The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Iran’s Archaeology Research Centre has
invited a team of underwater archaeologists from Greece to their Iranian
counterparts in raising the newly discovered ancient shipwreck from the Persian
to Hossein Tofighian, head of the underwater archaeology department of Iran’s
Archaeology Research Centre, the decision to invite Greek archaeologists to Iran
was made during the recent visit of Director of the Research Centre of Iran’s
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Taha Hashemi, to this
country. “During his visit, Hashemi met with Greek underwater archaeologists
and visited their equipments which he believes are sufficient for undertaking
the project in the Persian Gulf. Therefore, he proposed that a team of fully
equipped Greek underwater archaeologists come to Iran to assist the Archaeology
Research Centre in taking out the sunken ship and its cargo,” said Tofighian
ship was accidentally discovered almost three months ago near the port of Siraf
(sirāf) at a depth of 70 meters below the Persian Gulf. Initial studies by
Iranian underwater archaeologists on the ship and its massive cargo revealed
that it was a merchant ship belonging to either the Parthian (248 BCE - 224 CE)
or Sasanian (224 - 651 CE) dynastic empires.
the early days of this discovery, recovery of the Partho-Sassanid shipwreck of
the Persian Gulf was seen far from being just a simple archaeology expedition.
Considering the lack of experience as well as the insufficient equipments in
underwater archaeology in Iran, the Iranian archaeologists concluded that the
current state of technology in underwater archaeology in Iran could not meet the
demands of such massive project. “We do not have the necessary equipments for
diving to the depth of 70 meters, neither do we have much experience in such
projects,” said Tofighian.
believes that the presence of Greek archaeologists in Iran would be a great
opportunity for the country’s underwater archaeology since this joint project
would allow the Iranian experts in underwater archaeology to closely observe the
activities of the Greek experts and learn more about latest techniques and
equipments in this field.
since the discovery of this merchant ship in the Persian Gulf, the necessity to
purchase advanced diving equipments is felt more than ever in Iran.
use of advanced diving equipments requires training which will be provided to
the Iranian archaeologists during this joint initiative with Greek experts. On
the other hand, we cannot depend on foreign archaeologists to do the job for us
forever. Therefore, as soon as we learn how to use the new technology, we will
proceed to purchase the equipments,” added Tofighian.
also announced that funding for this project will be provided by Southern Pars
Oil Company after the signing of a contract with the Archaeology Research
Archaeologists believe it dates back to the Parthian or Sassanid dynastic eras based on the potshards brought up in fishing nets and the large amphorae-like vessel recovered from the ship.
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