Iran’s Archeology Research Center has invited a team of underwater archeologists from Greece to come to Iran to help the Iranian archeologists in raising the newly discovered ancient shipwreck from the Persian Gulf.
According to Hossein Tofighian, head of the underwater archeology department of Iran’s Archeology Research Center, the decision to invite Greek archeologists to Iran was made during the recent visit of Director of the Research Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, Dr. Taha Hashemi, to this country. “During his visit, Dr. Hashemi met with Greek underwater archeologists and visited their equipments which he believes are sufficient for undertaking the project in the Persian Gulf. Therefore, he proposed that a team of fully equipped Greek underwater archeologists come to Iran to assist the Archeology Research Center in taking out the sunken ship and its cargo,” said Tofighian to CHN.
The ship was accidentally discovered almost three months ago near the port of Siraf at a depth of 70 meters below the Persian Gulf. Initial studies by Iranian underwater archeologists on the ship and its massive cargo revealed that it was a merchant ship belonging to either the Parthian (248 BC - 224 AD) or Sassanid (224 - 651 AD) empires.
From the early days of this discovery, recovery of the Partho-Sassanid shipwreck of the Persian Gulf was seen far from being just a simple archeology expedition. Considering the lack of experience as well as the insufficient equipments in underwater archeology in Iran, the Iranian archeologists concluded that the current state of technology in underwater archeology in Iran can not meet the demands of such massive project. “We do not have the necessary equipments for diving to the depth of 70 meters, neither do we have much experience in such projects,” said Tofighian.
Tofighian believes that the presence of Greek archeologists in Iran would be a great opportunity for the country’s underwater archeology since this joint project would allow the Iranian experts in underwater archeology to closely observe the activities of the Greek experts and learn more about latest techniques and equipments in this field.
Ever since the discovery of this merchant ship in the Persian Gulf, the necessity to purchase advanced diving equipments is felt more than ever in Iran.
“The use of advanced diving equipments requires training which will be provided to the Iranian archeologists during this joint initiative with Greek experts. On the other hand, we can not depend on foreign archeologists to do the job for us forever. Therefore, as soon as we learn how to use the new technology, we will proceed to purchase the equipments,” added Tofighian.
He also announced that funding for this project will be provided by Southern Pars Oil Company after the signing of a contract with the Archeology Research Center.