A Warlord's Stronghold: Mystery on the Silk Road

A Warlord's Stronghold: Mystery on the Silk Road
  • Closed
February 19, 2015 to September 9, 2018
  • Level 3, Third Floor Centre Block


In the mid 1970s, the ROM led an exploratory expedition to the site of Saray Yazdigirdi, translated as “Yazdigird's palace,” situated on the edge of the Zagros mountains in western Iran. Artifacts discovered during the excavation contradicted earlier understanding about the site. The ROM’s study of the decorative architectural ornaments revealed this was not the palace of a king as once believed, but a fortified stronghold from 2nd century Parthia in Iran.  The ruins were reinterpreted as the retreat of a Persian warlord - a robber baron that plundered goods from caravans travelling along the legendary Silk Road.

Visitors will learn about the ROM’s excavations at Saray Yazdigirdi. Artifacts from the archaeological site and three reproductions of the decorative reliefs explain the historic importance of the ornaments found there, and how the ROM’s research led to the reinterpretation of this fascinating site.  

Learn more here!

Authored by: Cheryl Fraser