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Excavations at Shahr-I Qūmis, 1971

  • John Hansman and David Stronach

The second season of excavations at Shahr-i Qūmis began in August, and continued until early October, 1971. Work was resumed at mounds IV and VII, cleared in part in 1967, and new excavations were begun at two further sites, V and XIII. The directors are again most grateful for the close co-operation extended to the project by H.E. Mr. Mehrdad Pahlbod, Minister of Culture; by Mr. A. Pourmand, Director General of the Iranian Archaeological Service; and by Dr. T. Naimi, Director of the Service. Mr. B. Babek represented the Service on the excavations. In addition to the directors, those who participated in the excavations were Dr. A. D. H. Bivar, Miss E. Alexander, Mr. R. Biscione, Miss C. Marten, Mr. G. Payne, Mr. M. Roaf, Mrs. M. Sturz, and Mr. and Mrs. S. Swiny. Major support for the project was given by the National Geographic Society and the Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum.

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1 For an account of the excavations of 1967 cf. Hansman, J. and Stronach, D., “Excavations at Shahr-i Qūmis, 1967”, JRAS, 1970, 2962.

2 Cf. Hansman, J., “The problems of Qūmis”, JRAS, 1968, 111139 for a discussion of the possible historical background of this site.

3 Hansman and Stronach, op. cit., Fig. 1.

4 ibid, Fig. 10.

5 ibid, 41–9.

6 ibid, 45 and 47.

7 cf. notes 18 and 19.

8 cf. Hansman and Stronach, op. cit., Fig. 8, for a drawing showing the location of many of these remains.

9 ibid, Fig. 13, no. 7.

10 On the position of the fire altar in the Median temple at Tepe Nūsh-i Jān see especially Roaf, Michael and Stronach, David, “Tepe Nūsh-i Jān, 1970: second interim report”, Iran, X, 1973, Figs. 1–3.

11 Minns, E. H., Scythians and Greeks, Cambridge, 1913, 149. This practice is also ascribed to the Scythians by Herodotus, IV, 72.

12 ibid, 224–35.

13 Justin, XLI, 1 and Strabo, XI, 8, 2.

14 Philostratus, , Life of Apollonius, I, 31.

15 Tacitus, , Annals, VI, 37.

16 Strabo, XV, 2, 14.

17 Ṭabari, , Annals, I, 819.

18 Wroth, W., Catalogue of the coins of Parthia, London, 1902, xxxi.

19 Sellwood, D., “The Parthian coins of Gotarzes I, Orodes I and Sinatruces”, NC, 1962, 80.

20 Cf. Bovington, C., Mahdavi, A., and Masoumi, R., “Tehran University Nuclear Centre Radiocarbon Dates II”, Radiocarbon, 15, 3, 1973, 597.

21 It is to be noted that two-spouted vessels similar to the one recovered from Site VII, Room 17 (Fig. 5, 1) are usually to be dated several hundred years earlier than the mid-first century B.C., the last period of use of Site VII. Yet if this type of object served an essentially practical purpose, which seems probable, the survival of the form into the first century B.C. would appear to be no more than an indication of a continuing need.

22 On the westward movement of the Parthians cf. J. Hansman, “The problems of Qūmis”, 113–6.

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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