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Paper Information

Journal:   PAZHOHESH-HA-YE BASTANSHENASI IRAN   spring 2016 , Volume 6 , Number 10 ; Page(s) 161 To 172.
 
Paper: 

Locating Sasanian Rew-Ardashir and Early-Middle Islamic Reishahr

 
 
Author(s):  miri negin*
 
* 
 
Abstract: 
Historical and administrative geography of Sassanian period is more well-known to us compared to its preceding periods due to the existence of valuable contemporary literary and material evidence as well as many later written sources about the structure and history of Sassanian Empire. Nevertheless, there are still many uncertainties and unsolved problems. Moreover, finding new evidence in some instances necessitates review and/or improvement of previous studies. This paper studies two toponyms-Rew-Ardashir and Reishahr-whose identifications has not been an easy and established issue. The name Rew-Ardashir is recorded on seal of amargar of Rē w-Ardaš ī r, Ē rā n-Xwarrah-Š ā buhr, Ē rā n-Xwarrah-Š ā buhr and Tarm. Fourth and fifth century coins also bear the mint signature for this location in both its abbreviated and full forms as LYW and LYWARTHŠ T/LYWARTHŠ RT. The name is also recorded on Š KZ as a place where Christian captives from Shapur I’ s Syrian campaigns were settled in by mid-3rd century AD. The name Rew-Ardashir is also frequently mentioned in Church Synods from the early 4th century A. D. onward and in other Syrian sources such as the Acts of the Martyrs. It was the official seat of the Nestorian metropolitan of Fars since mid-5th century. The name Rew-Ardashir is also recorded in some Manichean texts. Apart from this ample contemporary evidence, Early and Middle Islamic geographical and historical sources have recorded two place names bearing the name Reishahr that is an altered version of Rew-Ardashir according to them: Reishahr of Tawwaj and Reishahr of Arrajan. These two places however cannot logically refer to one place due to considerable distance between Tawwaj that was located to the north of modern Borazjan and Arrajan that was located near the border of Fars and Khuzestan along Jarahi River, as well as other given descriptions. These ambiguous and dual reports have hence led to obscurity in identification of Sassanian Rew-Ardashir and then Reishahr. The present paper brings together all available contemporary material and literary evidence, archaeological information from the region as well as information available in the Islamic historical and geographical sources in order to provide an explanation for this dual location and propose a novel identification. It is suggested here that there existed in fact two place names as Rew-Ardashir/Reishahr both during the Sasanian and Early to Middle Islamic periods, one in the border area between Fars and Khuzestan and the other one in the Bushehr peninsula that was part of Fars province. Reishahr of Tawwaj was Rew-Ardashir of Pars that was seat of Nestorian Metropolitan of Fars from 3rd to 6th centuries A. D. and a mint town from late 4th to mid-7th century A. D., the location of which has been identified with a site in Bushehr peninsula. Reishahr of Arrajan is identical with the Rew-Ardashir recorded on the sealing of the ā mā rgar of Rew-Ardashir, Eran-Khuarrah-Shapur, Vahman-Ardashir that were both located in eastern Khuzestan. It has been thus located in Zeitun area near Arrajan in the border area between Fars and Khuzestan.
 
Keyword(s): Historical Geography,Sasanian,Rew-Ardashir,Reishahr,Fars,Khuzestan
 
References: 
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