01/09/2013 12:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Sassanid Era Gold Coins Found In Iraq

A team of archeologists excavating in the eastern Iraqi province of Wasit has discovered a unique set of gold coins dating back to Iran's Sassanid empire some 1,400 years ago.

The 60 coins were found in the town of Azizyah, 70 kilometres (40 miles) southeast of Baghdad, and depicted flames and insignia of the sovereign, AFP reported.

iraq coins

With its rich history and cultural heritage, Iraq has long been a destination of choice for archeologists around the world.

Last year a string of excavations led to the discovery of a new Assyrian site in the northern Arbil province and inscribed mud bricks belonging to the ancient city of Ur.

iraq coins

However, Iraq's archeological treasures have lured not only researchers. In recent years, selling illegally excavated artefacts has become a lucrative trade, according to Al-Arabiya.

Authorities arrested two men trying to smuggle scores of artifacts in the southern province of Dhiqar, Iraq's Al-Zaman newspaper reported in December.

Al-Sumaria TV adds:

Following the U.S. invasion in 2003, Iraqi archeological treasures were subject to the largest smuggling operation in Iraqi history where thousands of precious pieces went missing from Iraq National Museum in Baghdad and other sites all over the country.