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Iranian Experts to Search for Saffarid Capital in Southern Afghanistan


16 May 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- A team of Iranian archaeologists plans to search for the capital of Yaqub ibn Laith-e Saffar, the founder of the Saffarid dynasty, in the Nadali district in Helmand Province, south of what is today known as of Afghanistan.


“After two years of waiting, Afghan officials have granted permission to the Iranian team to begin excavating Nadali Tappeh in search of the capital by the end of the (Iranian) year,” director of the Archaeology Faculty of the University of Sistan-Baluchestan, Reza Mehrafarin, told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday - The Iranian calendar year ends on March 19, 2008.


The plan is a joint project approved by the University of Sistan-Baluchestan and the Archaeological Research Centre of Iran (ARCI) two years ago.


Yaqub Laith was an Iranian ruler from Sistan, whose capital was Zaranj also known as Zarang in modern Afghanistan. Since Afghanistan was once a part of Iranian territory until 1857, it is surmised that the Nadali Tappeh is the lost capital of Yaqub Laith, Mehrafarin explained.


Yaqub-e Laith Saffar (840-879) was the founder of the Saffarid dynastic Empire - an Iranian of humble origins who rose from an obscure beginning as a coppersmith (saffar) in eastern Iran. Laith is a popular folk hero in Iranian history, and it was at his court that the revitalization of the Persian language began after two centuries of eclipse by Arabic.


He became a warlord and seized control of the Sistan region --raised against occupation of Iran, minting his own coinage and liberated much of Iran proper and Afghanistan from Arab-Muslim invaders. Finally in 878 he marched on Baghdad itself but was stopped when its defenders cut irrigation dikes.


The Saffarid dynasty did not last long after Ya'qub's death. His brother and successor Amr-e Laith was defeated in battle by another Iranian dynastic empire, the Samanids in 900. He was forced to surrender Khorasan and the Saffarids were subsequently largely confined to their heartland of Sistan, with their role reduced to that of vassals of the Samanids and their successors.




Extracted From/Source*: Mehr News


*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, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.




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