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    Islamic-era copper coins discovered in Shahrekord.

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    Islamic-era copper coins discovered in Shahrekord – Islamic-era copper coins have been discovered in west-central Iran province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari.

    The discovery of the coins indicate using the coins had been prevalent still in periods as early as Seljukid and Ilkhanid eras during Islamic period, state news agency IRNA reported.

    Cultural Heritage Organization Research House expert Mitra Shateri, who is also head of the first season of archeological explorations in historical Ribat site, said the second season was launched in last October in an ancient hilltop to ‘find insight to the physical remains of the site.’

    “An area of 400 square meters the ruins of the monument including chambers and halls which belonged to a greater structure of 100 square meters were uncovered,” said Shateri. “In past years, the operations to dredging of the local qanat system had rendered part of the structure in ruins; recent explorations has bring out of the soil part of a public building complex used as caravanserai or a ribat with special plan consisting of stone foundations, remains of brick walls, kilns and stone storehouses interspersed among the architectural spaces,” she explained.

    Shateri also said that Islamic period copper coins, simple glazed pottery items had been uncovered, which she believed was indication that the building complex traced back to Seljukid and Ilkhanid periods and found use as cemetery in later centuries.

    “Explorations in the site is an important step to discover and document the remains of caravanserais and to retrieve caravan routes and connecting roads in Islamic and pre-Islamic period in the west-central Iran through finding specific types of plans of caravanserais in Zagros mounts,” asserted the head of archeological expedition. “The site has potentials for designation as a cultural complex for tourism which would also include a green space for camping in addition to a museum which would host the site’s historical objets trouvés,” she proposed.

    Ribat historical site is located 15 km east of Shahrekord on the historical route connecting Isfahan with Khuzestan, now in the modern highway connecting Shahrekord to Isfahan. According to sources, it goes back to about 1000 years ago.

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    There are a number of Caravanserais - or shelters for the Camel Caravans which brough spices etc. from the East - still

    in amazing condition and open to tourists. They were spaced - usually - at the distance a Caravan could travel in a day

    and provided shelter and food overnight. They were mostly covered in lovely ceramic tiling - for which the area was

    famous. This whole area dates back to the Sumerian and the Assyrian periods - the local tribesmen - known as Medes

    fought for their independence and this became the Persian empire. All part of Alexander the Great's empire in the 300B.C.

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    I am afraid that their value is more historical than commercial. When it comes to the collector's market Seljuk and Ilkhanid copper has about as much popularity as the proverbial floating object in a swimming pool, there is market for the gold and to a much lesser extent the silver but the copper I am afraid it's a case of how much will you give me to take it off your hands, which is a shame, but at least it will hopefully end up in a museum rather than in various European auction houses.


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