Ancient Persia was considered a major trade hub connecting the West and the East through the Silk Road. The Siraf Port in southern Iran is one of the many historical sites that testify to the country’s significant role in the ancient trade system.
Siraf is located southeast of the Iranian city of Bushehr, roughly halfway along the northern shore of the Persian Gulf. The ancient city boasts several key historical sites dating back to the Parthian (248 BC-224 AD), Sassanid (224-651 AD), and Islamic eras.
Archeological evidence suggests that the historic port was a main marine trade hub during the pre-Islamic era and the first four centuries following the advent of Islam. Siraf has been compared with some of the most successful ports of ancient times with a similar amount of wealth and prosperity recorded in Hong Kong, Venice, and Boston.
Objects found at the site also show that the port was once a large city that went underwater after an earthquake. Archeologists have unearthed remains of grand multi-storied houses, as well as large congregational centers, bazaars, and an extensive industrial quarter used for the production of pottery, glass, textiles, and jewelry.
Iran’s Siraf Port has been included in UNESCO’s Tentative List, which includes properties considered to be a cultural and natural heritage of outstanding universal value, and suitable to be registered on the World Heritage List.