Torpedo-tip jars discovered in ancient Iranian port

June 19, 2022 - 18:52

TEHRAN – Archaeologists in Siraf have recently discovered some torpedo-tip jars, which they believe were used for the export of liquids from the ancient Iranian port city.

Archaeological excavations in the Sassanid-Islamic port of Siraf have uncovered some torpedo-tip jars, which were used to transport liquids from the Persian Gulf to other parts of the world, IRNA quoted Mehdi Azarian, the director of Siraf national heritage site, as saying on Sunday.

“Specimens of the jars have previously been found in ports of India and Sri Lanka,” the official said.

“Moreover, similar jars, which bear inscriptions in Sassanid’s Pahlavi language, have been discovered in Thailand.”

Back in May, an archaeological team commenced a field survey to shed new light on the maritime heritage of the Sassanids across Siraf located on the north shore of the Persian Gulf.

The majority of excavations have been carried out in the historical core of the port city near its Jameh mosque and ruined fortresses, Azarian said.

Situated in Bushehr province, Siraf was Iran’s most important 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.

The ancient port had a population of about 300,000 during the early Islamic era and this fact shows that it was a large city. However, today, just about 7,000 people live in Siraf in a small area.

Iran under the Sassanian rule witnessed tremendous achievements of Persian civilization. Experts say that the art and architecture of the nation experienced a general renaissance during Sassanid rule.

Crafts such as metalwork and gem-engraving grew highly sophisticated in the Sassanid era when many works from both the East and West were translated into Pahlavi, the official language of the Sassanians.

The legendary wealth of the Sassanian court is fully confirmed by the existence of more than one hundred examples of bowls or plates of precious metal known at present. One of the finest examples is the silver plate with partial gilding in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The dynasty was destroyed by Arab invaders during a span from 637 to 651.

Bushehr is home to several ancient ports including Siraf, which Iran seeks to register on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Moreover, Bushehr is one of the most significant historical regions along the Persian Gulf, embracing significant monuments from the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid eras.

Mosques, mansions, towers, fortresses, castles, and gardens are amongst the ancint gems of Bushehr, which is also home to various archaeological mounds including Tall-e Khandaq with Sassanid architectural style, Tall-e Marv located near an Achaemenid Palace, and Qajar era Malek al-Tojar Mansion.


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