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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD

 

Discovery of Sasanian Coins in Ancient Shiz (Takht-e Soleiman)

 

11 October 2006

 

 

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- Recent archaeological excavations in the historical site of Takht-e Soleiman located in the West Azarbaijan Province, northeast Iran, led into discovery of several coins dating back to the Sasanian dynasty (224–651 CE) and post-Sasanian period, reported CHN on Monday, October 9th.

 

According to Yousef Moradi, head of the excavation team at Takht-e Soleiman, “It is hard to estimate the exact number of the coins as many of them were in a very poor condition and have been oxidized. It is possible that some of what we assume to be coins be plain metals. This is why we need laboratory analysis to determine the real number of the discovered coins.”

 

Excavations at the Takht-e Soleiman historical site originally began with the aim of identifying a five-story platform, which is believed to have been in use for performing Zoroastrian ceremonies during the Sasanian dynastic era.

 

Takht-e Soleiman is an outstanding archeological site with substantial Sasanian and Il-khanid ruins, between Bijâr and Šâhin-dež, about 30 km north-northeast of Takâb, surrounded by mountain chains of more than 3000m altitude.

 

The mention of the thermal lake in the Middle Persian Zoroastrian literature, the medieval literary tradition, as well as the inscriptions on clay bullae found during the excavations, provide grounds for identifying the site as the sanctuary of Âdur Gušnasp, the fire of the warriors and kings and one of the three most revered fires of the Sasanian dynasty. The Fire Temple was ransacked and destroyed by Romans in 625 CE.

 

Up to the early post-Sasanian time the geographical name of the place and the region was Šiz, probably derived from the name of the Lake Chê chast, which also seems to apply to Lake Urmia. In the Il-khanid period its name was Soqurluq/Sugurluq or Saturiq. The name Takht-e Solaymân (lit. Throne of Salomon), together with the surrounding mythological ensemble of Zendân-e Solaymân (Prison of Salomon), about 3 km west of Takht-e Solaymân, and Tawila-ye Solaymân (Stable of Salomon), and Takht-e Belqis (the throne of the queen of Sheba) appeared only after the Timurid period.

 

During the Arab conquest, a peace treaty with the margrave (marzbân) of Azarbaijan guaranteed religious integrity to the sanctuary and allowed the population of Šiz to dance undisturbed in their festivities (Balâdhori, p. 326); but with the Sasanian dynasty disposed and the royal buildings without owner at least in the 9th century, the population had moved into the walled area. It is not clear, when exactly and under which circumstances the sanctuary was given up and whether the fire or fires were taken along with the emigrating Zoroastrian population. The place developed as a prospering Islamic town, still under the name of Šiz, with its greatest density of population during the Saljuq period

 

The historical site of Takht-e Soleiman was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2003.

 

 

Takht-e Soleiman Virtual Museum [ Click Here ]

 

Related article: Takhté Soleymân; Azar Goshnasp Fire-Temple Complex

 

 

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Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.

 

 

 

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