ivory dagger handle has been found in Bardak-e
Siah Palace in Borazjan, in the southern province
of Bushehr. Experts believe that the dagger has
been poisoned, most probably belonged to a woman,
and has been used for protection against enemy
The dagger blade has not yet been discovered, but
the delicacy of the handle has been reason for
experts to think of it as belonging to a woman.
Bardak-e Siah, the discovery site of the dagger,
was first excavated in 1977 by Ehsan Yaghma’ii.
It is considered one of the key structures of the
Achaemenid era. Other architectural remains, some
stone inscriptions, and several pieces of gold are
among other treasures unearthed in the area.
According to Yaghma’ii who still heads the
excavation team of the Palace, the delicacy of the
ivory handle is reason to believe that it belonged
to a woman.
The hole at the end of the handle which stretches
all through to the blade is believed to have been
used for transferring the poison to the blade. “The
dagger is very delicate and without being
poisoned, it would have been of no use. Women used
the poison to protect themselves from enemies.”
The discovery of the blade will help experts
confirm the poison hypothesis.
Alongside the handle, some accessories made of
ivory, ironstone, and broken pieces of lapis
lazuli have been unearthed in Bardak-e Siah
Bardak-e Siah Palace is one of most glorious
palaces of the Achaemenid period. Remains
discovered in the area shows that the palace was
constructed at the time that the Achaemenids were
at the height of their power.
Military tools found in the site are evidence of
the wars between Iranians and Greeks in the region
and the dagger along other decorative pieces prove
the residence of women there.