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The Past

2,000 - 200 years ago

In the early third century AD Ardashir Papakan, of Istakhr in Fars province, Iran, overthrew the Parthians and founded a new empire which came to be known by the name of a semi-mythical ancestor called Sasan. Various sources relate the story of Ardashir's conquests in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula, suggesting that a campaign was undertaken against the land of what is today the Emirates by c. 240 AD Certainly the name Mazun appears in the list of provinces of Ardashir's son, Shapur I, shortly afterwards, and as we know that this applied to both the UAE and Oman, it seems clear that the conquest of the region must have occurred by the mid-third century.

Sasanian glass and pottery has been found at a number of sites in the Emirates, including Jazirat al-Hulayla and Kush, while at Jebel Emalah the burial of a male with fragments of iron weaponry has been carbon-dated to the sixth or early seventh century.

Sasanian coins have been found at Tell Abraq, on Ghallah island in the lagoon of Umm al-Qaiwain and in Fujairah. Most of these date to the reigns of three Sasanian kings, Shapur II (309-379), Hormizd IV (579-590), and Khusraw II (590-628).

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