Herodotus Returns

Iranian team will investigate lost army of Cambyses II in Egypt
January 12, 2010, 9:16 am
Filed under: Cambyses II's Lost Army | Tags: , ,

Looks like the purported remains of Cambyses II’s legendary lost army will be officially investigated by a group of Iranian archaeologists. This past November, Italian archaeologists made headlines by claiming to have found the remains of the Persian king’s 50,000-man army. According to this blog’s patron saint, Herodotus, the army vanished in a sandstorm in 525 BC en route from Thebes to destroy the oracle of Amun at Siwa after priests there refused to legitimize Cambyses’s claim on Egypt. While most of the scholarly community remains skeptical, if proven, the find would solve one of archaeology’s biggest outstanding mysteries.

Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (ICHTO) Hamid Baqaei announced on Sunday that Egypt had agreed for the Iranian group to conduct studies there.

Two Italian brothers claimed to have found the remains of a great army sent by the Persian King Cambyses II to attack the Oasis of Siwa 2,500 years ago.

Egypt’s chief archeologist Zahi Hawass, however, rejected the discovery as “unfounded and misleading,” adding that as the Italian brothers had not been granted legal permission to excavate in Egypt their claims of having made a discovery was not credible.

“We have sent a letter to Egyptian cultural heritage officials and they have implicitly confirmed the existence of the remains of the Persian army,” IRNA quoted Baqaei as saying.

“They have also stated that the finds belong to the Egyptian government.”

More on the potential find.