The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Following the recent
destruction of part of an archaeological site in Khuzestan province by state
controlled Iran’s National Oil Company’s subcontractors, an Iranian
archaeologist claimed the site is the location of the lost Partho-Sasanian city
The ancient city of Azem was located 35
kilometres east of modern city of Ahvaz, the modern capital city of Khuzestan
Province, beside the Gargar River, one of the branches of Karun River. The
anciant city believed once had a large population prior to its destruction.
Apparently a pre-Islamic inscription was
unearthed during the bulldozing the site which points out to its ancient origin.
The language of the inscription whether it was Parthian-Pahlavi or Sasanian-Pahlavi
was not disclosed.
According to archaeologist Hamid Reza
Farrokh-Ahmadi, the city was mentioned in the ‘Figures
of the Climates’ written over 1100 years ago
by Iranian Geographer Estakhri.
“Regrettably, ICHHTO does not care about
the faith of the site, not understanding that these ancient sites are our
national identity, and when they are ignored our identity is threatened”, said
Farrokh-Ahmadi speaking to the Persian service of Mehr News agency.
Although the existence of the city in the ancient times is not disputed, but it must have had a different name to what Estakhri stated as Azem; –such as the modern city of Ahvaz, which Estakhri recorded as Horm-Shir. Horm-Shir was a corrupt form of the Sasanian Hormuzd-Ardashir, and the modern name of Ahvaz / Ahwaz, is an anagram of the Old-Persian "Āvāz" and "Āvāja" which appears on Darius the Great' epigraph.
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