11/11/1866 – Visiting Bishapur and the cave statue of Shapur I

Tinco Lycklama visits the ruins of Bishapur, one of the capitals of the Sassanid Empire (224-651 CE). But, Tinco is particularly attracted by the grotto where, it is said, he could find the rests of a magnificent statue of the Sassanid king Shapur I (c215-270 CE). As you can guess from the pictures, the climb to the cave was quite adventurous. The cave was discovered in 1811 by Major Stone, a member of the expedition led by William Ouseley. He found the statue of Shapur partly smashed and laying on the floor, covered by sand. Orginally, it measured 6.7 meters and was totally carved out of a natural stalactite in the middle of the cave. Tinco Lycklama saw the statue like that, more or less like in the drawing by Eugène Flandin from 1841. Tinco hoped that someone would come soon to excavate this massive statue and restore it to its former glory. Tinco’s wish came true – but only 69 years later, in 1935.

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