Thursday, August 18, 2005


Debate continues on Safavid era ship lying off Caspian coast


Mehr News
August 14, 2005

TEHRAN -- Archaeologists recently announced that the process of removing the Safavid era ship lying semi-submerged off the coast of Iran’s Caspian Sea port of Amirabad could cause serious damage to the vessel.

After a violent storm subsided in Amirabad in the Lamard region near Behshahr, Mazandaran Province in September 2003, the historic ship appeared from beneath the waves. Experts believe the ship dates back to the Safavid era (1501-1722).

It is thought that the wooden ship ran aground in the tidal current of the Caspian Sea and was later buried under water and sand over the years.

The Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) had previously decided to remove the ship and put it on display with all its items, but experts now have the exact opposite view, an archaeologist of the Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department said.

“When the water rose up to 15 meters higher in the recent tidal current, more parts of the ship were submerged, and we noticed that this could help to better protect the ship, because it keeps the ship wet. If the local residents do not harm the ship, it would be better to keep the ship in its present location,” added Saman Surtichi.

No signs of military equipment have ever been found on the vessel, so experts believe it was a cargo ship, he said in conclusion.


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