Police seize Parthian-era jugs from smuggler

April 3, 2021 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Iranian police have recently confiscated two earthenware jugs from a smuggler in the city of Abhar, west-central Zanjan province, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage has said.

The relics, which are estimated to date back to the Parthian era (247 BC – 224 CE), have been discovered from an antique dealer in the historical village of Sharif-Abad, Hassan-Ali Fazli said, CHTN reported on Saturday. 

The accused was surrendered to the judicial system for further investigation, the official added. 

Abhar is a historical town surrounding a castle of the same name. Archaeological evidence suggests its origin dates from some six millennia ago.

Zanjan is one of the cities founded by Sassanid King Ardashir I (180-242 CE). The province makes a base for wider explorations with the architectural wonder of Soltaniyeh, the subterranean delights of the Katale-Khor caves, colorful mountains, and the UNESCO-registered Takht-e Soleiman ruins are nearby.

Establishing a primary residence at Ctesiphon, on the Tigris River in southern Mesopotamia, Parthian kings ruled for nearly half a millennium and influenced politics from Asia Minor to northern India, until they were overthrown by Sasanian armies from southwest Iran in the early third century CE.

Parthian wealth obtained through lucrative trade networks resulted in substantial patronage of the arts, in particular, relief sculpture, statuary (large and small scale), architectural sculpture, metalwork, jewelry, and ceramics; coins with images of Parthian rulers form another important category of objects.