90 historical objects restored in UNESCO-registered Susa

August 29, 2021 - 20:0

TEHRAN - A total of 90 historical relics have been restored by teams of cultural heritage experts and restorers at the UNESCO-registered site of Susa in the southwestern Khuzestan province, IRNA reported on Sunday. 

The objects, which were unearthed as part of various seasons of archaeology, represent diverse historical periods, from prehistoric to Islamic eras, the report added.

Among the restored items are some painted potteries, a Parthian-era earthen coffin, a Sassanid-era statue, and a number of the globally-famed Luristan Bronzes. 

Many of the cited objects are being kept at treasure troves of the Museum of Susa (Shush Museum) whose authorities aim to have them prepared for going on display. 

Ancient Susa is one of Iran’s most treasured sights. The UNESCO-designated city, now flanked by the modern city of Shush, formerly belonged to the Elamite, Persian, and Parthian empires.

Situated in the lower Zagros mountain range, around 250 kilometers east of the Tigris river and between the Kharkeh and Dez rivers, Susa is identified as Shushan in the Book of Esther and other Biblical books.

It was once the winter residence of Persian kings after having been captured by Cyrus the Great. Susa became part of the Persian Empire under Cyrus II, the Great in 538 or 539 BC.

Archaeological evidence suggests that Susa has been continuously inhabited since 4,200 BC placing it among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In addition, there are traces at Susa of a village inhabited around 7,000 BC and painted pottery dating from ca. 5,000 BC at the site.

Artifacts discovered at the site include carved cylinder seals, jewelry, clay balls, and clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions recording business transactions, political history, and mathematical calculations.

It is said that Alexander of Macedonia captured Susa in 330 BC and plundered the city, seizing some 40,000 talents of gold and silver from the treasury. Alexander the Great initiated Shushan’s decline by favoring Babylon and shortly after, following a revolt, the city was burnt to the ground. Subsequently rebuilt by Sapor II (309-379 CE), it was renamed Iranshahr Shapur and later helped in the resistance against the Arab invasion of 645.

After the fall of the Achaemenid Empire and the reign of Alexander the Great, who married in Susa, the city became part of the Seleucid empire. It was now called Seleucia on the Eulaeus. A palace in Greek style was erected, next to Darius’ palace. The administrative center, however, was in the southern part of the city, where nearly all Greek and Parthian inscriptions were discovered. In the Parthian age, the city minted coins.

During the Sasanian age, the city had a large Christian community. It was sacked by the Sasanian king Shapur II, who transferred the population to Iwan-e Karkheh, but Susa was sufficiently recovered in the early seventh century to fight against the Arabs, who nevertheless captured the city which remained important until the thirteenth century CE.

Different archaeological seasons in Susa have yielded ample relics including pottery, arms, ornamental objects, metalwork, bronze articles, as well as clay tablets. Susa is also a gateway to several worthy destinations such as the UNESCO-tagged ziggurat of Tchogha Zanbil, the ruins of Achaemenid Apadana Castle, Shush Castle (Akropol), Prophet Danial Shrine, Museum of Susa, the archaeological mount of Haft Tapeh.

ABU/AFM

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