Coronavirus: grave of Parthian warrior accidentally unearthed in Iran

April 29, 2020 - 22:55

TEHRAN – An ancient tomb chamber has recently been discovered in a graveyard near Sari, northern Iran, as an excavator was digging down quite deep to entomb a coronavirus victim, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

Excavation at the grave yielded remains of a human skeleton, vestiges of a pottery vessel, an iron dagger, a quiver, personal ornamentations, and a piece of an iron object, which is believed to be [piece of] weaponry.

“Considering the type of construction of the dagger and a three-sided arrow found in the grave, it seems that it belongs to the Parthian soldier,” the news agency quoted an expert as saying.

Two years ago, a necklace and a bronze ring were discovered in the cemetery, which dates back to about 3,500 to 5,000 years ago, the report added.

The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. The Parthians largely adopted the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia of their culturally heterogeneous empire, which encompassed Persian, Hellenistic, and regional cultures. At its height, the empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran.

Parthian warfare was characterized by the extensive use of cavalry and archers. Coming at enemy troops from all directions Parthian riders created confusion and wreaked havoc.

Smart with their tactics, the Parthians were also adept at psychological warfare. At the Battle of Carrhae, before the Romans approached, Surena, the Parthian general, hid the bulk of his force behind his advance guard so his army would appear small. Then, “to confound the soul and unseat judgment" (Crassus, 23:7) the Parthians filled the plain with a deafening beat of kettledrums. Plutarch mentions these drums were covered with bronze bells.

The total number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus in Iran reached 93,657 on Wednesday, of whom 5,957 have died and 73,791 recovered.

AFM/MG

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