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News Archives - Sasanika

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ŠAHRESTĀN YAZDEGERD , the Sasanian city-fortress built by Yazdegerd II (r. 439-57 CE) in the province of Čol, attested by the 6th-century Syrian chronicle of Karkā Bēṯ Selōḵ (present-day Kirkuk) of the district of Bēṯ Garmē in northeastern Iraq (Hoffmann, p. 50; Pigulevskaia, p. 44).

written by Murtazali Gadjiev in Encyclopaedia Iranica

Obituary – Dr. Richard Nelson Frye

FRYE, Richard Nelson Of Cambridge & Brimfield, passed away on March 27, 2014 at home. Aga Khan Professor of Iranian, Emeritus at Harvard University, since the age of 12, Frye pursued his fascination with the Persianate and Iranian language area ranging from Turkey to western China. A prolific traveler, he resided long periods abroad, knew ancient languages, spoke contemporary languages of Turks, Iranians, Afghans, Tajiks, Uzbeks as well as Russian, German, French. His parents were both Sweden-born. Frye’s last book, Greater Iran: A 20th Century Odyssey, a memoir, maps the course of modern Middle Eastern studies evolution at US campuses, his initiatives to create endowed university chairs at Columbia, Harvard and through the National Armenian Assoc. for Study & Research. Graduating secondary school at 14, college at 19, and starting his graduate work at Harvard in the pre-WWI period, he joined the war effort, spent years in Kabul & Istanbul with the Office of Strategic Services (precursor to CIA), then returned to Harvard for his PhD. By 1957, he was established in the position he held until retirement (1990). Since then he added two more books to thirteen earlier titles, one of which, served as the basis of Michael Crichtons Eaters of the Dead. His books have been translated into many languages & continue in reprint. His library (25,000 items) is housed at Boston University. His devotion to Irans rich ancient and medieval culture endured political turmoil & he accepted honors from Reza Shah Pahlavi and former President Ahmadinejad. Frye is survived by wife, Eden Naby, their son, Nels Mishael Naby Frye, daughter, Gurprasad Khalsa, son, Robert G. Frye, 6 grandchildren & 1 great-grandchild.

Funeral Serv: Memorial Church, Harvard Univ., Tues., April 1, 2 p.m.

Published in The Boston Globe on Mar. 30, 2014

New Sasanian 4th Century Dish Discovered – According to Agade

Sasanian 4th century A.D. silver-gilt plate featuring king on an ostrich hunt for sale at Bonhams The plate, decorated in relief, shows a king thought to be Hormizd II from the area known today as Iran, mounted on a horse while hunting ostriches or great bustards. The plate weighs close to a kilo. It is estimated to sell for £150,000-250,000.

LONDON.- A breathtaking 1,600 year old silver-gilt plate estimated to sell for £250,000 is one of the top lots in Bonhams next sale of Antiquities on 3rd April in London. The plate, decorated in relief, shows a king thought to be Hormizd II from the area known today as Iran, mounted on a horse while hunting ostriches or great bustards.

The plate weighs close to a kilo. It is estimated to sell for £150,000-250,000. Royal hunting scenes were an important motif in Sasanian art, depicting kings and the royal family as gloriously-attired, and full of vigour and skill.

Many of these gilded silver plates show similar scenes of kings hunting boar, rams, stags and lions. The representation of an ostrich or bustard however is extremely rare. The bird-headed crown with wings is most frequently associated with Hormizd II and this plate shows the king wearing a specific crown of a winged eagle with two pearls in its mouth. Hormizd II wears such a crown on many of his coins and is also shown wearing a similar crown on the equestrian relief at Naqsh-e Rustam. It is possible that the plate is meant to depict Hormizd II as a young prince, as he is shown without his usual beard and with straight hair reminiscent of his father Narseh’s style. Sasanian crown princes are often shown without beards.


Ancient Golden Treasure Found at Foot of Temple Mount

Ancient Golden Treasure Found at Foot of Temple Mount

“Ophel Treasure” includes gold medallion with Menorah, Torah and Shofar etchings

Jerusalem, September 9, 2013 — In summer excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount, Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar made a stunning discovery: two bundles of treasure containing thirty-six gold coins, gold and silver jewelry, and a gold medallion with the menorah (Temple candelabrum) symbol etched into it. Also etched into the 10-cm medallion are a shofar (ram’s horn) and a Torah scroll.

Download hi-res version of Photo 1
Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar displays a 10-cm gold medallion discovered at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Etched into the medallion are a menorah (Temple candelabrum), shofar (ram’s horn) and Torah scroll. (Photos by Ouria Tadmor)
Download hi-res version of Photo 2

A third-generation archaeologist working at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, Dr. Mazar directs excavations on the City of David’s summit and at the Temple Mount’s southern wall. Calling the find “a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Dr. Mazar said: “We have been making significant finds from the First Temple Period in this area, a much earlier time in Jerusalem’s history, so discovering a golden seven-branched Menorah from the seventh century CE at the foot of the Temple Mount was a complete surprise.”

The discovery was unearthed just five days into Mazar’s latest phase of the Ophel excavations, and can be dated to the late Byzantine period (early seventh century CE). The gold treasure was discovered in a ruined Byzantine public structure a mere 50 meters from the Temple Mount’s southern wall.

For details, visit: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Lecture On Epigraphy and Historiographical Practices in Sasanian Iran

UC Irvine Center for Persian Studies:
M. Rahim Shayegan
University of California, Los  Angeles
“On Epigraphy and  Historiographical Practices in Sasanian Iran”
Thursday,  June 6, 2013
Humanities Gateway 1010


The Arch of Ctesiphon will be restored by the Iraqi government!

Iraqi authorities have contracted a Czech firm to carry out a 10-month restoration of the ancient Arch of Ctesiphon as part of a plan to boost tourism to the once-popular site.

Through the decades of conflict that have wracked Iraq, the famed 6th century monument, which is the world’s largest brick-built arch and the last structure still standing from the ancient Persian imperial capital Ctesiphon, has fallen into disrepair.

Seminars on Late Antiquity at the Hebrew University

Lecture by Yuhan Vevaina at the University of Jerusalem  “Blood & Boundaries: Brothers and Sisters: Next-of-Kin Marriage in Late Antique Zoroastrianism”

Sunday June 23rd, 2013, 16:15 to 17:45:



Pahlavi Legal Parchments found and published from Tabarestan

The discovery and publication of Pahlavi legal documents from Tabarestan.
It is now possible to establish a typology of this type of document based on the one hand and on the content of the text and on the other hand on the formal and intrinsic characteristics of the clay sealings attached to them.