Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie

Campbell, S., Hauser, S. R., Killick, R., Moon, J., Shepperson, M. and Doležálová, V., 2018. Charax Spasinou: New Investigations at the Capital of Mesene. Zeitschrift für Orient-Archäologie band 11. Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Orient-Abteilung, pp.212-239.


The city of Charax Spasinou was a major trading centre of the Arsacid Empire. Located near the head of the Gulf, it was the primary port of entry for sea-borne goods from India destined for the imperial court at Ctesiphon and for places further afield such as Palmyra and even Rome. Originally founded by Alexander the Great, the time of its greatest prosperity was from the late 2nd century BC through to the 3rd century AD. The city was first identified in 1965 with modern Jebel Khayaber, near Basra, but until now it has never been subjected to archaeological exploration. This preliminary article reports on work in 2016/2017 carried out by the Charax Spasinou Project, set up to survey and document the site and its vicinity. It demonstrates that much of the ancient city is in fact still extant, with considerable potential for future investigation of long-distance trade in antiquity and of the political history of the wider region.

Author(s) Mary Shepperson
Country Germany
Language German
Subject History/Prehistory and Early History
Area covered Mesene
Publisher Mann, Gebr
Publication date 2019
Type Journal Paper
Pages 496
ISBN 9783786128298
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