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Latest Archeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Parthian Ivory Pendant Discovered Behind the Salman-e Farsi Dam


21 April 2008



  Picture courtesy of Persian Service of CHN


LONDON, (CAIS) -- A team of archaeologists working at the ruins of a Sasanian city of Barj (Barg) in southern Iran’s Fars Province has recently discovered an artefact bearing some traces of the Hellenistic artistic style.


The artefact bears images of two faces looking in the opposite direction engraved on a flat piece of ivory, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.


It is only the second time such an artefact has been found at an ancient site in Iran.


“The influence of Hellenistic art is clearly observed in the appearance of the eyes of the faces,” team director Alireza Jafari-Zand said.


The artefact is estimated to date back to the Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE -224 CE).


A similar artefact was discovered in the Izeh region of Khuzestan Province about 70 years ago by archaeologist Louis Vandenberg. According to Jafari-Zand, Vandenburg never explained how he had acquired the artefact. However, he claimed it was given to him by locals.


The 360-hectare city contains ruins of structures from the Parthian and the Sasanian dynasty eras as well as the post-Sasanian period.


The Sasanian city located behind the Salman-e Farsi Dam, and will be completely destroyed when the dam authorities complete the inundation process.


Construction of Salman-e Farsi Dam by the Islamic republic was began in 1994, and until early 2007 the dam's authority kept the identity of the site secret, and palnmed to submerge the ancient site without informing the cultural authorities. 


Following spreading news about the first phase of inundation of the dam which took place on March 2007 without informing ICHTO, Iranians have voiced their objections and asked the regime’s Ministry of Energy to postpone filling the reservoir of the dam until archaeological excavations in the Sasanian city behind the dam is completed. 


In July 2007, the regime’s Ministry of Energy has promised not to fill up the reservoir and keep the level of water low until the archaeological excavations in the Sasanian city behind the dam come to an end. However, archaeological rescue operation carried out in two phases, limited to a small area behind the dam out of 360-hectare city.


The Sasanian city which is located behind Salman-e Farsi Dam is consisted of 21 historical sites including a large Zoroastrian Fire Temple. The ancient city is considered as one of the main residential settlements of Sasanian dynastic era (224-651 CE) in Fars province. 





Some information for this report was extracted from: Mehr News  [*]



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