Sassanid silver bowl returned home after decades

December 8, 2021 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Centuries-old Silver Bowl of Rashi has recently been returned to Rasht Archaeological Museum Gilan province after almost three decades, the provincial tourism chief has announced. 

The silver bowl was discovered during the early 1990s excavations at the Rashi Rudbar archaeological site in the northern province, Masoud Hallajpur said on Wednesday. 

The historical relic was featured in various foreign exhibitions since then, including a tour of an exhibition of Iranian art spanning over 7,000 years in a variety of European museums, before returning to Iran and being displayed at the National Museum in Tehran, he mentioned.

The item, however, was transferred to its permanent location in the Archaeological Museum of Rasht after almost 30 years under the diligent supervision of Gilan’s cultural heritage department and after obtaining the necessary permits, the official added. 

Dating back to the Sassanid period (224–651) and known as one of the cultural symbols of the people of Gilan, this bowl with a unique appearance possesses a circular bottom and is decorated with artistic carvings on its surface, he noted. 

Images on the bowl depict fishermen and legendary winged creatures, including rams, horses, lions, and mountain goats, which play upon Sassanid beliefs, and these marvelous motifs are evidence of the metalworking art of the time, he explained. 

He also expressed hope that the Silver Bowl of Rashi would be displayed to the public after the restoration of the Archaeological Museum of Rasht is completed within a few months. 

Gilan is well-known for its rich Iron Age cemeteries such as Marlik that have been excavated over the past century. It was once within the sphere of influence of the successive Achaemenian, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sassanid empires that ruled Iran until the 7th century CE. The subsequent Arab conquest of Iran led to the rise of many local dynasties, and Gilan acquired an independent status that continued until 1567.

Sophisticated Rasht, capital of Gilan province, has long been a weekend escape for residents of Tehran who are looking to sample the famous local cuisine and hoping for some pluvial action – it's the largest, and wettest town in the northern region. Gilan is divided into a coastal plain including the large delta of Sefid Rud and adjacent parts of the Alborz mountain range.

ABU/AFM
 

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