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Ten Parthian Casks Discovered in Rig Port Waters


10 April 2005




Ten casks dating to the Parthian dynasty have been discovered in the waters of Rig Port in the southern province of Boushehr. The casks were primarily used for burying the dead, and then for some 1000 years (before Abbasids) for trade and transfer of wine.

The underwater archaeology team of Iran recently discovered 10 casks in Rig Port coastal waters. Most of these casks are broken down, and only one remains intact. This type of cask has been the main container of liquids in Ancient Iran.

“Several items including headpieces, armors, and stone anchors were discovered during the first season of exploration in Rig waters. The archaeology team therefore decided to focus their work on documentation, photography, and filming of the explored sites,” explained head of the exploration team, Hussein Tofighian. Meanwhile the site was studies furthermore and several casks were found there, added Tofighian.

The area under study spreads one kilometer into and 5 to 8 kilometers deep into the coastal waters of a southern island of Rig port, where some historical remains are scattered on the sea bed.

According to Tofighian, the intact cask provides useful information on the casks which were of great importance in the Persian Gulf region. The casks, with their wide mouths and small pointed bases, have a form different than those used in European ports and ships; however, they rival the European type in their historical value and expansive use to bury the dead or carry liquids both for daily tasks and trade.

Underwater archaeologists believe that the discovered items are remains of a sunken ship, the body of which has moved or dissolved due to time passage, strong underwater currents, and local fishing activities.





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