient Cultural Heritage, Anahita Opens

(Tehran Times, 8 September 1998)

TEHRAN A seminar on Iran's cultural heritage, Temple of Anahita began yesterday in Kangavar, a city in Kermanshah Province. According to IRNA it is the first seminar ever held on Anahita, historically dedicated to the goddess of waters. The seminar Secretary Naser Norouz-Zadeh Chegini was quoted by IRNA as saying that 100 Iranian university professors, research scholars and experts on cultural heritage are participating in the seminar.

The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance allocated Rls. 100 million to meet the expenses for the seminar, he added. A total of 10 research papers on the structure, history, renovation and maintenance of Temple of Anahita are due to be presented in the seminar, Chegini said. An amount of Rls 2.5 billion has been allocated for the renovation and maintenance of Temple of Anahita by Kermanshah Province's Cultural Heritage Organization, chairman of the temple Abdolreza Mohajeri Nejad said.

According to the documents found out through researches made by archaeologists, Temple of Anahita dates back to 2nd Century B.C. simultaneous with the Parthians, he added. Ten stone columns of 3.54 meters height have remained from the primary building of Temple of Anahita which is 210 meters wide and 220 meters long. The effects of the Hellenistic and Parthian architecture on this temple are visible.

Potteries, graves dating back to pre-Islam, and coins related to Sasanid and Parthian eras have been found out in excavations conducted during the period of 1088 - 1961. Dedicated to the goddess of waters, this quadrilateral monument was built on a hill. The stairways running both sides of the temple resemble the stairways of Takht-e-Jamshid (Persepolis). The worshipers of the goddess praised her by going round a place in which water was flowing.


Ruins of ancient capital uncovered at Hekmatane mound

Hamadan, 18 Dec 1995 (IRNA)

During recent excavations at the Hekmatane mound in Hamadan, western Iran, remains of an ancient city were unearthed. archeological experts believe that the well-proportioned ruins and accurate planning indicate that the city probably served as a capital of the kingdom. according to Dr. Rahim Sarraf, head of the archeological team working at Hekmatane, the excavations which started in 1983, have so far brought to light relics dating to the median, Parthian, Sasanian and Islamic periods of the region's history. the remains, which show that the city was built in the northeast to southwest direction, have been found at a depth of 2 to 5 meters, he added. the 3.5-wide passageways in the city, said the archeologist, are 35 meters apart from each other. the ancient city of Hekmatane, the capital city of the median empire, according to Dr. Sarraf, was surrounded by a 9-meter thick wall. experts believe that the age of the Hekmatane mound goes back to 7th century BCE, and on the basis of some accounts, it could also conceals the ruins of what were once magnificent palaces of the Aachaemenian dynasty, which seized power from the Medes in 6th century BCE the mound, covering an area of 25 hectares is situated almost in the center of the present city of Hamedan.


Apadana Excavations Begin in Shoush

Tehran, 19 Apr 1995 (IRNA )

The excavation of the palace of Apadana Palace, located in the ancient city of Shoush in southwestern Iran began two weeks ago, the Cultural Heritage Organization reported on Monday. This is the first time after the Islamic Revolution that archaeological activities in this region have been initiated by Iranian experts. The work was previously undertaken by a French team.

Mir-Abedin Kabuli, the Iranian archaeologist who leads the excavation, said the diggings are expected to reveal how the Apadana platform was constructed and how to implement its renovation and repair. Three of the four layers of settlements that were thought to make up this section of the ancient quarters have already been uncovered. A cemetery from the 13th and 14th centuries sits on the topmost level.

The second layer is a brick kiln and a brick workshop belonging to the Parthian era while the third level is another cemetery also dating back to Parthian times. The ultimate aim of the team, Kabuli said, is the unearthing of the fourth layer which is believed to be built by the Achaemenians during the pre-Islamic period. He added in an IRNA report that six members of the team are to continue their work on this site until May 10.


Sasanian City Found Near Bushehr

Tehran, 26 Feb 1995 (IRNA)

The ruins of a city dating back to the Sasanid era (226-651 A.D.) have been unearthed in the Borazjan suburbs, 65 kms. northeast of Bushehr, the Head of the local Cultural Heritage Organization, Abbas Rayanpour, reported Thursday.

He described the structure and architecture of the city as unique and said that excavations have brought to light a bastion and an adytum, which was designed in a combination of Parthian and Sasanian architecture.

More extensive diggings will be carried out, the official told IRNA, to find out the extent of the ruins.

 


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