Thursday, April 24, 2008

Artifact with Hellenistic influence discovered at Sassanid city

Source: Mehr News Agency

TEHRAN, April 21 (MNA) -- A team of archaeologists working at the ruins of a Sassanid city in southern Iran’s Fars Province has recently discovered an artifact bearing some traces of the Hellenistic artistic style.

The artifact bears images of two faces looking in the opposite direction engraved on a flat piece of ivory, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.

It is only the second time such an artifact has been found at an ancient site in Iran.

“The influence of Hellenistic art is clearly observed in the appearance of the eyes of the faces,” team director Alireza Jafari-Zand said.

The artifact is estimated to date back to a period between 200 BC and 200 CE when local states, which were concurrent with the Parthian Empire, appeared to rule the region after the Seleucids, he explained.

A similar artifact had been identified by a foreign archaeologist at an ancient site in the Izeh region of Khuzestan Province about 70 years ago.

According to Jafari-Zand, the foreign archaeologist never explained how he had acquired the artifact. However, he believes the local people had given it to him.

The Sassanid city, which was identified in May 2007, will be entirely submerged if the Fars Regional Water Company completes the process of filling the Salman-e Farsi Dam.

The 360-hectare city contains ruins of structures from the post-Achaemenid period and the Sassanid and early Islamic eras.

The company had begun filling the reservoir of the dam in mid-March 2007. However, the process was halted after the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) lodged an official complaint.

Afterwards, the archaeological team was organized and dispatched to the region to conduct rescue excavations.

No comments: