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Over 100 Parthian Statuettes Discovered in Halil-Rud, Kerman


News Category: Arsacid/Parthian Dynasty (248 BCE - 224 CE)

 19 December 2005



The latest archaeological excavations in the basin of Halil-Rud River resulted in the discovery of more than one hundred clay statuettes belonging to the Parthian dynastic era. The excavations have also led to the discovery of 53 pre-historic sites, cemeteries, workshops, and residential areas.

Historical site of Halil-Rud, located on the basin of the river, enjoys a rich civilization. Some stone and clay evidence and architectural remains belonging to the third millennium BC were unearthed during the archeological excavations as well as the illegal diggings of the smugglers.


120 historical sites have been identified so far in the 400 kilometer length of Halil-Rud River’s basin.

“Animal and human clay statuettes were the most important discoveries during these excavations. These statuettes which were either simple or had complicated designs were buried with the dead as gifts during the Parthian period. Since several statuettes were buried in each grave, we can not give the exact number of these statuettes,” said Nader Soleimani, head of archaeological excavation team in Halil-Rud.

A large number of these graves have already been unearthed by the illegal diggers and their items have been plundered.

“These statuettes were discovered during archeological studies in Hossien Abad Plain in a historical site. It seems that the place might have been an Parthian workshop for making the clay statuettes as burial gifts. Some clay articles and dishes were also produced in these workshops. What is important in this respect is the large number of these statuettes. Making these kinds of statuettes was common during the Parthian dynastic era,” explained Soleimani.

Halil-Rud, located in Kerman province, is the largest river in Iran. The civilization that lived beside this river is believed to be one of the most ancient ones in the world.



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