New excavations prove Kohan-Dej founded in Sassanid era

November 25, 2006 - 0:0
TEHRAN -- A team of Iranian and French archaeologists working at Kohan-Dej in northeastern Iran say that the site dates back to the Sassanid era (224-651 CE), the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday.

“According to the results of studies made during the second season of excavations, we found out that the site dates back to the Sassanid era,” team director Rajab-Ali Labbaf Khaniki said.

The site located near the city of Neishabur in Khorasan Razavi Province had previously been excavated by a team of archaeologists from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1935 to 1948, and they had said at the time that it belonged to the Samanid era (819–999 CE).

The U.S. team unearthed about 24,000 artifacts, which they believed belonged to the Samanid and Seljuk eras. About 12,000 of the artifacts were then transferred to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“The new excavations were meant to prove that Kohan-Dej is a Sassanid site,” Labbaf Khaniki said.

According to tenth century historian Al-Hakem, Neishabur, which means Shapur’s good job, was founded during the reign of Sassanid king Shapur I, he explained.

Many pottery works and shards as well as several other artifacts dating back to the Sassanid era have been discovered during the new excavations.

“The firing style of the pottery and shards indicates that the artifacts belong to the Sassanid era. In addition, we unearthed a Sassanid awl at the site,” Labbaf Khaniki noted.

Kohan-Dej measures 8x5 kilometers and has an elliptical shape.