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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Archaeologists Discover a Parthian City in North Khorasan Province


13 October 2009



LONDON, (CAIS) -- The discovery and identification of remains of a city dating back to Parthian dynasty (248 BCE- 224 CE) in the Dargaz Subprovince in Northern Khorasan province has been announced by Mohsen Lashgari, the director of provincial Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation, reported the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday. 

The ancient fortified city in the trapezoid plan was over 395,000 sq.m and the architectural remains suggest the mudbrick city was planned prior to its construction. 

“The city is 1300 meters long, 150 meters wide at the north-east side and 450 meters at the south-western section of the city”, said Lashgari. 

He continued “the architectural survey shows that the ancient city was planned prior to the construction.” 

According to Lashgari “within 45 days of working on the historical site, the archaeologists have succeeded in identifying the city’s fortifications.” 

The discovery of highly decorated stuccos with patterns of plants and animals demonstrate it was an important city with palaces and worshipping places. 

Lashgari reported the discovery of a large amount of earthenware including crock, urns, pitchers, small jars, plates, rhytons and kitchenware. Among them typical Parthian wares such as Jelingi (Kelingi) and tokhm-e morghi (eggshell) types were also identified. 

The city was constructed in 3rd century BCE and might have been the lost city of Dara-gerd founded by the King Tirdad I (Tiridates I). It seems the city was abandoned after the fall of the imperial dynasty in 3rd century CE, according to Lashgari. 

Archaeologists led by Dr Mehdi Rahbar back in 1994 discovered a Sasanian fire-temple complex also in Dargaz known as Bandian, with the same highly decorated stuccos. 


Original news bulletin published in Persian by CHN - translated & rectified by CAIS [*]




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