It has been awhile since I commented on the destruction of ancient Parthian archeological sites by the current radical Islamic government of Iran. Ancient Persia (modern Iran) is rich in pre-Islamic archeological sites, but the Islamic government of Iran has been systematically destroying pre-Islamic ruins and sites. Many Parthian sites are among those being lost. More of the Parthian sites being destroyed or damaged are detailed in this blog.
The Iranians are building a dam which will submerge the ruins of 15 ancient fortresses, many of them dating back to the time of the Parthian Empire (see first link). Also near the dam site are 15 Parthian-era rock-tombs which will likely survive the inundation, scheduled for 2010. Parthia and Rome were equal superpower empires in ancient times. Rome often invaded Parthia, but the Parthians usually won these wars. Would modern Europe think of destroying the ancient Roman ruins? Hardly! They are regarded as critical historical artifacts. However, Iran cares nothing for the empires that rose and fall in the past within their borders.
The second link has even more information about Parthian ruins. An ancient Parthian site has been found in an old citadel-fortress site which dates to the Parthian Empire, and was used afterwards by the Sassanians who drove the Parthians out of Asia in the 3rd century AD. A manor site found in the excavation had to belong to a wealthy Parthian as it had a furnace, rooms with plaster decorations, a bathhouse and lavatory seats “remarkably similar to modern examples common in western countries.” Unfortunately, this site has also sustained “serious damages” at the hands of the modern Iranians.
When their empire was overthrown by the Persians, the fleeing Parthians migrated into Europe via the Caucasus Mountains and founded the “Caucasian” nations of Europe who received that name due to their arrival in Europe via the Caucasus Mountains. The ancient Parthian citadel-fortress even had a moat around it, and the Parthian Empire featured a feudal system with an overall king who was supported by largely-autonomous local vassal kings. The Parthians later brought this feudal system with them into Europe and also continued their custom of building fortresses (the “castles” of Europe) with moats around them for defense.
The Parthians were the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel who went into an Assyrian captivity in the 8th century BC. The Assyrians took many of the Israelites to the “cities of the Medes” (II Kings 18:11) which were located in modern Iran. When the ten tribes of Israel turned the tables on their captors and ruled over the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians, they fulfilled a prophecy in Isaiah 14:2 wherein God foretold that the ten tribes of “Israel” would eventually rule over their captors. The Parthians were a “Sacae” people (named after “Isaac”) like their brother tribes who founded the Scythian Empire to the north. Their language clearly preserved their Semitic origins and the faces of the Parthian kings depicted on their coins were all Semitic. Some Parthian cities had obviously-Israelite names. These included Asaak (named after Isaac), Samariane (named after Samaria, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Israel), Gaza (named after the old Philistine city), etc. The entire fascinating story of the mighty Parthian Empire, which is almost always ignored or downgraded in history books, can be learned by reading my book, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower. It can be ordered on-line at www.bibleblessings.net or from me directly at Steven Collins, PO Box 88735, Sioux Falls, SD 57106-8735. The cost for a single copy is $25 ($20 for the book and $5 shipping fees). The website takes credit cards, and I accept checks and money orders at my address.