Millennia-old relics confiscated in northwest Iran

June 21, 2020 - 1:15

TEHRAN – A batch of prehistorical relics, estimated to date from the time of Mannaeans in the early 1st millennium BC, has recently been seized from an antique dealer near the city of Bukan, West Azarbaijan province, northwest Iran.

“The relics include an earthen bowl and eighty beads. Such semi-precious stones were mostly used as personal ornamentations in the past,” CHTN quoted Bukan tourism chief Obeydollah Sorkhabi as saying on Saturday.

Briefing on the confiscation, the official said “The objects were found after the police investigated a suspicious vehicle moving on a road towards Bukan,” the official said.

“The relics are estimated by cultural heritage experts as objects with magnificent historical values dating back to some 2,500 years ago.”

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Mannaeans are first recorded in the annals of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (reigned 858–824 BC) and are last mentioned in Urartu by Rusa II (reigned 685–645 BC) and in Assyria by Esarhaddon (reigned 680–669 BC).

Mannai, also spelled Manna, was an ancient country surrounded by three major powers of the time namely Assyria, Urartu, and Media. With the intrusion of the Scythians and the rise of the Medes in the 7th century, the Mannaeans lost their identity and were subsumed under the term Medes.