The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- A team of Iranian and Japanese experts have discovered remnants of Buddhist culture at a site near Sabzevar, Khorasan Province, the Persian service of CHN reported on Saturday.
team, which began their research work last year, believes that they will find a
Buddhist temple at the site.
Iranian director of the team, Hamid Fahimi, said that nineteen sites in the
provinces of Zanjan, West Azerbaijan, Central, Kordestan, Hamedan, and Khorasan
were studied, and the Pirestir site near Sabzevar was the location where
Buddhist ruins were discovered.
to Fahimi, architectural ruins, historical documents, and the local oral history
have provided more evidence that Buddhists lived at the site in the late Sasanid
and early post-Sasanid eras.
to the regional people, there were forty rooms around the Pirestir monument
which non-Muslims used for worship. They said that the worshippers would not
leave the rooms before they finished their prayers. The rooms had low ceilings
and no windows. Inside the rooms were totally dark and the smoke left on the
ceilings and the shelves show that the rooms had no holes to allow light to
enter. The ceremony was similar to those of Buddhists,” he noted.
went on to say that the historical documents identify it as a site belonging to
the Buddhists of ancient Iran, adding, “There is no accurate date for the
events, but it is assumed that the rooms are older than Pirestir, dating back to
the late Sasanid and early post-Sasanid eras.
team plans to continue their studies and work based on the historical documents.
Studying the coins of the late Parthian and Sasanid eras is also one of the main
tasks of the team since, in those years, the regional governors of Khorasan who
had a tendency toward Buddhism used to mint coins bearing the image of
Buddha,” he noted.
Japanese team is directed by Tsuchi Hashirikobe and the experts come from
Japan’s Nara International Foundation (NIFS).
NIFS, a public-service corporation established by the governor of Nara prefecture in July 1989, aims to develop Nara into a center for historical and cultural research on the Silk Road, based on the achievements of the Silk Road Exposition of 1988.
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