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Iranian Expert Delegation Off to Pakistan to Identify Mummy



Thursday, 04 January 2001




TEHRAN A delegation of experts from the Cultural Heritage Organization Wednesday left here for Islamabad to conduct studies on identification of a mummy, reportedly of an Iranian princess, found a few months ago in Pakistan. 


The mummy was recovered by Pakistani police from a gang of smugglers in Baluchistan Province. The smugglers had said they had found it in a ruined house in the Kharan Valley and intended to transfer it either to Europe or to the United States. Later, the mummy was taken to Karachi and placed in the National Museum. Immediately after news of the discovery of the mummy, the Cultural Heritage Organization in cooperation with the Iranian Foreign Ministry initiated efforts to bring back the mummy to the country. Restitution of national cultural-historical objects smuggled out of the country and confiscated by other countries will be conducted through diplomatic channels as stipulated by the 1970 UNESCO convention. If it is proven by the Iranian expert delegation that the mummy is of Iranian origin, measures will to have it returned to the country. 


Following its discovery in October this year, the mummy was already pronounced by a majority of archaeological experts as being of Iranian origin. Lorenzo Constantini, an Italian archaeologist who researched for many years in Iran, said in mid-November that the mummy is that of an Iranian princess. 


Constantini, a professor at the University of Naples, told IRNA in Rome that it belongs to an Iranian princess who bore the name Rodomena and who died in the year 559 BCE. He said the princess belonged to the Achaemenian royal dynasty. On her coffin is inscribed the following words: "I am the sister of Cyrus the great, king of Iran." The Italian professor said the words left no doubt that the mummy belongs to Iran with its ancient history, adding that the coffin is made of a certain type of glass and is decorated with pieces of jewelry and ornaments that were in vogue during the era that she lived. The Italian archaeologist worked in the southeastern regions of Iran from 1972 to 1978.


Meanwhile, Pakistani archaeologist Sheikh Khurshid Hassan told the daily ****The News**** in late December, "The engravings on the wooden box, containing the mummy, depicting the figures of Ahura Mazda and fire altars give an indication that the deceased was a follower of Zoroaster." 


In ancient Iran, two ruling dynasties the Achaemenians and the Sassanids were Zoroastrians. 



Link to: Saga of the Persian Princes; A Special Report by Kristin M. Romey & Mark Rose


Source: (IRNA)




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