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