an ancient castle of the Parthian province of
Atropatene, was discovered during the
archaeological studies near Zahhak Castle in
Hashtrud, in Iran’s northwestern province of
to the historical documents indicating that
Phraaspa was located somewhere in Azarbaijan, our
team began studying some areas around Zahhak
Castle, which dates back to the Parthian dynasty.
finding more than 20 habitation sites and eight
barbicans from the Parthian period, we were
certain we had discovered the ancient castle,”
said Mohammad Feizkhah, an expert of the Cultural
and Tourism Department.
occupied province of Media in the summer of 330
BC. In 328 he appointed Atropates, a former
Persian general of Darius III, as satrap. In the
partition of his newly conquered empire, southern
province of Media was given to the Macedonian
Peithon; but the north, which lay far off and was
of little importance for the generals who fought
for the inheritance of Alexander, was left to
southern Media with Ecbatana passed to the rule of
Antigonus, and afterwards to Seleucus I, Atropates
maintained himself in his satrapy and succeeded in
founding an independent kingdom.
the partition of the country, which the Persians
had introduced, became lasting; the north was
named Atropatene, after its governor, a name which
is preserved in modern Azarbaijan.
provincial capital was Gazaca in the central
plain, and the strong castle of the city was
Phraaspa, which was believed to be identical with
the great ruin Takht-e Suleiman, with remains of Sasanid
fire temples and of a later palace.
number of archaeologists also previously believed
that Phraaspa was located in the region around
Bakhtak Castle in southern East Azerbaijan
Province. "Since there
are no defensive structures and wide plains near
Bakhtak Castle, we can not say that Phraaspa was
located in the surrounding area,” Feizkhah
newly discovered sites are scattered over wide
areas. In addition, archaeologists have previously
discovered many religious monuments and artifacts
dating back to the Parthian era near Zahhak
Castle,” he said in conclusion.