It has been a considerable amount of time since I did a posting at this blogsite about the destruction of Parthian (and other ancient) artifacts and archaeological sites in Iran. The radical Islamic regime in Iran is destroying physical evidence of the ancient civilizations and empires which once existed in its territory. It is doing so because it considers such “pre-Islamic” artifacts and sites somehow “impure.”

The destruction of artifacts and sites dating to the Parthian period is of particular interest to me as the Parthians were an empire of the ten tribes of Israel ruling over the nations which had previously held them captive. Isaiah prophesied that the “house of Israel” would go into captivity for their sins, but he also prophesied in Isaiah 14:2 that the ten tribes of Israel would eventually rule over the empires which would take them captive and oppress them.

The biblical kingdom of Israel fell circa 721 BC and many Israelites were taken captive into Asia by the Assyrians. The Assyrians were later displaced by the Babylonian Empire, which finally captured Jerusalem and took the last portion of the tribe of Judah captive circa 576 BC. The Persian Empire then overthrew the Babylonian empire and ruled over all the captive nations (including the Israelites) which had been subject to Babylon. Alexander the Great then defeated the Persian Empire and the Seleucid Greek Empire emerged to rule the region after Alexander’s early death.

In the middle of the 3rd century BC, the Parthians rose to power and eventually ruled over all the peoples and regions that had been in the Assyrian, Babylonian and much of the Persian Empire (including all of old Persia). Parthia ruled South-Central Asia for almost five centuries, and it fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 14:2. Extensive evidence confirming that the Parthians descended from exiled ten tribes of Israel can be found in my book, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower, available at the book links of this website or by going directly to the website of the publisher, Parthia became an ancient superpower rival of the Roman Empire with Rome ruling the Mediterranean region for centuries while Parthia ruled South-Central Asia. Parthia and Rome fought many wars and Parthia usually (but not always) won those wars.

As Iran destroys ever more Parthian archaeological sites, the physical evidence of the Parthian Empire is being irreplaceably lost. The first link describes the destruction of Parthian rock tombs with explosives, and it concludes with a piece that the ancient ruins of an ancient Sassanian Persian port city on the Persian Gulf “have been completely destroyed.” The Sassanian Persian port ruins may have begun as a Parthian port city. My aforementioned book documents that the Parthians had large trading fleets based on the Persian Gulf coast which traded throughout the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific Ocean. Some Parthian ships were so large that they had seven masts on them. I can’t recall if European ships during “the age of sail” ever had that many, and most European sailing ships (military or civilian) had no more than three masts. The Sassanian Persians overthrew the Parthian Empire and forcefully drove the Parthians out of the very region they had ruled for centuries. However, the Sassanians took over the Parthian cities, ports and infrastructure facilities and used them for their own purposes, so the Sassanian port city discussed at the end of the first link could easily have been first used as a Parthian port city. The first link includes a 1980s photo of the ruins of this ancient port city—which are now destroyed.

The second link details how another ancient Parthian site was plundered by smugglers as the Iranian officials turned a deaf ear and a blind eye toward what was going on. We will never know what was found by the plunderers at this ancient Parthian site.