Thursday, July 23, 2009

Archaeological Site Destroyed in Iran: Update

From CAIS (Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies) LONDON, (CAIS) -- Following the recent destruction of part of an archaeological site in Khuzestan province by state controlled Iran’s National Oil Company’s subcontractors, an Iranian archaeologist claimed the site is the location of the lost Partho-Sasanian city of Azem. The ancient city of Azem was located 35 kilometres east of modern city of Ahvaz, the modern capital city of Khuzestan Province, beside the Gargar River, one of the branches of Karun River. The anciant city believed once had a large population prior to its destruction. Apparently a pre-Islamic inscription was unearthed during the bulldozing the site which points out to its ancient origin. The language of the inscription whether it was Parthian-Pahlavi or Sasanian-Pahlavi was not disclosed. According to archaeologist Hamid Reza Farrokh-Ahmadi, the city was mentioned in the ‘Figures of the Climates’ written over 1100 years ago by Iranian Geographer Estakhri. “Regrettably, ICHHTO does not care about the faith of the site, not understanding that these ancient sites are our national identity, and when they are ignored our identity is threatened”, said Farrokh-Ahmadi speaking to the Persian service of Mehr News agency. Although the existence of the city in the ancient times is not disputed, but it must have had a different name to what Estakhri stated as Azem; –such as the modern city of Ahvaz, which Estakhri recorded as Horm-Shir. Horm-Shir was a corrupted version of the Sasanian Hormuzd-Ardashir, and the modern name of Ahvaz / Ahwaz, is an anagram of the Old-Persian "Āvāz" and "Āvāja" which appears on Darius the Great' epigraph.

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