Giant Sassanid urn recovered in Bushehr

November 3, 2021 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Iranian police have recently recovered a giant clay urn, which was used to carry liquids on voyages in the Sassanid era (224-651 CE).

"This torpedo-tipped urn was kept as a decorative object in a restaurant located in [the port city of] Ganaveh [in Bushehr provinve].  And the owner [of the restauranr] was unaware of its antiquity. . . the object was finally handed over to the cultural heritage directorate of the province," the provincial tourism chief Hamzeh Bahagir said on Wednesday.

Based on research, this urn was previously found in fishermen's net, the official added.

The Sasanians played an important role in the trade of Asia. The "Silk Route" from China to the Mediterranean Sea passed through the Sasanian territory and the Sasanians thus controlled one of the most lucrative trade routes in Asia.

According to an article by David Whitehouse and Andrew Williamson, the evidence for this overland trade has been discussed on many occasions. Contact between the Mediterranean, Iran and the Far East led to repeated exchanges of ideas, techniques, and decorative motifs. The Sasanians made a determined and largely successful-effort to control the Persian Gulf almost from the moment they came to power; and that in the fifth and sixth centuries the Sasanians were a leading force-perhaps the leading force in the western half of the Indian Ocean.

Bushehr lies near the head of the Persian Gulf at the northern end of a flat and narrow peninsula that is connected with the mainland by tidal marshes. It embraces significant monuments from the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid eras.

Bushehr’s Siraf was the most important Iranian port from the Sassanid period to the 4th century AH. It bears plentiful evidence of Persian mastership and genius in seafaring, international relations, and interaction with other near and far cultures and civilizations.

Between 1966 and 1973, the British Institute of Persian Studies conducted seven seasons of excavation and survey at Siraf, which was a major city on the Iranian shore of the Persian Gulf that played a leading role in the network of maritime trade that supplied Western Asia with the products of India, the Far East, and Eastern Africa between 800 CE and 1050.


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