The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Based on initial agreements between
Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and South Pars Oil
Company, a centre for underwater archaeology will be established in the Persian
Gulf as the first attempt to recover the Partho-Sassanid shipwreck discovered
last September at a depth of 70 meters near the port of Siraf.
to articles 9, 10 and 11 of the memorandum of understanding signed between ICHTO
and South Pars Oil Company, the Company has accepted to take charge of the
establishment of a research centre for underwater archaeological excavations in
the Persian Gulf. Based on this agreement, recovering the discovered
Partho-Sassanid shipwreck will be the first priority of this centre,” said
Hossein Tofighian, director of ICHTO’s Underwater Archaeology Research Centre.
recent discovery of the remains of an ancient merchant ship and its cargo,
believed to have belonged to either the Parthian (248 BCE-224 CE) or Sassanid
(224-651 CE) dynasties, in the Persian Gulf attracted the attention of world
archaeologists and many expressed their willingness to cooperate in its recovery
process, which is an absolutely challenging task.
his recent trip to Greece last month by director of ICHTO’s Archaeology
Research Centre, invited Greek archaeologists specialized in underwater
excavations to cooperate in this project after he paid a visit to their
underwater archaeology equipments and found them appropriate for this project.
According to Tofighian, salvation of the shipwreck will start once the Greek
archaeologists arrive to Iran.
The discovery of the Partho-Sassanid shipwreck and its cargo was made accidentally by the local fishermen. Initial studies were then carried out for the first time by Darya-Kav-e Jonub Company (Southern Sea Investigation Co.) on behalf of ICHTO under the supervision of experts from the Department of Underwater Archaeology of Iran’s Archaeology Research Centre. A short documentary was also made from this ship which revealed that the ship’s cargo contains big amphora-like jars, which were in use only during the Parthian and Sassanid dynastic periods.
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